Malacca Street Food

May 07, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Malacca Street Food


Malacca Street Food is part of the larger cuisine of Central Malacca, Malaysia, yet it still has distinct characteristics which set it apart. The Peranakan community is strongly represented here, and their Baba-Nyonya cuisine is amongst the most iconic dishes of the city. There is also strong representations of Chinese, British, Indian, and Malay cuisines here, with American and Korean cuisines gaining popularity. The well known stalls here have been selling the same, signature dishes for a long time.

Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang
Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang



Food in Malacca is typically found along the streets in pushcarts or small cafes, in mid-range restaurants, and fine-dining establishments. Malaysian cuisine is largely based around white rice, noodles, and spices, and there is a lot of cross / fusion influences across cultures. Common ingredients used here include coconut, lemongrass, pandan / screwpine leaf, turmeric, white rice, rice noodles, eggs, anchovy, shrimp / prawn, fish, crab, squid, bean sprouts, eggplant / aubergine, cabbage, cucumber, yardlong beans, coriander, ginger, okra / lady's finger, kang kong / water spinach, Chinese cabbage / bok choy, beef, mutton, chicken, pork, banana, calamansi lime, durian, mango, pineapple, rambutan, soursop, starfruit, peanuts, and chili.

Meals in Malacca are typically one-dish affairs, though communal dining and sharing of dishes is also common. While Peranakan dishes tend be bold and big in flavour, the majority of the other cusines represented here tend towards the lighter, simpler, clean-tasting side. Most stalls tend to be near or around the city centre, particularly the Jonker Street area, thus, it's actually possible to do walking food tours here.


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The Affogato here stays true to the classic coffee based dessert beverage, with a large, rich, creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream, drowned in a shot of hot, robust espresso coffee. The strong roasted coffee bean flavours come through beautifully, complementing the sweetness of the ice cream.

Affogato


Affogato


Affogato


Affogato
Affogato



The Ayam Buah Keluak / Chicken Pangium Edule is a classic, traditional Peranakan dish, a must-have at any Peranakan meal. Because each family has their own recipe for this, versions differs across the board, but usually include chicken, buah keluak / pangium edule seeds, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, galangal, candlenut, tamarind paste, water, chicken stock, salt, sugar, dried shrimp paste, and chili. The dish is deeply intense in flavour, with notes of earthy savoury sweet spicy. The flesh of the buah keluak / pangium edule seeds is usually mashed to a fine paste, with a strong earthy sweet flavour, and a creamy texture. Generally a love or hate dish for most.

Ayam Buah Keluak / Chicken Pangium Edule


Ayam Buah Keluak
Ayam Buah Keluak / Chicken Pangium Edule



The Babi Chinchalok / Pork With Fermented Shrimp Sauce features fatty strips of pork belly, marinated in a sauce of fermented shrimp, shallots, salt, lime juice, and chili. This makes the pork meat absorb all the flavour, giving it a sharp zesty sour salty sweet flavour, with a finish of slight savoury bitter. A bright burst of taste in the mouth, the tender, fatty textures coating the palate gently. Helps open the palate nicely.

Babi Chinchalok
Babi Chinchalok / Pork With Fermented Shrimp Sauce


Babi Chinchalok / Pork With Fermented Shrimp Sauce



The Bak Chang / Zong Zi / Glutinous Rice Dumpling differs from other versions elsewhere, because it's mostly done Peranakan style here. A pyramid of sticky glutinous rice, stained a vibrant shade of blue from butterfly pea flowers, stuffed with a filling of spice marinated minced pork, shiitake mushrooms, and candied winter melon. The aromatic fragrance draws you in, and the initial bite gets the firm yet moist rice, then you sink into the robust, bold flavour of spiced meat, deeply savoury sweet. Pure comfort food.

