Same egg, but different ways to eat it. Only in Malaysia.
If you didn’t know that Malaysians love eggs, well, now you know. In 2016, it was reported by the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek that 2.8 million eggs are consumed by Malaysians on a daily basis. It is safe to say that we Malaysians love our eggs not only for breakfast, but also lunch and dinner! Lucky for us, eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins.
In Malaysia, we have an abundance of egg dishes. Just head to the nearest Mamak and you’ll see the different ways eggs are prepared. You can get it half boiled, cracked in your roti canai or on your tosai. The best part is, you can have it all day long.
The egg dishes in Malaysia are as unique as Malaysians themselves. The preparation for eggs go beyond the standard variety that is typically found on a plate of English breakfast. We don’t just eat it scrambled, boiled or fried. We take it to the next level. Hey, Malaysia Boleh, remember? So if you’re wondering how Malaysians like their eggs, we have just the list for you!
1. Butter Prawns
That’s right. The first in our list is butter prawns. Butterkicap, of course, believes that if there’s butter involved, it butter be good! And this dish is a great example. It is unique AND deceiving. Who would’ve thought that the golden floss is actually made of eggs? The texture melts in your mouth and leaves you craving for more. And the taste? It is sweet, salty, buttery with a hint of curry and spiciness.
The way it is prepared definitely elevates eggs as an ingredient. It is made by dripping beaten eggs into a wok filled with a mixture of oil and butter. Sounds easy, right? But wait, there’s more. The egg must be dripped little by little and it should be done from a certain height.
At the same time, you have to continuously swirl the wok with a ladle. Then, curry leaves and birds eye chillies are added for some kick. The swirling continues until it becomes foamy. It is finished off by draining excess oil and butter in order to maintain the crispiness of the egg floss.
The making of this dish requires egg-cellent hand-eye coordination. It may sound complicated to make but what we can guarantee is that, eating it is easy because it is so delicious! So how do Malaysians like their eggs? They like it flossy with some prawns!
Yes, as the name suggests, Pattaya is a city in Thailand. However, it takes on a different meaning here in Malaysia. If you mention Pattaya here, it is often associated with nasi goreng Pattaya, which is fried rice wrapped in a layer of omelette.
You’d be surprised to know that this dish is actually more commonly found in Malaysia than Pattaya itself. Nothing about this dish is indigenously Thai aside from the omelette. Pad Thai is usually served in an omelette wrap as well! Maybe that’s how the name was coined. Until then, the only thing we can verify is that Malaysians also like their eggs with fried rice inside.
The simplicity of the omelette pairs very well with the tasty surprise inside it- nasi goreng! The experience and visual of it will ultimately remind you of Japanese omurice but the taste is unequivocally Malaysian.
In terms of preparation, this dish is fairly easy to make. It can be found pretty much anywhere, making it a favorite hawker fare. Not to mention, it is not only limited to rice. If you’re adventurous, other forms of carbohydrates such as maggi or kuey teow can also be pattaya-ed. Doesn’t that sound egg-citing?
3. Roti Tampal
This list would be invalid if we were to exclude some egg dishes from the Mamak. There is a lot, of course, but roti tampal is the most interesting of them all. The preparation method is slightly different than its cousin, roti telur.
If you think roti telur makes a great combination with curry and dhal, wait until you try roti tampal. Upon slicing open the roti, you’ll be greeted with a stream of runny egg yolk (Don’t forget to request for telur setengah masak just to be safe!).
Soak up the mixture of egg, dhal and curry with your roti and you are in for an unforgettable eggs-perience! It is rich, creamy and also savoury, making it a great meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe supper as well!
For Malaysians who do not like their eggs runny on top of a roti canai, roti telur is also a great option. It is just as filling and delicious as roti tampal. The only difference is roti tampal is basically roti canai plastered on top of a sunny side up. Hence, the name ‘tampal’ which is Malay for ‘paste’.
