14 Different Foods You Should Taste in Every Malaysian State (Part 2)

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We start this list halfway because this is the second part. Check out the first part here.

9. Kelantan – Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabou (Herbed rice) is famous in the east coast states of Malaysia, especially Kelantan, where it native from. Obtain the blue color rice tint from the telang (butterfly pea), this dish is basically rice served with a local salad called Oulam which consists of various fresh herbs and vegetables.

Credit: Siti Jaharah Abdul Rahman / Facebook

To accompany the dish, it is also served with turmeric breaded fried fish, solok lada (stuffed peppers), salted eggs, fish crackers, fried shredded coconut and their special sambal. Other side dishes to replace fish can be grilled meat or chicken.

Honorable mentions: Nasi Tumpang, Laksam Kelantan

The exterior and interior view of nasi tumpang (to the left). Laksam Kelantan (right) comes in a thicker, circular flat shape compared to a regular laksa.
Credit: @HezryZaidi, @Ikki_ayjay / Twitter

Furthermore, Kelantan also has Nasi Tumpang (rice with different layers of dishes wrapped in a pyramidal cone shape by a banana leaf) and Laksam Kelantan (a variant of Laksa but in a different shape and with white sauce).

10. Terengganu – Nasi Dagang

Popular in Terengganu, Nasi Dagang or Trader’s Rice is a dish of rice steamed in coconut milk, with Ikan Tongkol (mackerel fish) curry and a car (marinated cucumber and carrot).

Terengganu Nasi Dagang uses a mixture of white rice and glutinous rice, cooked with coconut milk, which gives the rice a shiny and shiny appearance. This is unlike the Kelantan version of Nasi Dagang, which uses brown rice instead.

Credit: Khalis Jaafar, Ustazah Homestay 3 / Facebook

The name of the dish is thought to originate from Bugis traders who accidentally mixed normal rice and sticky rice to serve the Sultan of Terengganu at the time.

Although you can eat it at any time of the day, it is actually a breakfast dish in Terengganu commonly served during Eid al-Fitr.

Honorable mentions: Keropok Lekor, SATA

The size of the sausage Keropok Lekor is cut into small pieces and fried or boiled (left). The sata is wrapped in banana leaves in the shape of a tiny triangle, pricked on a stick and grilled (right).
Credit: @kfvith/Twitter, Mohd Shaifudin/Facebook

other than that, Keropok Lekor (sausage-type snacks made of fish and flour) and SATA (grilled spicy fish meat wrapped in banana leaves, like otak-otak) is also famous in Terengganu.

11. Pahang – Gulai Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak

Made with durian flesh fermented with salt for a minimum of two days to two weeks, tempoyak (a kind of fermented mash) is usually made from excess overripe or uneaten durian during durian season.

Tempoyak paste (left) and Gulai Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak (to the right).
Credit: Bonda Aleena, Aleya Seolihah / Facebook

Tempoyak can be transformed into Sambal Tempoyak, Pais Ikan Tempoyak (grilled fish with tempoyak) and also Gulai Patin Ikan Tempoyak (curry sauce with fish and tempoyak).

Popular in Temerloh, Pahang as they have a breeding area for the Patinated fish (Pangasius/river catfish), Gulai Ikan Patin Tempoyak is a rich sauce cooked with Patin fish and tempoyak which results in an exquisite balance of acidity, spiciness and sweetness.

Honorable Mentions: Gulai Asam Rong, Diraja pudding

Asam Rong are processed rubber seeds (left, top) that can be cooked in gulai (curry) dishes (left, bottom). Diraja pudding is a dessert that is used to be served at Pahang Royalties (right).
Credit: Happy Irfa / Blog, Mingguan Wanita / Facebook

Additionally, you can also find Gulai Asam Rong (sauce cooked with the flavors of fermented rubber seed powder) and Diraja pudding (royal pudding consisting of fried banana fritters, topped with Jala Mas, garnished with nuts and dried fruits as a garnish as well as a custard sauce) in Pahang.