Bak Chang / Zong Zi / Glutinous Rice Dumpling


Bak Chang / Zong Zi / Glutinous Rice Dumpling


Bak Chang / Zong Zi / Glutinous Rice Dumpling
Bak Chang / Zong Zi / Glutinous Rice Dumpling



The Black Pepper Crab from Malacca, Central Malacca, Malaysia. Fresh, large, meaty crab, with a lovely sweet flavour, complemented by the fiery dry sticky black pepper gravy. This lends the crab a savoury peppery flavour, very appetizing.

Black Pepper Crab


Black Pepper Crab
Black Pepper Crab



The Malay style Burung Puyuh Goreng / Fried Quail features a whole quail, marinated in turmeric, salt, ginger, and lemongrass, then barbecued / grilled. The texture of the quail is lean and firm, but has a lovely savoury spice flavour from the marinade.

Burung Puyuh Goreng / Fried Quail
Burung Puyuh Goreng / Fried Quail



The Carnation Crab is a unique dish, made with large, fresh, meaty crabs, cooked in a rich sour savoury spicy sauce of evaporated milk, spring onions, and pickled green chili. A rather acquired taste, while unusual at first, it gradually grows on you.

Carnation Crab


Carnation Crab
Carnation Crab



The signature dessert of Malacca, Central Malacca, Malaysia, the Peranakan version of Cendol is very popular, and commonly found here. The variant here features smooth crushed ice, coconut milk, pandan / screwpine leaf infused jelly noodles, red beans, and gula melaka / palm sugar. Fragrant with the aroma of coconut and sugar, the layered flavours of earthy sweet floral work very well together. The versions here are notable for having less ingredients overall as compared to elsewhere, resulting in a more 'pure' taste.

Cendol


Cendol
Cendol


Cendol



The Chap Chye / Mixed Vegetables Stew is a signature, traditional Peranakan vegetable dish. This stew is made with cabbage, black fungus / cloud ear fungus / wood ear fungus, dried tofu beancurd sheets, shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, glass cellophane noodles, dried lily bulbs, water, chicken stock, fermented soybean paste, oyster sauce, and garlic. It has a robust, sweet savoury taste, yet is light, not heavy. The vegetables should be just soft and tender, without being limp.

Chap Chye / Mixed Vegetables Stew
Chap Chye / Mixed Vegetables Stew


Chap Chye / Mixed Vegetables Stew



The Chicken Rice Ball is a Chinese Hainanese dish, featuring little, round, sticky balls of white rice, infused with chicken stock, salt, ginger, and garlic. It's served with farm fresh poached chicken, with a slightly firm texture to the meat, but carrying a sweet savoury flavour. Very pure, clean-tasting dish. Usually paired with a spicy garlic chili sauce for dipping.

Chicken Rice Ball


Chicken Rice Ball


Chicken Rice Ball
Chicken Rice Ball


Chicken Rice Ball



As the place modernises, you get more cafes, producing pretty decent cups of Coffee Latte, with accompanying art.

Coffee Latte



The Dodol Asli / Kuih Kacau these days is usually uncommon, because making this is a time-consuming, painstaking process. This Malay dessert is a sticky, gelatinous cake, made with water, glutinous rice flour, gula melaka / palm sugar, and coconut milk. Usually, it's infused with pandan / screwpine leaf, or durian, for added flavour.

Dodol Asli / Kuih Kacau
Dodol Asli / Kuih Kacau


Dodol Asli / Kuih Kacau



The Duck Noodles from Malacca, in Central Malacca, Malaysia, features wide flat kway teow rice noodles, served in a thick, savoury salty braising sauce of dark soy sauce, duck stock, and herbs, garnished with tender, moist shredded duck meat. On the side is a light herbal soup / broth, thin in texture and delicate in flavour. Both the gravy and the soup / broth use the same base stock of herbs.

Duck Noodles
Duck Noodles



The Egg Biscuits are small and crunchy, their sweet eggy flavour makes for a good snack. Rather addictive, you can't just eat only one piece.

Egg Biscuits
Egg Biscuits



The Epok Epok Potato and Epok Epok Sardine both feature thin, crisp, buttery pastry shells, which crumbles beautifully when bit. The difference is in the filling, a savoury sweet spiced potato filling, or a savoury tangy sardine fish filling.