As for roti telur, the egg is cracked inside an uncooked roti canai before it is folded. Roti telur won’t give you the visual of a runny egg yolk though but the layers of roti and egg are just as beautiful to see and tasty to eat.
4. Roti John
Since we are on the subject of roti, another classic favorite would be roti john. Legend has it, that a burger stall in Singapore customized this dish for a Caucasian man named John. It is an omelette sandwich served with a generous amount of chilli sauce, mayonnaise and black pepper sauce.
The omelette isn’t just an omelette though. There is cooked minced meat or chicken added for some texture. But wait, it doesn’t end there. The sandwich is then topped with thin slices of cabbage for some freshness and crunch. The different textures in the sandwich complete with sos banjir will leave you wanting more.
As the culinary scene in Malaysia begins to grow, so does the variety of roti john. Now we are able to see many modern twists to the classic roti john. There are versions with mushrooms, shredded meat and the most famous of all, mozzarella cheese!
Even though roti john is a relatively westernised dish, it is deeply rooted in our culture. It is what we crave for after more than 12 hours of fasting. It is what we reach for when we go to pasar malam. So, thank you, John for being the inspiration for this dish. And an even bigger praise to the maker of this dish for showing Malaysians that we like our eggs in a sandwich with sos banjir!
5. Egg Apam
The next on our list is a hidden gem tucked away in Penang, a kopitiam located in Pulau Tikus that serves the best Indian sweet apam in town, or the entire country to be exact. It is so heavenly, it is unlike any other. There are imitators but they will never be the same because Mr. Ravi (the owner) uses centuries-old method.
Sweet apam is not to be confused with its fun-sized tosai lookalike, apam which has a slightly sour taste. Sweet apam owes its sweetness to coconut milk and unlike apam, the batter is not fermented.
Add some egg into the mix and we are blessed with a hybrid of pancake and crepe. It is fluffy in the center and crispy around the edges. Sweet apam is usually eaten for breakfast but when it’s so delectable, who can resist it after breakfast hours? It is also enjoyed as a light snack.
Yes, it is quite light, but you can still count on them to fill you up until lunch because there is no way you would be able to limit yourself to only one piece! So aside from turning eggs into a sweet treat, Malaysians also like their eggs cracked in their sweet apam. This variety of sweet apam is known as the double egg apam.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth but are blessed with a big appetite instead, then double egg apam is for you! Unfortunately, the double egg apam is only available during slow business hours. Unlike the sweet apam, it takes a much longer time to prepare but the wait is so worth it. Pancakes may not be famous in Malaysia but we sure like eggs in our apam.
6. Egg Tart
What better way to eat eggs other than turning into an eggy custard encased in a buttery and flaky crust? Egg tart is a legacy left behind by colonialism but it still remains as a favourite because Malaysians like their eggs as a pastry too.
There are different varieties of egg tarts but they are all equally good. The Taiwanese egg tarts look dainty with its smooth, glassy top while the Portuguese egg tarts have caramelised top and a puffy crust. With that said, they are both to die for. In Malaysia, we love our savoury egg dishes but there is no denying that eggs in pastries are also one of our favourite ways to eat eggs.
7. Egg Drop Soup
Who says that eggs must be fried, poached or boiled? Here in Malaysia, we like it in a soup too. Next on our list is yet another unique egg dish known as the egg drop soup. It is warm, soothing and the perfect concoction when you are feeling under the weather. Or whenever you’re in the mood for some soup.
Egg drop soup is an example of beauty in simplicity. It only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in the kitchen. This thick and savoury broth only requires chicken stock, soy sauce, ginger and some eggs!
It is so easy to prepare and even easier to eat because it is so wholesome. Since the beaten eggs are poured in an already heated broth, the eggs will produce a wispy texture.
As we all know, us Malaysians are big on hospitality. So the next time, your loved ones are down with the sniffles, make them some egg drop soup. This dish will definitely energise them and reduce their stuffy sinuses.
