Malaysia Country Guide



Chinese Cuisine

Chinese food eaten in Malaysia commonly originates from southern China, particularly Fujian and Guangdong. While authentic fare that is relatively unchanged from its Mainland Chinese origins is certainly available, especially in fancier restaurants, the daily fare served on the streets has absorbed a number of tropical touches, most notably the fairly heavy use of chilli and the Malay fermented shrimp paste belachan as condiments. Noodles are not only served in soup but also fried and tossed with chilli and spices in one bowl.

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Chinese restaurant in Petaling Jaya

Chinese restaurant in Petaling Jaya

Yong Tau Foo
Yong tau foo literally means "boiled tofu", but it's more exciting than it sounds. The diner selects their favorites from a vast assortment of tofu, fish paste, seafood and vegetables and they are then sliced into bite-size pieces, cooked briefly in boiling water and then served either in broth as soup or "dry" with the broth in a separate bowl. Accompaniments are spicy chili sauce and a distinctive brown sweet sauce.

This is a hot pot do-it-yourself soup dish i.e. Chinese style. You get a pot of broth bubbling on a tabletop burner, pick meat, fish and veggies to your liking from a menu or buffet table, then cook it to your liking. When finished, add in noodles or ask for rice to fill you up. This usually requires a minimum of two people, and the more the merrier.

Chicken Rice
Hainanese chicken rice is poached chicken served with rice cooked in chicken stock and fat, and tasty ginger and chilli dipping sauces. The chicken has a delicate taste, but it's the quality of the rice and the dipping sauces that connoisseurs get passionate about.

Hokkien Mee
Hokkien mee refers to at least three separate dishes. In Kuala Lumpur, this gets you thick noodles fried in dark soy sauce, while in Penang you'll get a very spicy shrimp soup. Interestingly, neither of them bear any resemblance to the dish of the same name served in neighbouring Singapore.

Chee Cheong Fun
Chee cheong fun is a favorite breakfast consisting of lasagna-type rice noodles rolled up and accompanied with various types of fried meats including fishballs and fried tofu. The dish is usually topped with a generous amount of sauce.

Char Kui Teow

Char kui teow is a popular fried noodle dish with many Malaysians and the dish fried with soya sauce, prawn, cockles, bean sprouts and chives.

Chwee Kway
Chwee kway is a dish consisting of rice cakes topped with chai po (salted fermented turnips), usually served with some chilli sauce.

Fish Nall Noodles

Fish ball noodles come in many forms, but the type most often seen is mee pok, which consists of flat egg noodles tossed in chilli sauce, with the fishballs floating in a separate bowl of soup on the side.

The dish consists of skewers of fish, meat and vegetables, cooked in boiling broth and eaten with sauces, the most popular being the 'kuah kacang', which interestingly is a Malay sauce made from peanuts.

Wantan Mee
Wantan mee is thin noodles topped with wantan dumplings of seasoned minced pork. Unlike the soupy Hong Kong version, it is usually served dry.
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