Malaysia is one of Asia's most diverse countries with a history woven together by the fusion of several different cultures, and it has the food scene to prove it. Yet it seems to stay somewhat under the radar to some degree and lacks the international recognition that it deserves.
An influx of Indian, Malay, and Chinese influences sprinkled with traces of Thai as well as European influences from the Portugese and the British, Malaysia is country that is teeming with culinary traditions tossed brilliantly together in one big wok. Malaysia truly is a melting point, and it's this intersection of cultures that help makes Malaysia the unique, flavor-filled country that is it.
What's more? Not only is the food incredible, but it's available everywhere — day and night. Malaysia is known amongst travelers for its jalans, or streets, that are lined with food stalls, vendors and hawker stands turning out fantastic dishes at beloved street food prices. In many cities around the country, you'll find an Indian vendor tossing up dosas smack beside a Chinese woman preparing dim sum well into the early hours of the morning. Much of the food is fast and quick, with drinks and food served in bags.
But where to start in a country with such a fusion of dishes and cultures? Kuala Lumpr, Penang and Melacca are most known for their food scenes; however, one meal in Malaysia will show you that it isn't a question of where to eat but more a question of what to dish to delight in next.
Having traevled to Malaysia three times, I find that there is a collection of very particular dishes I always go after. From locally-loved laksa through to cold dessert soups, these 7 dishes are a traveler's round-up of Malaysian culinary treats to suit every palate.
Alexandra E. Petri is the travel editor for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @witewayaround
No trip to Malaysia is complete without trying laksa, which could easily be considered Malaysia's staple dish. There are a varity of laksa dishes to go around (and some can be explosively spicy), yet it seem two variations reign most supreme: asam (meaning tamarind in Malay) laksa with fish, or curry laksa, which is made rich and creamy by its coconut milk broth.
One of the most delicious breakfasts around, roti canai has its roots stemming from Indian culture. This treat of flakey goodness stretched out to be as thin as a sheet is then folded back up to create a pocket of warmth. It will often times leave a nice residue of ghee, or butter, greasing up your fingers, but it is worth every bite. Roti canai is served with a couple of curries for your dipping pleasure.