Malaysian Food Glossary






















The GlossaryThis glossary is mainly in Malay i.e. Bahasa Malaysia. However, many food ingredients or terms are better known in local Chinese or Indian dialects. This is because of Malaysia's multi-ethnic population, and its culturally diverse cuisine and cooking styles. Certain ingredients are used exclusively, or more frequently in different ethnic kitchens, while some foods may be forbidden due to religious beliefs. Wherever possible, spelling variations, similar names in English, or in other countries nearby and afar, shall also be included in the glossary.


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Liquid, Thin or Watery.

Santan Cair : Thin Coconut Milk
Mencairkan : To melt, To liquefy.



also called Lada, Cili in [Malay], Lat Chew [Chinese], Milahai [Tamil]

Spelling varies in different parts of the world, it is a hot Chile, Chilly, Chilli or Chili Pepper.

Cabai Burung : Bird Chili, Thai Bird Chili, also called Cili Padi [Malay]. Lat Chew Chai [Chinese], Usi Milahai [Tamil].
Cabai Kering : Dried Chili. Lat Chew Kow [Chinese], Kanjha Milahai [Tamil].
Cabai Hijau
: Green Chili. Cheng Lay Chew [Chinese], Patchai Milahai.
Cabai Merah : Red Chili. Hoong Lat Chew [Chinese], Sovapu Milahai [Tamil].





Mencampur : To mix.
Nasi Campur : Mixed Rice. A meal of rice with several side dishes.






Cekur Manis

See Chai Choy [Chinese]

Sweet Shoots.




To dip.





Mencelur : To dip in boiling liquid.



also called Nangka [Malay], Chempelut, Mung Kat [Chinese], Palap Palam [Tamil]


Cempedak Goreng : Fried Jackfruit is a popular local snack.



Moh Ku, Choh Ku [Chinese], Kalan [Tamil]


Cendawan Kering : Dried Mushroom. Tung Ku [Chinese], Kalan Vathal [Tamil].


Chai Sim

Sawi [Malay]

Chinese for Mustard Greens.


Char Siu

Babi Panggang [Malay]

Chinese Roast Pork. Lean cuts of pork, usually tenderloin, is seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, sugar and roasted. The red color roast pork can be sliced and served with rice, like the popular Chinese take-out Roast Pork Rice. It can be used as a filling for savory snacks and dumplings such as Char Siu Pao [ Roast Pork Buns]. It can be used as an ingredient or garnish for fried rice and noodles e.g. Wonton or Wantan Mee [Thin Egg Noodles with Chinese Roast Pork and Wontons].


Chee Cheong


Chinese for Intestines, usually from the pig. The fresh innards are thoroughly cleaned, and may be sold pre-cooked or roasted. It is popular with the older generation in soups and Moey or Congee [Rice Porridge]. Lamb or goat intestines are sometimes made into satay [Satay Perut].


Chee Cheong Fun

Soft Rice Noodle Rolls

The name of this rice noodles is in Chinese means Intestine Noodles, due to the way it looks. Flat sheets of made from rice flour, and soft in texture, are rolled into 'logs'. Dried shrimp or chives may sometimes be embedded in the rice sheets. It is a popular breakfast dish. The freshly steamed noodles are garnished simply with 2 or 3 different sauces, such as Hoisin [Chinese Plum Sauce], soy sauce and chili sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.


Chilli Manis

Kam Ma Lu Lat Chew [Chinese], Peri Kudhu Milahai [Tamil]

Sweet Green Pimento.



also called Moey, Congee [Chinese], Bubur Nasi, Kanji [Malay]

Chinese for Rice Porridge. It is made by boiling a small amount of raw rice with a substantial amount of water. Leftover cooked rice can also be used. There are 2 types - one in which the rice grains are still visible, and the other, a thin white creamy porridge.
The rice porridge may be served with a variety of savory side dishes, Teochew style. It can be used as a base for chicken, pork, fish or other types of rice porridge.


Choy Sum

Yu Choy, Yau Choy [Chinese], Chuka [Tamil], Edible Rape

Flowering Edible Rape. A popular leafy green vegetable used to garnish many Hawker [Street Vendor] noodle dishes.



Choe [Chinese], Chuka [Tamil]


Cuka Hitam : Black Vinegar. Hak Choe [Chinese], Karuppu Chuka [Tamil].



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