17 Noodle Dishes & Types Of Noodles In Malaysia You Must Try

17 Noodle Dishes & Types Of Noodles In Malaysia You Must Try

15 Essential Hari Raya Dishes Loved By Malaysians Reading 17 Noodle Dishes & Types Of Noodles In Malaysia You Must Try 14 minutes Next Top 21 Popular Types Of Curry To Try

With Various Types Of Noodles In Malaysia, These Are The Noodle Dishes You Absolutely Must Try In This Foodie Hub

Malaysia is definitely one of the most popular destinations for foodies looking to try a diverse range of cuisines. It’s no wonder because this country is made up of several cultures; Malay, Chinese, and Indian being the main ones, and each come with their own rich culinary history.

Which brings us to the noodles of Malaysia. Sure every country has at least one noodle dish to be tried, but did you know that Malaysia is home to countless noodles and noodle dishes that you probably won’t be able to tick off in a week?

From the homey wantan mee to the spicy and tangy laksa for lunch, and a comforting plate of smoky hokkien mee for supper, your noodle choices in Malaysia are seemingly endless! Whether you’re a perpetually hungry local foodie or a curious traveller, the noodle varieties here are sure to leave your taste buds tantalised and craving for more. 

So let’s get on with our ever tangly noodle adventure through Malaysia. We’ll be starting with the types of noodles that are used in various local noodle dishes here, before we dive into the noodle dishes you must try in Malaysia.

What Are The Different Types Of Noodles In Malaysia?

1. Mee (Yellow Egg Noodles)

Mee, commonly referred to as “yellow noodles” by Malaysians, is a slightly chewy and springy noodle with a smooth surface that is characterised by its yellow hue. It’s generally made from wheat flour, eggs, water, and salt. You’ll usually find mee used in noodle soups and stir-fries like mee goreng mamak because of the firm bite it offers.

2. Kway Teow (Flat Rice Noodles)

Kway teow or sometimes spelled as “kuey teow”, are thin rice noodles made from rice flour and water which are then steamed and dried. They are soft and slightly chewy with a flat, wide shape that holds and absorbs sauces well, making it perfect for stir-fried noodle dishes like char kway teow and noodle soups.

3. Mee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli)

If kuey teow is the fettuccine of noodles in Malaysia, then mee hoon would be its angel hair counterpart. Mee hoon, also known as rice vermicelli, is made from rice flour and water, featuring thin, delicate strands that are often used for soups, salads, and stir-fries.

4. Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are the thicker version of mee hoon with a smooth texture and chewier bite. Just like mee hoon, it’s also made from rice flour and water, but you’ll see rice noodles being used more often for soup-based noodle dishes or dishes with thick gravies like the famous Seremban beef noodles.

5. Silver Needle Noodles (Loh See Fun/Lou Shu Fun)

Silver needle noodles have a bit of a controversial translated English name, where loh see fun directly translates to “rat tail noodle”. While no rats are used in its making, it does derive its name from its unique shape which is similar to a rat’s tail. It’s short, thick with tapering ends, and it is slightly translucent with a chewy and slippery texture. You’ll usually find silver needle noodles in stir-fries like the popular claypot loh see fun noodle dish.

6. Pan Mee (Flat Flour Noodles)

The name “pan mee” can refer to two things in Malaysia. One of them refers to a particular type of noodle that is flat and broad with a slightly chewy texture which is often handmade with a rustic, unique appearance. The other refers to the noodle dish that utilises said noodles; pan mee. Pan mee is commonly enjoyed dry with savoury black sauce or boiled in a soupy noodle dish.

7. Glass Noodles (Tang Hoon/Dong Fen)

Glass noodles are characterised by its translucent and slippery texture once cooked. Its thickness is similar to mee hoon, but it boasts a more chewy texture compared to it. You’ll usually find glass noodles used in salads, soups, and stir-fries, sometimes as a replacement to mee hoon.

8. Wantan Noodles (Wonton Noodles)

Think of wantan noodles as the thin and firmer counterpart of yellow mee. It’s made from wheat flour, eggs, water, and salt, and it features a springy and slightly chewy texture. Wantan noodles are commonly used in its namesake dish; wantan mee, where it is served dry alongside wantan dumplings and BBQ pork slices.

17 Delicious Noodle Dishes To Try In Malaysia

Curry Laksa. Photo by Amanda Lim.
Classic curry laksa with shredded chicken. Photo by Amanda Lim.

1. Curry Laksa, also known as Curry Mee

Curry laksa is a popular Peranakan noodle dish that you can find in almost every food court and kopitiam in Malaysia. Most Malaysians tend to refer to it as both curry mee and curry laksa, but they essentially mean the same thing.

