Focus on Malaysian Cuisine – Part 3

In reference to part 2 of this blog, we will focus on the proteins and fibers of Malaysian cuisine and its importance to the cultures that reside in this marvelous country. Hailing from a family

In reference to part 2 of this blog, we will focus on the proteins and fibers of Malaysian cuisine and its importance to the cultures that reside in this marvelous country.

Hailing from a family where most people eat non-vegetarians and some vegetarian, the cuisine has always been veggies and meat. With a multicultural history, Malaysia is sure to have different cooking varieties and how it has affected its people in complying with a particular dietary regime. The cuisine is so rich in meats and vegetables that they are preferably according to the different religions that co-habits in this beautiful country. Multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual, Malaysia’s diversity has led to an exciting mix of many traditions from across the region. Traditional Malaysian cuisine reflects a generous use of spices and coconut milk. It borrows seasonings and cooking techniques from China and certain flavors (such as curry leaves) and Indian flavored rice dishes.

No matter what you think of this great country, Malaysian is where you should travel to once in your lifetime. The most important part of Malaysian cuisine is meat and vegetables. According to Halal standards, Malaysian poultry conforms with the country’s dominant and official religion – Islam. The imported poultry is majorly available in hypermarkets, supermarkets, and specialty stores, especially in areas where expats can be found. Fish, both freshwater and saltwater, are prominent in the Malaysian diet, the local fish is often sold after being caught, and the frozen ones are mostly imported. Many types of seafood are consumed, including shrimp, prawn, crab, squid, cuttlefish, clams, cockles, snails, sea cucumber, and octopus—all members of different ethnic group seafood, which considered Halal. Beef is a common protein in the Malaysian diet. The notable consumption of meat is delimited by some followers of Hinduism and certain Chinese folk religious sects. Commonly found in curries, stews, roasted, or eaten with noodles, Malay eat beef in most restaurants. Prepared under the supervision of the Government Supervised Muslim Slaughter System, the beef meat comes from Australia mostly. Though most population are Muslims, the consumption of pork is relatively high. Pork can be found in wet markets, supermarkets, and hypermarkets. In Malaysia, the term ‘mutton’ refers to goat meat that is lamb or a young sheep’s meat. Mutton is mostly found in Indian cooking, and dishes like mutton biryani and mutton soup are now at banquets and events every day. The demand for mutton is high during the fasting month and Hari Raya.

With vegetables being locally grown and produced, the tropical season in Malaysia might hinder obtaining different vegetables. The Malaysian-grown greens, tubers, and vegetables are found nationwide, and it is not limited. Whether it is bean sprouts or turmeric, you are sure to find everything that is a staple in Malaysian cuisine. Some of Malaysia’s areas produce on a small scale, such as the rural communities like the Peninsular Orang Asli and certain tribal people of Sarawak. These people eat wild edible ferns or vegetables that are the primary supplement to their diet. There are many ways to cook vegetables, and Malaysia’s different origins help knows this much difference. The popular method of cooking leafy vegetables is mostly by stir-frying them in a spicy sauce made from belacan and hot chili peppers. Though there are different ways to cook vegetables, the greeneries are mostly consumed whenever there is a fast. Vegetables and herbs are also popularly served undressed and raw in some rural indigenous communities as ulam. An ulam spread may include banana blossoms, cucumber, winged beans, pegaga leaves, petai, and yardlong beans, typically eaten with a pungent dipping sauce like sambal belacan.

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