Epok Epok Potato
Epok Epok Potato


Epok Epok Sardine
Epok Epok Sardine



The signature Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar is a thick, gooey syrup in liquid form, and a hard firm block in solid form. Made from the sap of sugar palm trees, this is a star ingredient in many dishes here. It has a deep sugary flavour, almost similar to toffee or treacle, but more floral in character.

Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar
Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar



The modern dessert cake of Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar Cake features a moist, soft sponge cake infused with gula melaka / palm sugar, garnished with crumbs of the same. Deeply sweet floral in taste, very bold.

Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar Cake
Gula Melaka / Palm Sugar Cake



The style of Ikan Bakar Siakap / Barbecue Sea Bass Fish here is a simple barbecue / grill, without any basting sauce. This means you can taste the clean, fresh, sweet savoury flavours of the sea bass fish, with only a little hint of smoky flavour. Very delicate and light on taste. Texture is moist, with the fish meat coming easily off the bones. Several dipping sauces, including kecap manis / dark sweet soy sauce, and chili sauce are served on the side.

Ikan Bakar Siakap / Barbecue Sea Bass Fish
Ikan Bakar Siakap / Barbecue Sea Bass Fish


Ikan Bakar Siakap / Barbecue Sea Bass Fish



The Ikan Sambal Siakap / Sambal Sea Bass Fish has that fresh, clean-tasting fish, lightly barbecued / grilled, then coated in a rich savoury spicy sambal belacan sauce. Slight medium heat, with some bite on the palate, but the fiery heat quickly fades.

Ikan Sambal Siakap / Sambal Sea Bass Fish


Ikan Sambal Siakap / Sambal Sea Bass Fish
Ikan Sambal Siakap / Sambal Sea Bass Fish



The Itek Tim / Salted Vegetable Duck Soup is a classic Peranakan soup / broth, made with duck, pickled mustard greens, garlic, salted plums, tamarind, ginger, water, sugar, and tomatoes. It's slow stewed till the duck has turned tender and moist, having absorbed all the flavour of the soup / broth. This dish is strongly sour salty, sharp enough to make it addictive but still pleasant to drink.

Itek Tim / Salted Vegetable Duck Soup
Itek Tim / Salted Vegetable Duck Soup


Itek Tim / Salted Vegetable Duck Soup



Fresh fruit juice is commonly sold along the streets here, such as Juice Soursop or Juice Umbra / Hog Plum. Such juices typically include some of the actual fruit flesh within, and it makes for a refreshing dessert beverage, especially on warm days.

Juice Soursop
Juice Soursop


Juice Umbra / Hog Plum
Juice Umbra / Hog Plum



The Kaya / Coconut Jam is a popular breakfast condiment, made with coconut milk, eggs, and sugar. The Chinese Hainanese version is usually brown in colour, contains additional honey, and has a thick, creamy texture. Usually spread on bread / toast before eating.

Kaya / Coconut Jam
Kaya / Coconut Jam



The Pandan Kaya / Screwpine Leaf Coconut Jam is a variant on the popular breakfast condiment, and is also made with coconut milk, eggs, and sugar. Instead of honey, the Peranakan version uses pandan / screwpine leaf, giving it a vibrant green colour, and a thick, creamy texture. Usually spread on bread / toast before eating.

Pandan Kaya / Screwpine Leaf Coconut Jam
Pandan Kaya / Screwpine Leaf Coconut Jam



The Laksa from Malacca, Central Malacca, Malaysia. The spicy coconut curry soup / broth is made with water, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, candlenut, dried prawns, belacan / fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass, vietnamese coriander / laksa leaf, shallots, and chili. Garnished with thick rice vermicelli noodles, fish cake, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts, fried tofu puffs, shredded chicken meat, hard boiled eggs, and sambal belacan / fermented shrimp chili paste. Flavours are savoury earthy floral sweet spicy. Very comforting dish.

