Although politically divided, Malaysia
and Singapore are historically, culturally and ethnically an entity
with a common gastronomic tradition. Malays, Chinese and Indians make
up the main racial groups but as "Malaysia is Truly Asia" there are a
colorful mixture of other Asian races living, working, cooking and
contributing to a wide range of their racial cuisine to make Malaysia
the centre of Asian cuisine.
Blessed by sunshine, abundant rainfall
and fertile soil, fresh fruits and vegetables abound throughout the
year. Fresh and frozen meat like beef, mutton, pork and chicken, fresh
and dried seafood, fresh and dried mushrooms of various kinds make
Malaysia/Singapore cuisine a delightful gastronomic experience.
At home Malaysians eat simply. A meal is
usually made up of one main dish of rice and three or four dishes of
meat, seafood and vegetables. There are also many restaurants which
serve all kinds of international food and dishes prepared by
professional chefs. But it is more fun to eat in the streets. Street
stalls cater economically to all kinds of delicious Asian cuisines.
Malaysia is made up of a large number of
states, each of which has its own culinary specialties. But the most
interesting is the nyonya cuisine which originated when the Chinese
settled among the Malays and integrated their cuisine with Malay
cuisine. Nyonya cuisine combines Chinese ingredients with Malay
methods of preparation. The result is a unique blend of savory