This noodle dish features a rich and creamy coconut milk-based broth which is flavoured with curry spices, and it is commonly served with a mixture of yellow egg noodles and mee hoon with ingredients like chicken, prawns, fried tofu puffs, fish cakes, and bean sprouts.

Curry mee in the Cosmo Saucepan.

Some restaurants even serve it with an extra side of sambal (Malaysian chili paste) and a squeeze of lime for a delicious hit of extra zest. You'll also find that most households in Malaysia enjoy cooking the instant version of curry mee at home with the handy ceramic non-stick Cosmo Saucepan!

Penang Char Kuey Teow.

2. Char Kuey Teow (Char Kway Teow)

The ever famous street food, char kuey teow, is a must-try noodle dish that originates from Penang in Malaysia. It’s known for its slightly sweet, salty, savoury, and smoky flavour (wok hei) that is achieved through stir-frying at high heat together with soy sauce and sometimes pork lard.

Char kuey teow is made with kuey teow noodles and it is commonly served with shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, chives, and semi-cooked blood cockles. More flavourful versions of it usually involve the addition of Chinese waxed sausages and the replacement of eggs with duck eggs.

Chili Pan Mee. Photo by Kai Hendry.
Chili Pan Mee with a poached egg. Photo by Kai Hendry.

3. Chili Pan Mee

Chili pan mee is a Malaysian dish with Hakka origins that is especially popular in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a savoury, spicy dish that is umami-rich from its various toppings of chilli flakes, crispy anchovies, and chopped spring onions.

This particular dish consists of pan mee noodles served dry with soy sauce, topped with a poached egg, minced pork, deep fried anchovies (ikan bilis), fried shallots, and a side of kai lan or bak choy vegetables, then topped with a generous amount of homemade chilli flakes. It’s then mixed thoroughly before eating.

Pan Mee. Photo by Ket.
Soupy Pan Mee. Photo by Ket.

4. Pan Mee

The pan mee you’ll find in Malaysia today is a traditional Chinese noodle dish of mixed Hakka and Hokkien origins. Pan mee derives its name from the type of noodles used to make it; boiled flat hand-pulled dough noodles.

It has a mild, comforting flavour thanks to its clear, savoury ikan bilis-based broth and toppings of minced pork, mushrooms, deep fried anchovies, and leafy greens like sayur manis. Locals typically opt to include an extra poached egg to give the soup an added depth of creaminess, making it an exceptionally comforting dish.

Laksa Johor

5. Laksa Johor

Laksa Johor is a unique variant of laksa originating from the southern Malaysian state of Johor that reflects Malay culinary traditions with a small degree of Italian influence. It’s characterised by its unique use of spaghetti as its noodle base, and its thick and rich fish-based gravy which is made by boiling mackerel, coconut milk, spices, and herbs.

This noodle dish is served dry alongside thinly sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, daun kesum, lime, sambal belacan (shrimp paste chilli), and hard boiled eggs, while the gravy is served on the side.

Hokkien Mee. Phoo by Alpha on Flickr
Hokkien Mee. Photo by Alpha on Flickr.

6. Hokkien Mee

Standing proudly as one of Malaysia’s most iconic dishes, the popular hokkien mee is a dark, savoury stir-fried noodle dish that boasts a sweet and smoky flavour (wok hei) from the dark soy sauce and high heat used in cooking it.

Hokkien mee is commonly made with extra thick yellow egg noodles and a small portion of mee hoon, which are then stir-fried with pork, squid, prawns, cabbage, and crispy pork lard in a dark soy sauce. It’s then garnished with a side of sambal and lime for an added depth of deliciously complex flavours.

Fishball noodle soup.

7. Fish Ball Noodle Soup

Fish Ball noodle soup is a common Chinese noodle dish that is regularly found alongside curry laksa in almost every kopitiam and food court in Malaysia. It is made up of a clear, light and savoury fish or chicken broth, which is then served with either mee hoon, yellow egg noodles, or kuey teow.

The dish is then served with, of course, fish balls, fish cakes, vegetables, and occasionally a topping like minced pork.

Asam Laksa. Photo by Cecil Lee on Flickr.
Asam Laksa. Photo by Cecil Lee.

8. Asam Laksa

Asam laksa is sometimes referred to by its alternate name; “Penang Asam Laksa”. It’s a soupy noodle dish that is known for its tangy and spicy flavour profile which is derived from its tamarind-based broth.

The dish is made up of thick rice noodles served in the said tangy tamarind-based fish broth, and sides of cucumber, pineapple, mint, red onions, chilli, and torch ginger flower (bunga kantan). The asam laksa is then served with a dollop of shrimp paste for extra flavour, though most eateries typically mix it in as the final touch before serving it these days.

Milky fish head noodles. Photo by Chili Padi.
Milky fish head noodles. Photo by Chili Padi.