Laksa
Laksa


Laksa



The Mamee Monster Noodle Snack is a tasty, ready-to-eat, chicken flavoured noodle snack, to which a variety of seasoning powders are added, such as barbecue flavour, curry flavour, or spicy chili flavour. As their major manufacturing and packaging centre is located within the city, the ads for this are everywhere, and you can find this snack being sold in nearly any stall.

Mamee Monster Noodle Snack



The Mee Rebus here uses the same base ingredients, including yellow egg noodles, water, mashed potatoes / mashed sweet potatoes, fermented soybeans, curry powder, dried shrimp, chicken stock, peanuts, tamarind paste, hard boiled egg, firm dry tofu beancurd, bean sprouts, fried shallots, chili, lime, and parsley. However, the ratio is different, resulting in a distinct difference in taste. The version in this state has a rich, thick, gravy that is more sweet and less savoury salty. This differs from the Singaporean version, which is more savoury salty, and less sweet.

Mee Rebus
Mee Rebus


Mee Rebus



The Mee Siam here features the same base ingredients of thin rice vermicelli noodles, hard boiled egg, bean sprouts, fried tofu puffs, fried shallots, chives, lime, fermented soybeans, water, dried shrimp, garlic, tamarind paste, and chili. However, the main difference is they have much less gravy, as the noodles have absorbed all the flavours. Strongly sharp sour, with notes of zesty tangy savoury spicy, very addictive. The heat from the chili quickly fades away too.

Mee Siam
Mee Siam


Mee Siam



The Nam Joo Biscuits are a traditional local snack, made from preserved tofu beancurd, then flavoured with sugar and other Chinese spices. The result is a firm, hard biscuit, with a bold savoury spice flavour, and notes of pepper.

Nam Joo Biscuits
Nam Joo Biscuits



The Nangka Lemak / Jackfruit Curry is a Peranakan dish, a mildly spicy curry that is savoury sweet spicy in taste. It's made with young jackfruit, onions, garlic, turmeric, candlenut, coriander seeds, bay leaves, lime leaves, lemongrass, coconut milk, water, salt, curry leaves, and chili. Some versions also add sliced chicken or oyster mushrooms. Pairs really well with white rice.

Nangka Lemak / Jackfruit Curry


Nangka Lemak / Jackfruit Curry
Nangka Lemak / Jackfruit Curry



The traditional Peranakan dish of Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang is outstanding for its vibrant, blue and white rice, which is infused with coconut milk and butterfly pea flowers. This gives it a rich, floral savoury earthy flavour. Served with a sunny side-up egg, cucumber, tomato, and a chicken cooked in rendang spices (coconut milk, candlenut, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, salt, lemongrass, and chili). The chicken is moist and tender, with a robust savoury spice flavour that carries slight heat.

Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang


Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang



The Onde-Onde / Klepon is a traditional Malay dessert, featuring little round balls of sweet glutinous rice, infused with pandan / screwpine leaf. The inside is hollow, filled with molten gula melaka / palm sugar, while the outside is coated with dessicated coconut. Bite into this chewy, bouncy, sticky dessert, and the warm filling just bursts out, coating the palate in deliciousness. The layers of flavour are earthy floral sweet in taste. A very popular dessert snack here.

Onde-Onde / Klepon
Onde-Onde / Klepon


Onde-Onde / Klepon


Onde-Onde / Klepon



The Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake is a modern fusion dessert. Fluffy pancakes infused with pandan / screwpine leaf, cooked till the edges crisp up. Served with grated coconut immersed in a gula melaka / palm sugar reduction. This recreates the familiar flavours of the traditional desserts, but presents it in a new form.

Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake


Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake


Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake


Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake
Pandan Gula Melaka Coconut Pancake



The Popiah here differs greatly from most other versions elsewhere. As a start, there are much less ingredients, with only turnip, eggs, shallots, peanuts, pork lard, and chili, all wrapped in a soft, chewy, medium-thick dough skin made from wheat flour. The major difference is; the turnip is stir-fried in pork lard, turning this healthy snack into a rather decadent one instead. With a tantalising aroma, flavours of savoury sweet spicy, and textures of chewy juicy tender, this is actually rather filling.