12. Johor – Kacang Pool

Imagine the fusion of Middle Eastern and Malaysian cuisine. You will have a kacang pool. This is what inspired Haji Makpol Kairon aka matpol, who invented this dish almost 33 years ago.

Credit: Siti Ammara Sani / Facebook

Kacang Swimming Pool is a dish born in Johor consisting of a mixture of broad beans/beans/beans, minced meat and some spices for seasoning. Usually eaten for breakfast, this dish is served as a dip with toasted bread.

Originally from the Middle East, this dish called Foul Mudammas (Egyptian spiced beans) intrigued Hadji Makpol when he was in Makkah in 2009. He tried to replicate the recipe with a touch of Malaysian palate and now he has about 5 outlets in Johor including Putrajaya as well.

Honorable mentions: Laksa Johor, Pisang Goreng Cicah Sambal Kicap

Laksa Johor (left) and Pisang Goreng Cicah Sambal Kicap (to the right).
Credit: @LeAlterEgo / Twitter, Laksa Johor / Facebook

Also on the list is Laksa Johor (a variation of laksa but with spaghetti instead of rice noodles with an orange tinge from a thick sauce) and Pisang Goreng Cicah Sambal Kicap (your banana fritters but with spicy soy sauce and chili dip).

13. Sarawak – Manok Pansuh

Manok Pansuh/Ayam Pansuh is a Sarawak dish which literally means chicken cooked in bamboo in Iban.

Credit: @kuching_borneo / Twitter

the the chicken is marinated with some seasonings and herbs before it is stuffed into a bamboo stalk with a little water for the soup later. Then the bamboo is stuffed with rolled tapioca leaves from the cassava plant covering the open end. They are traditionally cooked near an open fire for slow roasting.

This healthy dish is usually prepared by Ibans and Bidayuhs during festivals, especially during Gawai Dayak (thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest).

Honorable Mentions: Laksa Sarawak, Mee Kolok

Laksa Sarawak (left) and Mee Kolok (to the right).
Credit: @CorrineAbdullah, @Ombonbonbon / Twitter

Also, in Sarawak, they have their own version of Laksa Sarawak (served with thin rice vermicelli, a different version of broth and topped with shredded chicken and omelet strips) and are also renowned for their Mee Kolok (elastic and thin dry egg noodles mixed with a little seasoning and topped with savory beef/chicken/pork[non-halal]).

READ MORE: ‘Exotic’ local food abounds in Sarawak for foodies who want to scratch that travel itch

14. Sabah – Ambuyat

As well as being the national dish of our neighboring country, Brunei, Ambuyat, also from Sabah, is a sticky, gooey dish made from the trunk of the sago palm.

Ambuyat is the transparent gel that is served with the side dishes.
Credit: My Native Sabah / Facebook

Ambuyat has a glue-like texture and is ideally eaten with a utensil that resembles a pair of tied chopsticks called candas. The sticks are twirled in the ambuyat and dipped in gravy or hot and sour sauces.

Ambuyat doesn’t taste of its own, with many claiming it “doesn’t taste at all”. However, this means that it can easily replace rice in many dishes and allows its sides to take center stage. Ambuyat is usually served with grilled fish, raw vegetables, etc.

Honorable Mentions: Hinava, Mee Tuaran

hinava is a bit like sashimi, in a way (left). Mee Tuaran is fried noodles with some toppings (right).
Credit: @hanaeli9, @jofannabridal / Twitter

Last but not least, Sabah is super famous for its hinava (raw fish marinated in lime juice mixed with herbs and seasonings) and its version of mee called Mee Tuaran (thin fried egg noodles which comes from the name of his city, Tuaran, Sabah).

If you’re wondering what food other states offer, take a look at our previous article for Part 1.

READ MORE: 14 Best Foods to Try in Every Malaysian State [Part 1]

So this is it. If you are going on a tour to every state in Malaysia, try these dishes and let us know if they are worth visiting.


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