9. Fish Head Noodles

Its name may sound a little off-putting to non-locals, but fish head noodles are a local delight enjoyed especially by those in Kuala Lumpur. Think rich, milky broth with a slight tanginess from the combination of fish, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, and evaporated milk. The said milky broth is then served with thick rice noodles or mee hoon and deep-fried fish head pieces for a truly comforting dish.

Sarawak Kolo Mee

10. Kolo Mee

Kolo mee is a specialty noodle dish that originates from Sarawak. It’s a dry noodle dish that is known for its light, savoury, and slightly sweet flavour thanks to its sauce mixture of soy sauce, pork lard, and sometimes vinegar.

This noodle dish features thin and springy yellow egg noodles that are served dry alongside minced pork, BBQ pork, and a side of vegetables. It’s also often garnished with green onions and a side of pickled chillies for added flavour.

Sarawak Laksa. Photo by farah marzuki.
Sarawak Laksa with prawns, a side of sambal belacan, and strips of egg omelette. Photo by Farah Marzuki.

11. Sarawak Laksa

This list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Sarawak laksa. Much like how Johor has its iconic Johor laksa, Sarawak too has its version of laksa. This particular version is characterised by its complex, rich, and aromatic chicken and prawn broth which is made with coconut milk, and its signature peppery flavour.

Rice vermicelli is served in Sarawak laksa’s creamy and peppery broth, topped with prawns, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, and strips of omelette. It is then garnished with cilantro and a side of lime and sambal belacan for an extra dose of heat.

Mee Calong. Photo by Shamsul Liza
Mee Calong. Photo by Shamsul Liza

12. Mee Calong

Mee Calong is a lesser-known dish that is said to have originated from the Malay community of Pahang. This noodle dish features a clear, light and savoury broth that is typically flavoured with fish or an assortment of seafood for a mild and comforting flavour profile.

It’s typically made up of yellow egg noodles served in the clear broth, then garnished with fish balls, tofu, vegetables, and sometimes fish cakes and lime on the side.

Silver needle noodle cooked in dark soy sauce. Photo by Darren N.
Dry Loh See Fun cooked in dark soy sauce. Photo by Darren N.

13. Loh See Fun

Loh see fun is a popular Chinese noodle dish that is usually found prepared in two ways. It can either be stir-fried in a wok (stir-fried loh see fun), or braised in a claypot (clay pot loh see fun).

The dish received its name from the noodles used to make it - the silver needle noodles, also known as loh see fun noodles. Loh see fun typically features silver needle noodles cooked with minced pork, mushrooms, and a soy-sauce based gravy.

Wantan Mee. Photo by Jane Cheng.
Wantan Mee at a kopitiam. Photo by Jane Cheng.

14. Wantan Mee (Wonton Noodles)

One of Malaysia’s most popular noodles, wantan mee is a dish of Chinese origins that is especially common in Malaysia’s local food courts, restaurants, and kopitiams. The dish features springy and chewy wantan noodles which is served dry with a savoury and slightly sweet sauce.

The dish is then accompanied with char siew (barbecued pork) or roast pork, a side of leafy greens, and wonton dumplings which are made up of prawns and minced pork. Malaysians are also known to enjoy this dish with green pickled chillies for a hint of spicy zest.

Mee Goreng Mamak

15. Mee Goreng Mamak

Enter one of Malaysia’s most popular noodle dishes, the mee goreng mamak. This iconic Malaysian noodle dish has Indian-Muslim (Mamak) origins and it is commonly found in Malaysia’s many Mamak stalls and restaurants.

This noodle dish is known for its bold and savoury flavours with a slight sweetness with wok hei and sometimes spicy kick. It’s made up of yellow noodles which are stir-fried together with tofu, eggs, bean sprouts, and leafy vegetables, then garnished with lime and fried shallots. Locals also enjoy having these stir-fried noodles cooked with a choice of protein like mutton or chicken.

Hokkien Prawn Mee Noodle Soup. Photo by Alpha on Flickr
Hokkien Prawn Mee Noodle Soup. Photo by Alpha on Flickr.

16. Hokkien Prawn Mee

Hokkien Prawn Mee is a popular Penang dish with Chinese influences, particularly the Fujian province. It features yellow egg noodles and rice vermicelli in a bright red savoury and lightly spicy broth made from prawn shells and chicken or pork, giving it its signature umami flavour.

This noodle soup is then topped with prawns, sliced pork or chicken, bean sprouts, and water spinach (kangkung).

Kai si hor fun

17. Kai Si Hor Fun

Kai Si Hor Fun is a beloved dish that originates from the Cantonese community of Ipoh in Malaysia’s state of Perak. It features a light, delicate chicken and prawn broth that is served with flat rice noodles (hor fun, or kuey teow), shredded poached chicken, fresh prawns, and chives.

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