southern region

The Johor variation of the laksa (known as laksa Johor) is almost an institution. It is often served as a festive dish. This dish differs from other variants of the laksa in that it uses spaghetti instead of rice noodles. It is enjoyed with generous toppings of a thick, creamy fish gravy, various condiments and fresh cut chillies.

In Negeri Sembilan, the Minangkabau influence becomes apparent. The iconic dish of this state is the masak lemak cili padi. Served with white rice, masak lemak cili padi is chicken, beef or even duck eggs cooked in a thick, creamy yellow gravy that carries a generous dose of bird’s eye chilli paste. Its signature explosive heat is particularly prized by its fans. However, the uninitiated are advised to exercise caution when partaking in this dish.

The historical state if Melaka’s signature dish is the asam pedas. Asam pedas is usually fish cooked in a delicate, tangy chilli broth. It is the mainstay of traditional Melaka cuisine and has even been assimilated into the hybrid cooking tradition of Nyonyas (Peranakan Chinese).