Malaysian Chinese Food
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Ingredients and types of food
Preparation and cooking
|See also Customs and etiquette|
Malaysian Chinese food is derived from mainland southern Chinese cuisine such as Fujian cuisine, Cantonese cuisine and Hakka cuisine but has been influenced by local ingredients and dishes from other cultures though it remains distinctly Chinese. Most Chinese meals have pork as their sub-ingredient, but due to the popularity and unique taste of the actual food, there are chicken options available for the local Malays (most Malays are Muslims). Some Chinese food restaurants nowadays can be found serving halal food. Chinese restaurants serving food in halal can introduce a wider range of customers to it.
- Bak Kut Teh (Chinese : 肉骨茶) (pork ribs soup). A soup cooked with cuts of pork meat, intestines, pork ribs (the root meaning for the dish, Fukkeinese dialect: "Bak Kut" is the term for meaty ribs or bones) herbs, garlic and dark soy sauce which have been boiled for many hours. Traditionally eaten by hard working Chinese coolies working on the wharfs at Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) and clearing estates. The city of Klang is famous for it. The dish has since spread across to other states in the country as well as neighbouring countries, Thailand and Singapore. In some towns, additional ingredients include sea cucumber and abalone. Bak kut teh is believed to be a health tonic.
- Bakkwa (Chinese : 肉干), Known also as barbecued pork and it literally means dried meat. This delicacy is sold everywhere throughout Malaysia and is especially popular during the Chinese New Year celebrations period. Now eaten year round as a popular snack.
- Bread with curry chicken, chicken cooked in curry with a covering of bread. Found in the town of Kampar.
- Cantonese Fried Mee. (Chinese : 廣府炒, 河粉, 鴛鴦) Deep fried thin rice noodles served in a thick egg and cornstarch white sauce. The sauce is cooked with sliced lean pork, prawns, squids and green vegetables such as choy sum. It is one of the common Chinese foods in Malaysia.
- Chai tow kway (Chinese : 菜頭粿) is a common dish in Malaysia and Singapore, also known as fried radish cake, it is made of rice flour and white radish.
- Char Kway Teow (Chinese : 炒粿條，炒河粉). Stir fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, prawns, eggs (duck or chicken), chives and thin slices of preserved Chinese sausages. Usually, with an option of cockles as well. A variation of the dish found in the northern island state of Penang has shredded crab meat added in.
- Chee cheong fun (Chinese : 豬腸粉) is square rice sheets made from a viscous mixture of rice flour and water. This liquid is poured onto a specially-made flat pan in which it is steamed to produce the square rice sheets. The steamed rice sheets is rolled or folded for ease in serving. It is usually served with tofu stuffed with fish paste. The dish is eaten with accompaniment of semi sweet fermented bean paste sauce, chilli paste and/or light vegetable curry gravy. Up north in the city of Ipoh, certain stalls serve the dish with a red sweet sauce, thinly sliced pickled green chillies and fried shallots.
- Curry Mee (Chinese : 咖喱面). A bowl of thin yellow noodles mixed with beehoon (rice vermicelli) in spicy curry soup with coconut milk with dried tofu, prawns, cuttlefish, chicken, mint leaves and topped with a special sambal.
- Duck noodle soup (Chinese : 鸭腿面线) is famous in Penang food stalls, ingredients include duck meat in hot soup with mixed herbals and slim white noodles mee-sua.
- Fuzhou cuisine can be found in the Sitiawan area, as well as several cities and towns in Sarawak. Specialities include Kong piang.
- Ginger Duck Mee (Chinese : 姜鸭面). Egg noodles cooked with duck stew. The duck is stewed with ginger in black sauce. This dish is available only from selected restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley as the duck stew can be cumbersome to prepare.
- Hainanese Chicken Rice (Chinese : 海南雞飯). steamed chicken served with rice cooked in margarine or chicken fat & chicken stock and chicken soup. The rice is usually served in a bowl or a plate but in Malacca (a historical town), the rice is served in the form of rice balls.
- Hakka cuisine can be found throughout the country, as there is a substantial Hakka community within the greater Chinese population.
- Yong tau foo (Chinese : 酿豆腐) is a stuffed tofu dish with Hakka origins but is now popular Malaysians of all races, and is particularly associated with . As a localiazed adaptation, brinjals, lady fingers, fried tofu, bitter melon and chillies are also stuffed with the same meat paste used for the original version.
- Hokkien Mee(Chinese : 福建麵). A dish of thick yellow noodles brasied and fried in thick black soy sauce and pork lard which has been fried until it is crispy. This dish is served mostly in Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Klang, Kuantan and Penang.
- Hokkien Mee or Hae Mee or Prawn Mee (Penang) This is a bowl of yellow mee and meehoon (rice noodles) served in soup boiled from prawns, boiled egg, kangkong vegetable and chilli.
- Kaya toast or Roti bakar is a traditional breakfast dish. Kaya is a sweet coconut and egg jam, and this is spread over toasted white bread. Traditionally served with a cup of local coffee/tea and soft-boiled eggs in light/dark soya sauce & ground white pepper.
