What do you get when you combine Malay, Chinese and Indian influences on a plate? An addiction to Malaysian food. You’ve been warned.

In an age when the term “underrated” gets tossed about with impunity, it may be difficult to take us seriously when we say Malaysian food isn’t getting the global recognition it deserves.
But the fact is, this stuff is good. Damn good.

The sum of many delicious parts, Malaysian cuisine’s influences include Chinese, Indian and Malay.

In some ways it’s similar to Indonesian food, with the two nations sharing many of the same dishes. (Warning: debates over dish origins can turn nasty in these parts — such is the passion of the region’s food lovers.)

Regardless, once you’re in Malaysia and eating, you’ll quickly dispanse with historical concerns and wonder instead where your next meal is coming from and how you can you get to it sooner.

Apam balik

Malaysian food
Malaysian food

 

You haven’t truly experienced Malaysian food until you thrill your taste buds with this sweet treat.

A pancake-style snack wedded with the compact package of an omelet, apam balik is stuffed with more than a sufficient amount of sugar, peanuts and the occasional sprinkle of corn — it’s a dish that’s constantly being reinvented.

Mee goreng mamak

Malaysian food
Malaysian food

 

This Indian Muslim dish is the complete package. Yellow noodles. Beef or chicken. Shrimp. Soy sauce, veggies and eggs. A bit of chili tossed in for an irresistible jolt. Sounds simple, right?

Sadly, you can try to replicate this one at home, but it’s just not going to taste the way it did when you chowed down at that gritty Malaysian food hawker stall.

Nasi kerabu

If the blue rice doesn’t spark your curiosity, the lines of people around the country waiting to order this favorite Kelantanese dish should.

From the state of Kelantan in northern peninsular Malaysia, nasi kerabu gets its eye-grabbing color from telang flowers, which are crushed and mixed into flour.

The aquamarine dish is topped with bean sprouts and fried coconut, then drenched in spicy budu, a fermented fish sauce.

In true Kelantan style, you use your hands to dig into this one.