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Penang Nyonya Cuisine Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine is a combination of Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend.
Peranakans are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word “nyonya” a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part “madame” and part “auntie”), has come to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans.

Nyonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. This gives rise to Peranakan interpretations of Malay/Indonesian food that is similarly tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. In other instances, the Peranakans have adopted Malay cuisine as part of their taste palate, such as assam fish and beef rendang.

There are regional variations in Nyonya cooking. Dishes from the island of Penang in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia possess Thai influences, such as more liberal use of tamarind and other sour ingredients. Dishes from Singapore and Malacca show a greater Indonesian influence, such as the use of coconut milk. A classic example is laksa (a spicy noodle soup), which comes in two variants: the sour asam laksa from Penang and the coconut milk-based laksa lemak from Singapore and the southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia.

Related dishes:

  • Nasi Ulam
  • Assam Pedas (Fish Curry In Spicy Tamarind Sauce)
  • Kapitan Curry Chicken
  • Popiah (Fresh Spring Roll)
  • Lor Bak

Malay Cuisine

Malay cuisine is the cuisine which consists of Malay people of various countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Mindanao and Southern Thailand. Different Malay regions are all known for their unique or signature dishes

Nearly every Malay meal is served with rice, the staple food in many other East Asian cultures. Nasi lemak, rice cooked in rich coconut milk probably is the most popular dish ubiquitous in Malay town and villages. Nasi lemak is considered as Malaysia’s national dish and is one of our sought after class in the school.

Related dishes:

  • Beef Rendang
  • Ayam Masak Merah
  • Roti Jala
  • Kuih Dadar (Pandan Flavor Crepe)

Best of Malaysia Hawker Food

  • Penang Assam Laksa
  • Satay
  • Char Koay Teow