8. Manicai with Eggs
This list would not be complete if we did not include an egg dish from Sarawak. This is also a noteworthy dish because Sarawakians like their eggs stir-fried with some leaves. So what is manicai? It is also known as Sweet Leaf or Pucuk Manis in Malay but contrary to the name, the leaves have a bitter taste.
Most importantly, it should never be eaten raw because they are toxic. Hence, a lot of effort goes into the preparation because when done properly, the bitter leaves can actually become very sweet.
After the leaves have been washed and juiced, it is stir-fried. Eggs are added and mixed together to form a beautiful, mouth-watering stir-fry. The bright yellow hue of the eggs are a good contrast against the deep green shade of the manicai leaves.
Leave it to the Sarawakians to bring some colour into our food. Don’t even get us started on the taste! The leaves stay true to its name, it is sweet and mixing eggs in the dish is possibly the best way to eat some greens and eggs!
9. Telur Rebus
Yes, simmer down, now. We know, we know. Telur rebus? So predictable! This is supposed to be a list for unique egg dishes in Malaysia. Well before we argue, let us just convince you that boiled eggs in Malaysia are not your standard hard-boiled eggs.
This is Malaysia we’re talking about. We have telur goyang, telur herba, telur pindang, telur masing, and telur setengah masak! Each of these boiled eggs have their own special taste and origins. On top of that, eggs are also cooked with sambal and kicap. It makes for a wholesome lauk in many Malay home-cooked meals.
Telur goyang is poached egg served on a soft bed of roti benggali with a drizzle of light soy sauce and a dash of white pepper. Doesn’t that sound heavenly? We know. It also tastes heavenly. If your taste buds are craving for more, then some curry and dhal is the way to go. Also, did we mention that you can also top it on your roti canai? Either way, we prefer it with roti benggali as it is able to soak up the runny egg yolk.
What else do we have? Telur herba is famous due its many health benefits. The smell permeates the air in shopping malls when there is a Chinese herbal shop nearby. As Malaysians, we recognize that distinct smell anywhere.
Next, we have telur pindang. It is brown-shelled egg that you will only see during special occasions in Malay households. Just like the telur herba, it also has a brown shell but they both differ in taste as different herbs and spices are used. In layman’s terms, telur herba is cooked with tea while telur pindang is not. Since the ingredients used are different, the tastes differ as well. However, it does not end there.
We have a kopitiam and mamak favorite which is the telur setengah masak. It is a simple and light breakfast, often enjoyed with a dash of pepper and light soy sauce. Think of it as telur goyang but in a deconstructed form. The diverse selection of hard-boiled eggs in Malaysia shows that we definitely like our eggs boiled but we also like a bit of oomph to go with it. Be it half-boiled, herbal, pindang or goyang.
10. Telur Dadar
Are you ready for the most classic of them all? The real McCoy, we present to you, ladies and gents, the eminent telur dadar. It is the best, wholesome home-cooked meal in all of history. It is likeable and palatable to people of all ages.
It also appeals to the kitchen-illiterates and lazies out there as it only takes a few minutes to prepare. On one condition, it is doused in hot oil in order for the eggs to puff up. Then, it is eaten with rice and a drizzle of kicap manis (sweet soy sauce) for good measure.
Telur dadar also has significant roots in our culture. It is famously served as nasi bujang- a wholesome meal for the working class who only a few ringgits and need that to last before they get their next pay.
There are also some varieties to telur dadar for those who want to splurge. For example, we have telur bungkus and also telur bistik. Malaysians love spicing up classically simple dishes and these two are proof that we are good at what we do!
The different ways eggs are served in Malaysia will ultimately blow your mind, be it the ones you get from Mamak or home-cooked. Eggs are the most affordable form of protein that we can get so it is not a surprise that Malaysians truly love their eggs.
Amazingly, our egg dishes are a mixture of creativity yet simplicity, fit for different occasions. It is evident that Malaysians have the best taste in food.