Popiah
Popiah


Popiah



The Putu Piring, also known as Kueh Tutu, is a traditional dessert snack. A round, rice flour cake is filled with gula melaka / palm sugar infused dessicated coconut, then steamed on pandan / screwpine leaf to infuse flavour. Texture is soft and crumbly, with flavours of earthy sweet floral. Rich and intense.

Putu Piring


Putu Piring


Putu Piring
Putu Piring



The Roti Canai is a South Indian style flatbread, also known as Roti Prata in Singapore. A staple dish made from frying a piece of tossed and spinned dough in ghee (clarified butter). Served with a choice of wet curry (chicken curry, fish curry, or dhal). It usually has a crisp exterior, with a semi-thick doughy interior that has a chewy texture. It's known as Veechu Parotta in its country of origin.

Roti Canai
Roti Canai



The Salted Egg Yolk Crab from Malacca, Central Malacca, Malaysia. Fresh, large, meaty crab, with a lovely sweet flavour, complemented by the salty savoury dry gravy. They don't use curry leaves here, instead, they've used more eggs, giving it a more intense depth of flavour, untamed by herbs. The sauce sticks tightly to the crab, making it so delicious.

Salted Egg Yolk Crab
Salted Egg Yolk Crab


Salted Egg Yolk Crab



The fiery zesty Sambal Belacan is a beloved Peranakan condiment, served alongside any traditional meal. It's made with belacan / fermented shrimp paste, lime juice, and chili, hand pounded with a mortar and pestle.

Sambal Belacan
Sambal Belacan



Due to the large Chinese population here, you get uncommon versions of Satay that is difficult to find elsewhere. Among these are the Satay Pork, the Satay Pig Intestines, and the Satay Pig Liver, all hand grilled over charcoal. Love the smoky, savoury sweet earthy flavours of these skewered grilled meat. The most popular stalls around tend to sell out in only 4 hours or less!

Satay Pork
Satay Pork


Satay Pig Intestines
Satay Pig Intestines


Satay Pig Liver
Satay Pig Liver



There are a variety of Fruit Snack Chips, such as Snack Chips Banana, Snack Chips Sweet Potato, Snack Chips Yam Taro, or Snack Chips Jackfruit. These usually feature the fruit, thinly sliced, then freeze dried to lock in the sweet natural flavours.

Snack Chips Banana
Snack Chips Banana


Snack Chips Sweet Potato
Snack Chips Sweet Potato


Snack Chips Yam Taro
Snack Chips Yam Taro


Snack Chips Jackfruit
Snack Chips Jackfruit



The Sotong Goreng / Fried Squid features fresh, bouncy, sweet savoury squid rings, coated in a batter of all-purpose flour, then deep-fried and sprinkled with salt before serving. The result is a light, crisp batter that crunches beautifully, giving way to the squid beneath. Here, it's usually accompanied by a variety of dipping sauces, including kecap manis / dark sweet soy sauce, and chili sauce.

Sotong Goreng / Fried Squid
Sotong Goreng / Fried Squid



The Udang Cereal / Cereal Prawns are made with fresh, whole prawns / shrimp, coated in a blend of cereal / oats, butter, eggs, milk powder, sugar, salt, all-purpose flour, curry leaves, and chili. This gives it a crispy, crunchy texture, with a savoury salty sweet flavour, finished with a hint of spice in taste. Because the coating is light, you still taste the natural meaty sweet prawns / shrimp beneath.

Udang Cereal / Cereal Prawns
Udang Cereal / Cereal Prawns



The Udang Goreng Assam / Fried Tamarind Prawns is a traditional Peranakan dish, featuring fresh, whole prawns / shrimp, stir-fried with water, tamarind pulp, sugar, salt, and chili. The result is a strongly sharp sour savoury flavour to the dish, which pairs nicely with white rice. Rather uncommon these days.

Udang Goreng Assam / Fried Tamarind Prawns
Udang Goreng Assam / Fried Tamarind Prawns


Udang Goreng Assam / Fried Tamarind Prawns






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