More good dishes in Malaysia.
Variety, variety, variety -- that's way to explore kuih, or Malay-style pastries. Small enough to snap up in a gulp and sugary enough to give you a modest jitter, kuih vendors are the most colorful stalls of all.
This kaleidoscope of soft, sugary morsels goes quickly -- few pieces are left by the time daylight begins to fade.
9. Nasi kandar
Nasi kandar is essentially rice served with your choice of toppings, which commonly include curry, fish, egg and okra.
Everything is laid out buffet style, though you can also order à la carte.
Found all over Malaysia, nasi kandar eateries are extremely popular, most open 24 hours and run by ethnic Indian Muslims.
10. Popia basah (wet spring roll)
A hefty sort of spring roll, popia basah speaks to those in need of the familiar crispy snack, but without the added oil.
Not to be confused with wet rolls found in parts of Vietnam, popia basah comes complete with its own regional-specific flavor. In place of lettuce, the Malay wet spring roll has turnips, fried onions and bean sprouts.
A staple of Malaysian cuisine, laksa eateries have been migrating abroad in recent years, making appearances in Bangkok, Shanghai and further afield.
There are multiple variations. For anyone who enjoys a taste of the volcanic kind, this spicy noodle soup can get you there in its curry form.
Some like it with fish, others prawns.
Our favorite is Penang's asam laksa, in which tamarind features heavily ("asam" is Malay for tamarind) to create a spicy-sour fish broth.
12. Bubur (porridges)
Bubur vendors are easy to spot. They're the stall with the giant steel pots and matching ladles.
The contents of these coconut milk-based, sometimes sugary soups include a medley of vegetables and meats, and even dyed balls of flour and coconut milk.
There's no standard recipe in preparing bubur -- different regions boast their own specialty.
13. Roti jala
Roti jala, or net bread, gets its name from the net-like formation that's created by making zigzagging lines with flour on a large skillet.
The final product is folded up like a crepe and usually served with chicken curry. Roti jala is eaten any time of the day.
This pan-fried bread stuffed with minced meat and onions and dipped in spicy sauce is a meal and a half, only recommended to the famished.
Perfect murtabak is made with a robust amount of minced meat, so that the taste comes through on the first bite.
So spicy-sour it'll make your tongue curl.
15. Cendawan goreng (fried mushrooms)
Deep-fried fungus doesn’t get better than this. One version, cendawan goreng, is typically peppered with chili or barbecue seasoning, giving it its own sass.
Eaten as an appetizer or snack, with a meal or while on foot, this one will have you imagining what else you can fry -- and how else it can be seasoned.
To be continued…
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