Malay dishes, influenced by the food of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the Riau Islands, tend to be adapted to local tastes and differ from the regional variations in neighbouring countries. Spices and coconut milk are common ingredients, although Chinese ingredients such as taupok (tofu puffs) and tofu (known as tauhu in Malay) have been integrated. Many Chinese and Tamil Muslim adaptations of these dishes also exist.
Nasi lemak (Jawi: ناسي لمق) is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and “pandan” leaf commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish, Brunei, Singapore,Riau Islands, and Southern Thailand. It is not to be confused with nasi dagangsold on the east coast of Malaysia or Terengganu and Kelantan although both dishes can usually be found sold side by side for breakfast. However, because of the nasi lemak’s versatility in being able to be served in a variety of manners, it is now served and eaten any time of the day.
Mi rebus or Mee rebus (Malaysian and Singaporean spelling), (literally boiled noodles in English) is a noodle dish popular inIndonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The dish is made of yellow egg noodles, which are also used in Hokkien mee, with a spicy slightly sweet curry-like gravy. The gravy is made from potatoes, curry powder, water, salted soybeans, dried shrimps, and peanuts. The dish is garnished with a hard boiled egg,calamansi limes, spring onions, Chinese celery, green chillies, fried firm tofu (tau kwa), fried shallots and bean sprouts. Some eateries serve it with beef, though rarely found in hawker centres, or add dark soy sauce to the noodles when served. The dish also goes well with satay.
In the past, mi rebus was sold by mobile hawkers who carried two baskets over a pole. One basket contained a stove and a pot of boiling water, and the other the ingredients for the dish.
In certain area, due to the local situation, a similar variety of this Mi Rebus is called Mee Jawa, Mi Jawa or Bakmi Jawa, although this is a popular misnomer, since Javanese bakmi Jawa is different than Mi Rebus. A dish similar to Mi Rebus in Indonesia is calledMie Celor, and it is popular in Palembang.
Pisang goreng (fried banana in Indonesian/Malaysian) is a snack food mostly found throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines(where it is called pritong saging in Tagalog) and Singapore. In Singapore and some parts of Malaysia it is known as “goreng pisang”, a direct translation from “fried banana”. It is consumed as a snack in the morning and afternoon. In Indonesia, pisang goreng is often sold by street vendors, although some sellers have a storefront from which to sell their wares. The brand “Pisang Goreng Pontianak” is widely popular in Indonesia.
The banana is battered and then deep fried. Most street vendors will then sell it as is. Restaurants that serve pisang goreng are more sophisticated and present it in various ways, such as with cheese, jam, condensed milk, or chocolate. In Suriname and the Netherlands this snack is also known as bakabana (meaning baked banana in Surinamese). Plantain is often used instead of banana. Pisang raja is a popular kind of banana used for pisang goreng
Satay or sate, is a dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce. Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, other meats, or tofu, the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings. Satay originated in Java, Indonesia. Satay is available almost anywhere in Indonesia, where it has become a national dish. It is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand, as well as in Suriname and the Netherlands, as Indonesia is a former Dutch colony.
Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia; Indonesia’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary arts (see Indonesian cuisine) have produced a wide variety of satays. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a travelling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts. In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish—especially during celebration and can be found throughout the country.
Close analogues are yakitori from Japan, shish kebab from Turkey, shashlik from Caucasus, chuanr from China, and sosatie fromSouth Africa. It is listed at number 14 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.
Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf, commonly found inIndonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The rice rolled inside banana leaf and boiled, then cut into small cakes as staple food replacement of steamed rice. It is commonly called nasi himpit (“pressed rice”) in Malaysia. The smaller size of lontong filled with vegetables (carrot, common bean and potato) sometimes also filled with meat, are eaten as snack. The texture is similar to those of ketupat, with the difference that ketupat container was made from weaved janur (young coconut leaf), while lontong uses banana leaf instead.
The dish is usually served cold or at room temperature with peanut sauce-based dishes such as gado-gado, karedok, ketoprak, other traditional salads, and satay. It can be eaten as an accompaniment to coconut milk-based soups, such as soto, gulai and curries. It is also used as an alternative to vermicelli noodles.