When it comes to food, Malaysia is simply one of the best place to be with its diverse and unique food culture including Malay, Indian, Eurasian, Chinese and Nyonya recipes. For first-time travelers to Malaysia, it is simply a must to try out the local delicacies here for once in their lifetime. Although we are blessed with so much great food in Malaysia, our nation has become one of the obese countries in Southeast Asia region.
While food is the main factor of the obesity, lack of exercise is also the reason why our country is an obese country. Hence, for health’s sake, we’ve compiled a list of the most sinful local dishes that should be enjoyed with caution.
1. Nasi Lemak
The all-time favourite Nasi Lemak is a traditional Malay dish with coconut milk rice, groundnuts, eggs, anchovies, cucumber, sambal (chili paste). It is one of the must-try dishes for tourists who visit. But as the name suggests, Nasi Lemak literally means ‘fattening rice’ as the rice is cooked with santan (coconut milk). The calories in a plate of Nasi Lemak can go up to 400 calories with its typical 230g serving.
2. Roti Canai
Roti Canai is one of the nation’s favourite Indian food and it is a circular flatbread in which the dough is grilled with oil. Roti canai basically means ‘roll out bread’ as the dough was twirled into thin sheet before it was grilled with oil. It was normally served with dhal curry. However, 1 piece of roti canai is about 300 calories per serving and it go up to 360 calories when eaten with dhal.
3. Char Kuey Teow
‘Char Kuey Teow’ is the most popular hawker dish and the best food to try when you’re in Penang, Malaysia. The flat rice noodles are typically stir-fried over very high heat with dark soy sauce, prawns, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. A 385g serving of Char Kuey Teow contains 742 calories because it contains high saturated fat which makes it an unhealthy dish. Due to its low cost, the dish still attracts food lovers as it is cheap yet delicious.
4. Curry Mee
The yellow egg noodles and string thin mee-hoon soaked in the spicy curry soup with sambal, c0conut milk, dried tofu and bean sprouts; this is the typical curry mee eaten in Malaysia. However, the curry mee contains approximately 500 calories per serving.
5. Pisang Goreng
Pisang Goreng 0means fried bananas or banana fritters in Malay, and it is a favorite teatime snack among Malaysians. However, it’s easy to guess how fattening it is as the banana is basically deep-fried. Besides that, it is coated in flour and sugar, which obviously increases the calories content of the food.
6. Mee Goreng
Mee goreng is a common dish at mamak stalls in Malaysia that consists of yellow noodles fried in cooking oil with various condiments like garlic, onion, tomatoes, eggs, fried prawn, chicken and so on. A plate of mee goreng mamak contains approximately 660 calories.
7. Teh Tarik
Teh tarik is a signature beverage in Malaysia and it’s the perfect cup of tea to complement a roti canai. This soothing hot beverage is made of black tea with loads of condensed milk and sugar, making it a whole lot sweeter than it should be. Condensed milk is extremely high in calories (and sugar), and adding it with more sugar makes it a dangerous concoction. A cup of teh tarik can contain up to 229 calories.
Satay is a well-loved local street snack that consist of sliced meat served with a spicy peanut sauce. It is usually grilled or barbecued on a skewer, coated in delicious turmeric seasoning and glazed in honey. Although satay is high in protein as it is mainly in meat, the calorie content increases when eaten with the peanut sauce as the sauce is high in unsaturated fat. Other than that, satay vendors have the habit of using chicken fat instead of meat. Eat smart by removing the piece of chicken fat that’s usually placed in the middle of the skewer.
Just about every Malaysians loves beef rendans. Rendang is usually served during traditional Malay ceremonies in Malaysia, however, it is considered as one of the most fattening Malaysian dishes as it contains approximately 208 calories per 90g serving.
1o. Nyonya Kuihs
Colourful Nyonya kuihs are typical desserts and afternoon snacks for Malaysians. Sure, they make pretty good snacks for the day but these desserts are seen as everyday snacks. They are usually packed with sugar with little nutritional value and of course, they’re high in calories. Limit yourself to one or two kuihs a day. Indulging in them should be to savor in the flavor, not replace your meal.