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The MalaysianFood.net 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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Hae Koh, Har Kou [spelling], Petis [Malay]

Chinese for Prawn Paste. A thick black paste made of prawn stock and salt. It is quite indigenous to Malaysia, and not commonly found in the rest of Asia. It is used as a dressing in local dishes such Rojak, an exotic Malaysian salad of fruits and fresh vegetables. It is also used in stews and soups e.g Asam Laksa [Noodles in Tangy Fish Soup].



Keong [Chinese], Injee [Tamil], Ginger Root

Ginger Root or Ginger.

Serbuh Halia : Ginger Powder.




Fine, Soft.

Gula Halus : Fine Sugar




Burnt, Scorched.

Gula Hangus : Caramelized Sugar.



also Wangi in [Malay]


Mengharumkan : To make fragrant.



Sum [Chinese], Nencham [Tamil], Offal

Heart. It can also refer to Liver.

Hati Ayam : Chicken Liver.
Hati Lembu : Beef Heart.


Heh Chee

Cucuk Udang [Malay]

Chinese for Prawn Fritter. A batter is deep fried into a fritter with prawns or shrimp embedded, served together with Lor Bak [Deep Fried Pork Rolls] or broken up and used to garnish Mee Rebus [Indian style Noodles in 'Sweet Potato' Gravy]








A dish of food.

Hidangan Ayam : Chicken dish.
Hidangan Sayur : Vegetable dish.


Hoo Pneah

Kuih Ikan [Malay]

Chinese for Fish Cake. Fresh fish fillets are pounded or finely ground and kneaded until firm, shaped into rectangular cakes and deep fried. It is available in packages, refrigerated or frozen. Fish cake is often used as an economical substitute for meat in many local hawker [street vendor] dishes.


Hor Fun

also called Chow Fun [Chinese]

Chinese for Broad Noodles. It is made from rice flour and cut into 1 inch strips. It may be used in a soup or fried. One of the most popular is Sar Ho Fun. Seafood, meat and vegetables are stir fried, a little broth is added and thickened into a sauce with an an egg streaked into it. It is then poured over the noodle, are charred separately in a hot wok.


Hoi Sin Sauce

also called Tee Cheoh [Chinese]

Chinese for Plum Sauce. It is a sweet sauce, made from a mixture of plums and other preserved fruits, deep maroon or dark brown in color.


Hum Choy

Kiam Chye, Sayur Asin [Malay], Uppu Keerai [Tamil], Chinese Sauerkraut

Chinese for Salted Vegetable. Leafy greens, usually Chinese mustard cabbage [Kai Choy] are pickled, or preserved in a salt brine. Both the leaves and stems can be used in stir-fry, stew and soup e.g. Kiam Chye Aar [Duck with Salted Vegetable]


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