I love Malaysian food, thus even back here in the Philippines, I do eat Malaysian cuisine every now and then. I remember eating great breakfasts at the hotel during my trip. Nasi Lemak is always available. Yummy!
Nasi Lemak Recipe . . . in case you want to know what is in it.
Rice tends to be a staple food in Malaysia as in most countries in the region. The rice eaten in Malaysia tends to be the local variety of rice or fragrant rice from Thailand, its northern neighbour. Quality Indian basmati is used in biryani dishes due to its long grained shape, fragrance and delicate flavour. Japanese short grain rice and others are slowly entering the Malaysian diet as Malaysians expand their culinary tastes to new areas.
Noodles are another popular food. Noodles such as "Bi Hoon"(rice vermicelli), "Kuay Teow"(soft fluffy flat rice noodles made of rice and translucent white in colour), "Mee"(yellow noodles), "Mee Suah" (very fine wheat vermicelli), "Yee Meen" (pre-fried noodles), "Langka"(transparent noodles made from green beans), and others provide a source of carbohydrate besides the ubiquitous serving of rice that accompanies every meal.
Indian style bread such as naan, puri, roti canai, thosai and idli are commonly eaten by most Malaysians as part of breakfast. Western style bread is a relatively new addition to the Malaysian diet, having gained acceptance in the last generation.
Chicken is generally available from local farms and is a cheap source of meat.
A special type of chicken recipe in Malaysian cooking is called the "ayam kampung" (literally village chicken). These are free-range chickens which are allowed to roam instead of being caged. These chickens are generally considered to have higher nutritional value. They are scrawnier than their farmed counterparts, meaning they have less body fat. Cooking of kampung chicken is usually by way of steaming or preparation in a soup.
Duck and goose also form part of the Malaysian diet.
Satay chicken, grilled chicken with a peanut and coconut milk sauce, is the national dish of Malaysia.
Beef is common in the Malaysian diet though it is notable that followers of certain religions such as Hinduism and some forms of Buddhism forbid the consumption of beef. Beef can be commonly found cooked in curries, stews,roasted, or with noodles. Malays generally eat beef that is halal.
Pork is largely consumed by the Malaysian Chinese community in Malaysia. Malaysian Malays are by definition Muslim and therefore do not consume pork since Islam forbids it. Canned pork can usually be found in the non-halal sections of local supermarkets and hypermarkets, and fresh pork can be bought in some wet markets and some supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Mutton is also a part of the Malaysian cuisine. It generally refers to goat meat rather than sheep. The meat is used in dishes such as goat soup, curries, or stews. It is a popular ingredient in Malaysian Indian food.
Many types of seafood are consumed in Malaysia, including shrimp or prawn, crabs, squid, cuttlefish, clams, cockles, snails, and octopus. In general, members of all ethnic communities enjoy seafood, which is considered halal by Malaysian Muslims (and indeed most other Muslims) though some species of crabs are not considered halal as they can live on both land and sea. But most people do not take this as a staple or daily meal since it is expensive.
Fish features in the Malaysian diet and most local fish is purchased the day after it is caught. Frozen fish is generally imported. Such fish, namely salmon and cod, are well received on the Malaysian table but are not caught by local fishermen. Imported fish are frozen and flown in as pieces or as whole fish and usually sold by weight.