This cozy noodle soup is one of the classic foods found in many Southeast Asian countries, thanks to its thick and spicy broth. It evolved under the influence of many culinary traditions, resulting in a plethora of regional variants with distinct flavors and ingredients.
The sour, tamarind-based asam laksa and the creamy curry laksa are two of the most well-known varieties. Laksa is a popular dish in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and is frequently served as a hearty main course in hawker centers.
2. Char kway teow
In Malaysia and Singapore, char kway teow is one of the most popular street foods. Despite the many regional variations, flat rice noodles, shrimp, eggs, cockles, bean sprouts, chives, and Chinese sausage are the most common ingredients. All of the ingredients are typically fried and covered in soy sauce, but some versions include shrimp paste, garlic, fried pork lard, and even yellow wheat noodles.
The most popular theory regarding the dish’s origin is that it was originated by Chinese immigrants in the Singaporean Teochew community, while the name comes from Hokkien, where char means fried and kway teow means flat rice noodles.
3. Hokkien mee
This popular noodle dish originates in Malaysia, and it should not be confused with the comparable Singaporean version or the very distinct Penang variety—despite the fact that they have the same name. Egg-based wheat noodles are cooked with sliced pork, hog lard, prawns, and cabbage in Malaysian Hokkien mee, which is mostly associated with Kuala Lumpur.
A thick and black sauce based on soy sauce and prawn stock amply coats the entire meal. On the side, it’s generally garnished with sliced scallions and chili or shrimp paste (belacan). Because of its name, Malaysian Hokkien mee is thought to have originated among the Hokkien population, a Chinese Fujian ethnic group.
4. Pan mee
This hearty noodle dish is thought to be a classic combination of Chinese and Malaysian culinary traditions, however its exact origins are unknown. The dish is often made up of hand-pulled noodles served in a broth with leafy green vegetables, minced pork, and mushrooms.
Pan mee is generally served with sambal sauce on the side at hawker-style restaurants and booths. It goes by a variety of names, and aside from the conventional version, it can use a variety of broths or other ingredients. The best one I have ate is definitely located in Serdang Raya because they use a special home made chili.
5. Kolo mee
Kolo mee is a Sarawak-based traditional Malaysian cuisine. Egg noodles are tossed in sauce and topped or served with sliced barbecued pork (char siu), minced pork, and fried onions in this simple cuisine. The dish is frequently cooked with fat in hawker stalls.
Fish balls, wontons, and veggies like choy sum can be added to kolo mee to make it more flavorful (a leafy vegetable). It’s thought that the meal was inspired by Chinese cuisine, and it’s now eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Sarawak, particularly in Kuching.