9 Malaysia Street Foods You Have To Try

BY Daniel Hales

Exploring the tastes and traditions of Malaysian cuisine is one of the most enjoyable aspects of a luxury holiday to Malaysia. It’s a delicious result of a mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences and can be experienced however you desire – from fine dining to straight up street food.

Malaysian city streets often seem paved with food and there are so many different flavours and aromas used and such a huge variety of dishes to choose from that it can almost be overwhelming.

On your luxury holiday to Malaysia, you’ll no doubt pick your favourite, but to give you a flavour (see what we did there), we’ve put together our own list of nine Malaysian street foods you simply must try.

Nasi lemak

Rice is the number one staple when it comes to Malaysian food and Nasi lemak is one of the country’s most popular dishes and its unofficial national dish.

It’s a simple dish, consisting of rice steamed with coconut milk and fragrant pandan leaves. It can be served with fried anchovies, peanuts and cucumber, resulting in a delicious mixture of tastes.

Lok lok

Lok lok simply means ‘dip dip’. It’s a typical style of street food that involves skewers of various meats and vegetables that can be selected and then dipped into a ‘hot pot’ in the middle. As they cook in the simmering pot of soup stock, they soak up the fantastic array of flavours. It’s a great experience to have on your luxury holiday to Malaysia too.


Rojak is a salad with a difference. The term ‘rojak’ itself means an eclectic mix and that’s exactly what this dish is – a fresh, punchy mixture of tastes.

In a typical rojak, you’ll find an exotic assortment of fruit and vegetables found in Malaysia, such as radishes, pineapple, mango and bean sprouts. They’re covered with a sweet and sour dressing and sprinkled with roasted peanuts.

Bak kut teh

Bak kut teh (or ‘pork bone tea’) is a pork rib dish cooked in a light broth. Malaysian bak kut teh is beautifully wholesome and filled with light flavours. It’s not necessarily what you’d expect from a pork rib dish, but satisfying and delicious all the same.

Pandan layer cake

Pandan is a tropical plant with fragrant leaves, popular in Malaysian cooking. With naturally soft, sweet characteristics, it’s the perfect ingredient for the simple but delicious pandan layer cake.

The cake itself is made up of alternate layers of soft sponge and delicious coconutty pandan filling. You have to try this at least once on any luxury holiday to Malaysia.

Curry Mee

Rice may be Malaysia’s number one staple but following a close second come noodles. Stir-fry noodles are ubiquitous with Malaysian urban areas and dishes vary from region to region.

Curry Mee (otherwise known as curry laksa) is a yellow curry noodle soup made up of soft egg noodles and a creamy, flavoursome curry, made with coconut milk and chillies. The result is a wonderfully fragrant and fiery noodle curry.

Assam laksa

Ordering assam laksa from a street food stall will give you an authentic street food experience on your luxury holiday to Malaysia.

Travellers and local men on motorbikes alike order this classic as they continue on their merry way through the streets of Penang. It’s a tangy, tasty fish-based rice noodle soup and typifies Malaysian street food.


Similar to lok lok, satay consists of lightly seasoned meat skewers on bamboo sticks that are cooked over naked flames.
These tasty treats are served with a typical sweet and spicy peanut sauce that makes them quite simply heavenly.

Chee cheong fun

Brough to Malaysia from China, chee cheong fun is popular as a hearty breakfast or brunch. Thick rice noodles are topped with a thick, sweet sauce and typically a shrimp paste. It’s a simple and traditional dish, well worth a try on a luxury holiday to Malaysia.