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Chinese Cuisine

Chinese Cuisine

Chinese food eaten in Malaysia commonly originates from southern China, particularly the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, where the roots of many Malaysian Chinese lie. While 'authentic' fare 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 chili and the Malay fermented shrimp paste belacan as condiments. Noodles can be served in soup or dry, tossed with chili and spices in a bowl. The soup will then come in a separate bowl.

Hokkien Mee

This 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 with noodles. Interestingly, neither of them have any resemblance to the dish of the same name served in neighbouring Singapore.

Bak Kut Teh ("pork bone tea”)

Pork ribs simmered for hours in broth until they're ready to fall off the bone. It's typically eaten with white rice, mui choy (pickled vegetables) and a pot of strong Chinese tea, hence its name. The broth itself doesn't contain any tea. The port town of Klang in the state of Selangor is said to be the original home of the dish.

Yong Tau Foo

Allows diners to select their favourites from a vast assortment of tofu, seafood and vegetables which are then sliced into bite-size pieces and stuffed with fish paste. These are cooked briefly in boiling water and then served either in broth or dry with the broth in a separate bowl. The dish can be eaten by itself or dipped in spicy chili sauce and brown sweet sauce. Rice and noodles are also available.

Chwee Kway

Consists of rice cakes topped with chai po (salted fermented turnips), usually served with some chili sauce.

Wantan Mee

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

Claypot Rice

This is, as its name implies, rice cooked in a claypot over a charcoal stove, giving the dish its distinctive flavour.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Steamed chicken served with special gently-spiced rice, tasty ginger and chili dipping sauces. It may sound rather bland, but the secret is in the rice and the sauces!

Chee Cheong Fun

A favorite breakfast consisting of lasagna-type, rolled-up rice noodles, topped with a generous amount of sweet sauce, chili sauce and sesame seeds.

Fish Ball Noodles

Comes in many forms, but the type most often seen is 'mee pok', which consists of flat egg noodles tossed in chili sauce, with the fish balls floating in a separate bowl of soup on the side.

Char Koay Teow

A noodle dish especially loved in Penang. It consists of flat egg noodle fried with soya sauce, prawn, clam, bean sprout and lard.