The traditional culinary style has been greatly influenced by the long-ago traders from neighboring countries, such as Indonesia, India, the Middle East, and China.Malay food is often described as spicy and flavorful as it utilizes a melting pot of spices and herbs.
Nasi Lemak - a rice cooked with coconut milk and served with anchovies, nuts, cucumbers, a chili paste known as sambal and a choice of curries.
Kangkung belacan' is kangkung wok-fried in a pungent sauce of shrimp paste (belacan) and hot chilli peppers. Various other items are cooked this way, including petai (which is quite bitter when eaten raw; some older generation Malays still eat it as is) and yardlong beans.
Rice is the staple diet in any Malay meal. It is often served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper too. Most meals are eaten by using your fingers, and eating utensils are kept to a minimum. All dishes are served at the same time, accompanied by a refreshing drink. Fish is popular in Malay cooking, as with other seafood such as shrimps and cuttlefish. Beef and mutton are very popular choices but never pork as it is against their religious beliefs to eat pork. The other popular white meat is chicken.