TOP 10 Popular Malay Food in Singapore

In multicultural Singapore, Malay food has a sweet spot in many people’s hearts. Which of these is your favourite?

TOP 1 Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a traditional Malay food that’s hugely popular in Singapore and Malaysia. The fragrant rice which is cooked from coconut milk and pandan leaves is paired with sambal, egg, cucumber, fried peanuts and anchovies and other sides such as fried chicken wings and rendang. Check out where to get an authentic plate of nasi lemak to satisfy your taste buds here!


TOP 2 Rendang

Rendang is a dish where meat such as beef and chicken is slow-cooked in a mouthwatering mix of spices and coconut milk until it is tender and flavourful. It is commonly served with white rice or other forms of rice such as nasi lemak (coconut rice) and nasi kunyit (turmeric rice). A common dish in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, there are many versions which vary in the mix of spices used, the cooking time and the amount of gravy. In some versions, the rendang is cooked till almost dry with the spices coating the meat, while in some other versions, the rendang comes with copious gravy which is enough for slathering on the white rice that’s served together with it.


TOP 3 Mee Siam

Mee siam means “Siamese noodle” in Malay, which points to the origins of the dish as inspired by Thai flavours. The noodle used in this dish is the thin rice vermicelli (also known as “bee hoon”). It is first stir fried with some spices and sauces to give it its signature orange hue. Then, it is served with a gravy which is savoury, sour and spicy all at once, a flavour burst that’s guaranteed to awaken your taste buds. Boiled egg, tofu, bean sprouts, spring onions and a wedge of lime is added to complete the dish.


TOP 4 Ayam Penyet

Ayam penyet originated from Indonesia. “Penyet” means “squeezed” or “pressed” in Javanese, referring to the manner in which the chicken is prepared. The chicken is smashed with the pestle to make the meat softer. The resulting chicken is flavourful and fall-off-the-bone soft, making it an addictive treat. The fried chicken is served with white rice, fried tofu, tempeh, cucumber slices and a spicy sambal that brings the flavour to a whole new level.


TOP 5 Mee Soto

Mee soto is a soup noodle dish where yellow noodles is served with bean sprouts and shreds of chicken in a spice-infused savoury broth. The broth is made by boiling chicken with an assortment of spices such as ginger, garlic, galangal, cumin, black pepper and fennel seeds. Turmeric is added which gives the soup a yellow hue. Mee soto is topped with spring onions and coriander. A begedil (fried potato cake) is sometimes added. You can add a dark spicy sambal to mee soto to spice up the soup, or leave out the sambal altogether if you prefer a non-spicy version.


TOP 6 Satay

Satay is a hugely popular snack where marinated meat is skewered onto bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal. The resulting meat is flavourful with a tinge of burnt flavour from the charcoal which makes it all the more addictive. Commonly used meats for satay includes chicken, beef and mutton. The meat skewers are served with a spicy peanut sauce at the side, pieces of freshly cut cucumbers and onions, and ketupat (diamond-shaped steamed rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves).


TOP 7 Mee Rebus

Mee rebus is a noodle dish where yellow noodles are served in a thick and spicy potato-based gravy together with bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg, spring onions, fried shallots, pieces of fried beancurd puff or fried beancurd and fresh lime. Spice lovers can add freshly cut green chillies to up the flavour profile. The uniqueness of this dish lies in the gravy which is made from mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes cooked with a variety of spices and curry powder to achieve the desired balance of spiciness, sourness and savouriness.


TOP 8 Nasi Padang

Nasi Padang means rice from the Padang city in Indonesia. A huge selection of dishes is available to pair with white rice, so much so that you will be spoilt for choice. Some of the signature dishes include rendang, sup buntut (oxtail soup), sotong hitam (squid in black sauce), sambal goreng (stir fried tofu cubes and tempeh with sambal), tahu telur (deep fried egg tofu) and paru belado (beef lungs). Have your meal with a few companions so you can try more dishes!


TOP 9 Ramly Burger

Ramly Burger is named after the patty used in the burger which is produced by Ramly Food Processing Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian fast food and frozen products company. The company was established because the owner wanted to provide halal-certified meat products for Muslim consumers. One of their products, the patty for Ramly burgers eventually went on to become one of the most well-loved products as burger stalls snap up the patty to make the ever popular Ramly Burger. The round burger bread, patty and egg are first pan fried on a hot grill before being assembled into a burger with cheese and a generous amount of savoury sauce and chilli sauce. Yum!


TOP 10 Pisang Goreng

Pisang goreng means fried banana fritters. This humble snack is easy to prepare and has long been a favourite snack among many. Certain varieties of bananas are more suitable for the making of pisang goreng, such as pisang raja. Apart from the fried banana, many also enjoy munching on the crispy bits of batter created during the frying process!



Photo credits: The Epoch Times (Singapore), Rasa Malaysia, Café Red Ginger, HungryGoWhere,, Unilever Food Solutions, Cooking with Subhan, havehalalwilltravel, Instagram / @eelaiinee, Halal Tag

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