Penang Food Guide: 10 Famous Dishes Will Make You Surprised

If you are the one who loves food, the dream destination must be Penang, the Pearl Island of Malaysia. Listed on the top 10 cities you must go by Lonely Planet in 2016, Penang is famous for its diversity in ethnicity, religion, and culture. However, what makes people come to Penang is the blend of copious flavors of India, China, and Malaysia. Once visiting this island, you will be surprised and cannot forget these delicious dishes. Penang Food Guide: 10 famous street dishes is waiting for you to discover.

Dubbed “a paradise of unique dishes,” or “the big kitchen of Asia,” Penang can give you several food options. It is so difficult to find a food stall or a restaurant falling short of a rating lower than “delicious.” If you are walking down the street, you will find a gastronomic paradise with plenty of outdoor dining, unique street food or special regional dishes. In particular, the street food of Penang is highly appreciated. Even those who have experienced traveling to Penang and explored Penang’s most beautiful street food also said that: if you cannot enjoy dishes like Chee Cheong Fun, Curry Mee, Cendol, Satay, etc., your vacation will be a big disappointment. Thus, Penang Food Guide will help you choose what to eat when visiting Penang.


1. Char Kway Teow

With a reputation going beyond Malaysian borders, Char Koay Teow is a favorite national dish in Malaysia and Singapore. It combines rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese sausage, eggs, shrimp and others things in a mix of soy sauce. To Char Kway Teow, the aroma called “wok hei” is very vital. Chefs all try their best to make this “wok hei” delicious and fragrant. This mouth-watering and tempting smell will fill the air and make diners’ stomach rumbling and lure them in from afar.


2. Lor Bak

Lor Bak is another Malay dish that must appear in Penang Food Guide. It is the unique mix of milled spices: tofu, vegetables, various meats, and seafood. One thing that is essential condiment of this dish is good soya sauce. All of them are tossed with robust aroma and flavors coming from the odd use of five-spice powder. Before fried in hot oil, people use a thin bean curd skin to roll these fresh ingredients. The dry and crunchy coating of Lor Bak will make diners feel appetizing; especially it is served with beaten eggs, cornstarch and chili sauce.


3. Penang Assam Laksa

The next dish Penang Food Guide suggest to you is Penang Assam Laksa. Considered as one of Penang’s signature foods, Penang Assam Laksa is very famous to foreign tourists. The ingredients are simple, but the recipe needs professional skill. It is a soup made from meat, mackerel, lemongrass, chili paste and tamarind juice. Besides, the fresh aroma of accompanied herbs and fruits like mint leaves, pineapple and cucumber will drown the fishy smell. The tiredness of tourists will dissolve in the tangy flavor and sour taste of Penang Assam Laksa.


4. Penang Koay Teow Th’ng

Penang Koay Teow Th’ng, also called Koay Teow Soup, is another type of noodle soup. Flat rice noodled, slices of fish, meat, and pork, together with tasty broth boiled from pork or chicken bones create fresh tasting. The clear liquor is cooked with condiment to become suitable with everyone’s appetite. For example, people who love pepper, chopped red chilies or garlic will be included. Penang Koay Teow Th’ng is often served with a side of soy-vinegar.


5. Curry Mee

Curry Mee is also known as Curry Laksa is a traditional Chinese dish. It is very.unique and attractive to Malaysia and Singapore. Made from different ingredients ( chicken, egg, fish, cockle, mint leaves, spicy curry, chili and maybe coconut milk ). In reality, Curry Mee has various versions: it can be mild to spicy with different layers, basing on inhabitants in the different regions. This soup in the Northern part has whiter and lighter than Curry Mee in Southern of Malaysia.


6. Nasi Lemak

Coming to Penang, Nasi Lemak is a typical dish of Malaysian cuisine that you must try. It is very easy to find the name of Nasi lamak in the cities’ streets, in food stalls, supermarkets or hotels, and luxury restaurants. This dish is often used for lunch or when people do not have much time for cooking. Nasi Lemak rice has become a “specialty” culinary culture of Malaysia. The recipe is quite simple: rice cooked with coconut milk, served with cucumber, roasted peanuts, dried fish, dried deer, chili sauce, sometimes with chicken, beef, seafood or Curry sheep. The fatty flavor of coconut milk combined with the curry flavor and variety of ingredients has helped Nasi lemak conquered the food arrived in Malaysia.


7. Nasia Kandar

Originating from Penang and now becoming Penang’s famous specialty, Nasia Kandar, a specialty dish from Indian Muslims, has received many praises of foreign visitors. Then what makes Nasi kandar different from others dishes in this list of Penang Food Guide?  Mildly-flavoured steamed rice is served with a variety of curries basing on Penang originated foods. The hot and fragrant smell of curry and rice will satisfy your stomach.


8. Char Koay Kak

Known as “carrot cake” in Singapore, Char Koay Kak is radish cake. The stir-fried radish will be steeped in black soy sauce. The main ingredients are bean sprouts, preserved radish, and eggs. This dish is savory and sweet, very soft and gummy. Radish cake’s gumminess and bean sprouts’ crunchiness make the dish tasty and attractive. Char Koay Kak can be a delicious snack, or you can eat for breakfast or supper.


9. Hokkien Mee

Despite its origins in Fujian (Hokkien) – China, Hokkien Mee now has a very distinct taste in Penang as well as Malaysian cuisine. The scent of fatty pork and sweet broth can “knocked down” the smell of diners and their defense. A bowl of Hokkien mee is filled with fish balls, noodles and rice noodles, shrimp, onions, spicy, wet stir fry mixed. Hokkien Mee is a traditional breakfast in Penang.


10. Penang Teochew Cendol

The 10th dish in the list of Penang Food Guide is a very famous dessert – Penang Teochew Cendol. Cendol can be ordered from the food stall outside to be delivered into Joo Hooi Coffeeshop. The taste, the color, the smell of ice, sweet red beans, chewy green rice flour jelly, fresh white coconut milk and brown sugar syrup are so beautiful and delicious that you cannot forget. This specialty will be the perfect choice to dispel hot days and make your vacation much more pleasant.

Do these ten dishes of Penang Food Guide get you feel excited and curious? Discovering a culinary paradise is also a journey where delicious food is an attractive destination. Why don’t you be an experienced explorer by starting with the top 10 of this exotic dishes?

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