Penang Malaysian Cuisine: 7 Best Dishes

Last updated on April 27th, 2023 at 12:09 pm

We highly suggest Penang Malaysian cuisine (or makanan, which means food) if you want to sample something scrumptious and unique. Some items have consistently held prestigious positions among the World’s most famous cuisines. So, to those who enjoy Malaysian food, read on!

In Penang, you can find Nasi Lemak and Otak-Otak like in other big cities of Malaysia, and we’ve covered them in “10 Malaysian Street Food Vocabulary For Your Next Trip.” We talked about Roti Canai, the crispy style pancake dipped in curry chicken sauce, and other authentic Malaysian food, so don’t forget to check it out. This blog will expose you to further options for tasty Penang cuisine.

But let’s study Malay words before we get to the delicious area.

Malay Vocabulary Related To Food

Here are some interesting words that will be useful for your trip to Malaysia.

English WordMalay Word
LunchMakan tengahari
DinnerMakan malam

#1 Sambal Udang – Prawn Sambal

The traditional food of Malaysia is Sambal udang. Sambal is a chili sauce or paste traditionally produced by combining several types of peppers with other ingredients, including shrimp paste, shallot, garlic, ginger, scallion, lime juice, and palm sugar. To give you some facts, Sambal is a Javanese and Sundanese term borrowed in Indonesia, sambel. Authentic sambal sauce is utilized in a wide variety of traditional dishes. Soups, rice, stews, meat, and eggs can satisfy its inclusion. You may also use Sambal to spice up and enhance the taste of your favorite marinades, dips, and sauces.

#2 Penang Oh Chien – Penang Fried Oyster Omelette

One of the best Penang street foods is called Oh Chien. This specialty will delight your appetites, especially when accompanied by sour and spicy chili or shrimp paste sauce. It features fresh oysters above a layer of crispy but sticky egg batter perfectly cooked. A baby oyster omelette is only one of the many different oyster sizes available at some stores.

#3 Penang Asam Laksa – Sweet And Sour Fish Noodle Soup

Penang Malaysian Cuisine - Asam Laksa

People say the best Laksa is in Penang. So whether you like clear chicken broth or curry soup, you’ll love eating Penang Assam Laksa. It’s a symphony of flavors that appeals to various palates. The broth adds a variety of flavors, including sweet, sour, fruity, gingery, and aromatic. The taste is deep and nuanced when made using fresh fish, with hints of ocean salt. Asam laksa from Penang has become a favorite among locals and tourists in Malaysia.

#4 Tau Sar Piah – Sweet Bean Cookies

Let’s indulge our sweet tooth and take a break from the main course! The green bean puff pastry known as Tau Sah Piah has quickly become a favorite gift to bring back from Malaysia. It’s also a great souvenir for the locals to get back home after a trip to see friends in other states when they’re from Penang. “Tau Sah” translates to “sweet bean paste” in English. Piah can indicate either biscuits or cookies.

#5 Penang Char Kway Teow – Stir-Fried Flat Noodles

An extremely popular cuisine in Southeast Asia is Penang Char Kway Teow, a stir-fried flat rice noodles with squid, fresh shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, chili paste, and soy sauce. Even while everyone claims to have the “greatest,” many stores spend years mastering their family recipes before they open their stalls.

#6 Penang Hokkien Mee – Penang Hokkien Noodles

In Malaysia, “Mee” means noodles. Yellow noodles are simmered with squid, pork, fish cake, and cabbage in a rich black, heavily flavored soy sauce, and there are also pig fat cubes that have been fried until crisp. Typically, the most outstanding examples are prepared on a hot charcoal fire.

#7 Rendang – Beef Curry

Penang Malaysian Cuisine - Rendang

The Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia, are credited with inventing the dish known as Rendang. However, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines are Southeast Asian countries whose cuisines have been influenced by Indonesian cooking. Indeed, the Rendang beef curry, famous in Malaysia, is also available in Penang.

While the slow cooking process will make you wait, the result is a tasty treat. But unlike the curries of Thailand and India, Rendang is a dry curry, so the beef isn’t soaked in soup. In contrast, it is thick and also soft like butter. In case you aren’t aware, “Rendang” is a descriptor for a specific method of preparing beef that results in meat that is at once juicy, dry, and full of taste. Rendang’s distinctive and wonderful flavor comes from the long and delicate cooking procedure it takes. This is why CNN ranked Rendang 11th on their list of the 50 Best Foods in the World in 2021.

In Summary

While reading about Malaysian cuisine, one gets a sense of the country’s diversity and a taste for the excellent eating culture. Similarly to other Southeast Asian countries, they rely heavily on herbs. You may become hungry after reading about Penang Malaysian cuisine, and food should encourage you to continue your Malay studies. If you’re a foodie planning a trip to Penang, Malaysia, to sample a delicious meal we’ve recommended, it’ll be helpful if you brush up on your Malay so you can converse with the locals.

So don’t waste time daydreaming about learning the language; get started immediately with the most excellent app available!

Learn Malay With Ling Now!


The Ling app is an excellent choice if you want to learn Malay but don’t have time for regular classes due to your busy schedule. With our most useful app at your fingertips, you can study whenever and wherever it’s most practical. Additionally, we have gathered a vast Malay vocabulary that can be used through fun practice tools like mini-games, puzzles, and a great chatbot.

Most Malay learners chose Ling to help them succeed, so why not join them? Download the Ling App from Google Play Store and Apple App Store now, and prepare to be fluent in Malay soon!

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