- Kway chap (Chinese : 粿汁), Teochew dish of rice sheets in dark soya soup, served with pig offal, tofu derivatives and boiled eggs.
- Loh Mee (Chinese : 滷麵). A bowl of thick yellow noodles served in a thickened soup made from egg, flour, prawn, pork slices and vegetables.
- Mee Hoon Kor (Chinese : 面粉粿)
- Ngah Choy Kai (Bean sprouts chicken) of Ipoh (Chinese : 芽菜雞) is similar to Hainanese chicken rice. The steamed chicken are served with light soya sauce flavoured with oil and with a plate of beansprouts. This dish is favoured by all Malaysians.
- Ngah Po Fan Also known as Claypot Rice/Sha Po Fan(Chinese : 瓦煲雞飯 or 沙煲饭) is a claypot chicken rice dish. It is basically chicken rice cooked over high heat in copious amount of soy and oyster sauce. Dried salted fish is optional but highly recommended.
- Pan Mee or Ban Mian (Chinese : 板面) is a Hokkien-style egg noodle soup, some forms of Ban mian, comprises hand-kneaded pieces of dough, while others use regular strips of noodles. A current popular variation of it commonly known as "chilli pan mee" consists of the blanched noodles served with minced pork, a poached egg and fried anchovies. The dish typically comes with a bowl of clear soup with leafy vegetables. The fried chilli flakes are added in by the person consuming it according to the level of tolerance he or she can take.
- Pao (Chinese : 包) also known as bao, is a steamed bun made of wheat flour, with fillings of various types of meat. It is usually a menu item found in Dim Sum places, although these days it can be seen in most coffee stalls.
- Popiah (Chinese : 薄饼), Hokkien/Chaozhou-style rolled crepe spring roll style, stuffed mainly with stewed vegetables, usually shredded tofu, turnip and carrots. Other items may also include egg, Chinese sausage ("lup cheong").
- Rojak (Malay Influenced: 水果囉喏). A fruit salad with a topping of sweet thick dark prawn paste, gounded peanuts and some sliced fried 'yau cha kwai'. The Penang version is particularly popular and well regarded. The dish is usually served with a generous sprinkling of toasted powdered Shrimp paste.
- Sin Chow (Singapore) Fried Meehoon (Chinese : 星洲米粉). Rice noodles stir fried with various ingredients such as barbecued pork, fish cake, carrots etc. Some restaurants may use different ingredients but the noodles should have the distinct Sin Chow Fried Rice Noodle taste. Popular in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas. The American Chinese version uses curry powder. Interestingly, this dish did not originate from Singapore.
- Turmeric chicken (黄姜鸡) is a chicken stew cooked with from a blend of bases mashed into a paste, consisting fresh turmeric, ginger and lemongrass.
- Tau foo fah or Dau Huay (Chinese : 豆腐花 or 豆花) is a curdled version of soya bean milk and is flavoured with syrup. It looks much like Tau Foo but it is very tender. Sold in many places. It is a popular dessert among Malaysians and Singaporeans.
- Tong Sui (Chinese : 糖水), Chinese dessert with a lot of variety. Basically a sweet drink with different ingredients such as black beans, sea coconut, yam, sweet potato, longan and others.
- Vegetarian dishes (Chinese : 素食, 斎) In some towns in Malaysia, there are vegetarian restaurants that serve vegetarian dishes which resembles many meat dishes in look and even taste although they are made solely from vegetarian ingredients. You can get vegetarian roast pork, steamed fish with skin and bone, chicken drumstick complete with authentic looking bone, etc.
- Wonton Mee (Chinese : 雲吞麵), Chinese noodles with Chinese dumplings (Chinese : 雲吞), chooi sam and BBQ pork . Dumpling are usually made of Pork and/or prawns. The noodles may be served either in a bowl of soup with dumplings or on a plate with some dark soya sauce flavoured with oil and slices of roast pork and vegetable. Variations of this dish are usually in the accompanying meat servings with the noodles. They include roast pork (siew yok), braised chicken feet, and roast duck. For the latter, the dumplings will be served in a separate bowl with soup.
- Wu Tau Guo (Chinese : 芋頭糕), is yam cake that is made of mashed yam and rice flour. It has deep fried onion and shrimp on top, and usually served with red chilli paste.
- Yau Zha Gwai or Eu Char Kway or You Tiao (Chinese : 油炸鬼 or 油条) is variation of the deep fried Chinese crueller, a breakfast favourite eaten either like a doughnut—with sweeten local black coffee, or as a condiment for congee. It is shaped like a pair of chopsticks, stuck together. The name itself amusingly translates into "greasy fried ghosts". Some commercial outlets have started serving them with an option of either savory congee or hot sweetened soy milk.
- Zuk or zhou (Chinese : 粥) is congee, a rice porridge that comes with such ingredients as fish slices, chicken breast, salted egg, century egg and minced pork. Mui is the teochew version of rice porridge, and is usually more watery with visible rice grains. It is often cooked with sweet potato and served with an assortment of Chinese dishes like vegetables, meat and salted egg.
- Roasted Duck (Chinese : 烧鸭): An popular Malaysian Delight that is not crispy like the roasted duck in China. The famous duck roaster located in Lunas, Kulim.
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