The 10 Malaysian Cookbooks that you need to KNOW and SHARE!

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Malaysian Cookbook

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through Malaysian Cookbooks.

I love exploring new foods and recipes and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

Southeast Asian Flavors 🌏

Malaysian food is often associated with the coastal areas of peninsular Malaysia (where most people live). Its main ingredients include fresh seafood and vegetables from the land, as well as coconut milk. The spices and herbs used reflect Malaysia’s diverse history.

In order to fully appreciate this unique cuisine, it’s important to understand how it was created.

These Malaysian cookbooks will help you get started on learning more about Malaysian cooking and cuisine and join the Malaysian food culture.

Look at this! We’ve selected these 10 Malaysian Cookbooks just for you! 👇

1. Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen

Why We Love It ❤️

The book includes many different kinds of recipes—some with traditional names but most with English ones—that range from simple stir-fries to elaborate multi-course feasts. There are also beautiful photos throughout, showing readers exactly what they should be doing when preparing certain dishes. This will help you prepare the most delicious Malaysian meals with a mix of Asian food. This cookbook by Ping Coombes is as much about the people who created it as it is about the recipes themselves.

Review 📖

The book opens with a section on how Malaysian cuisine has evolved over time and how it is now being influenced by other regions around the world. Recipes include the dish’s origins and its preparation in detail, including how to use ingredients you have at home to prepare them more effectively. The recipe sections are divided into different categories: starters, soups and stews, vegetables and salads, meat dishes, fish dishes, and noodle dishes.

Overall, if you want a taste of Malaysia in your kitchen, this cookbook is a great reference you should check out!

About the Author ✍️

Ping Coombes is a chef and winner of BBC’s 2014 MasterChef. This is her debut cookbook.

2. The Best Of Chef Wan

Why We Love It ❤️

The recipes themselves are easy to follow and include step-by-step instructions, as well as photos. There’s something for everyone here: from simple dishes like laksa to more complex ones like wan tan mee.

 This book is perfect for anyone looking for an introduction to exquisite Malaysian cooking.

Review 📖

 Chef Wan’s The Best Of Chef Wan: A Taste of Malaysia is a delightful and unique cookbook full of traditional, delicious dishes. The book includes not just the recipes but also a wealth of information about the culture and history of Malaysian food—from the various ingredients used in each dish to how it’s prepared, including instructions for making your own curry paste.

About the Author ✍️

Prof Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur. He is Malaysia’s food ambassador.

3. Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage

Why We Love It ❤️

The authors give detailed instructions on how to prepare each dish, making it easy for cooks at all levels to get started in their kitchen.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about Malaysian food culture or who wants to try out some new dishes at home. It makes a great addition to any cookbook library!

Review 📖

In Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage: The Best of Authentic Traditional Recipes, authors Hamidah Abdul Hamid and Kalsom Taib have collected 100 recipes that are a snapshot of the country’s culinary history. The book is divided into three sections: “Malaysian Cuisine,” “Ladies’ Cookery,” and “Household Cooking.” Each section includes a variety of recipes from all over Malaysia.

This cookbook features traditional recipes that are as simple as they are delicious.

About the Authors ✍️

Kalsom Taib is a Gourmand award-winning author and has written several cookbooks. She has partnered with her niece, Hamidah Abdul Hamid, to create this cookbook.

4. Sambal Shiok

Why We Love It ❤️

Sambal Shiok: The Malaysian Cookbook is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to cook the most delicious Malaysian meals. It’s chock full of delicious recipes and practical tips on how to make them, all written by a former chef who has worked in several different kitchens in Malaysia.

Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or have years of cooking experience under your belt, you will surely enjoy this cookbook, as it has something for everyone!

Review 📖

The book is divided into two parts: “Classic Recipes” and “New Recipes.” The first section includes some of the most popular dishes from Malaysia, such as curry chicken, ikan bakar (grilled fish), and rendang (beef stew). Each recipe is accompanied by a photo of the dish being served at a local restaurant or home kitchen. The second section consists of six new recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers at any party or potluck you might throw; these include fried noodles with squid and egg, roti canai (a flatbread similar to naan), beef rendang, and laksa belanga (a soup made with coconut milk).

About the Author ✍️

Mandy Yin is an ex-lawyer and a self-taught chef. She is the chef-owner of the award-winning London restaurant Sambal Shiok.

5. The Malaysian Kitchen

Why We Love It ❤️

While the focus of this book is on traditional, authentic recipes, it includes recipes for Americanized dishes as well, such as Chicken Noodle Soup with Bacon (a favorite of mine) and Fried Rice with Sausage (also a favorite).

If you’re looking for delicious, simple recipes, The Malaysian Kitchen is your best bet. 

Review 📖

In this cookbook, author Christina Arokiasamy offers recipes for simple, homey dishes that are sure to please both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The author has spent years living in Malaysia, and she brings with her the knowledge of what constitutes good food and how to make it even better.

 The book is divided into two parts: the first half is devoted to ingredients, including spices and condiments; the second is devoted to cooking methods, from boiling and steaming to grilling and stir-frying. Each section includes step-by-step instructions.

About the Author ✍️

Christina Arokiasamy is a spice expert and an award-winning cookbook author. She was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

6. Amazing Malaysian

Why We Love It ❤️

The recipes are accompanied by beautiful illustrations, as well as helpful notes about ingredients and preparation methods. Each recipe has been tested by Musa himself and his friends or family members who have tried it out for themselves.

The end result? Delicious food that’s perfect for any dinner party!

Review 📖

Norman Musa’s Amazing Malaysian: Recipes for Vibrant Malaysian Home Cooking is a treasure trove of delicious Malaysian meals, complete with recipes that are easy to follow and understand. The recipes are simple to prepare, but the result is always a delicious, unique dish.

The book covers both traditional and modern cuisine, with a focus on the region’s most popular foods: nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk), roti canai (flatbread made from flour dough), beef rendang, and curry laksa (a noodle soup).

The recipes themselves are easy and make use of simple ingredients—and while some may require some advanced preparation (such as making curry paste or grinding spices), most don’t take long to prepare.

About the Author ✍️

Norman Musa is a chef, tutor, tv host, author, and restaurateur. He is currently based in The Netherlands. 

7. The Food of Malaysia

Why We Love It ❤️

 This cookbook is great for anyone who wants to learn more about Malaysia and its cuisine. There are many different types of rice dishes, curries, and soups that can be made, and while some dishes have been around for centuries, others were created in specific regions or by specific ethnic groups. It covers everything from how to make simple, delicious snacks like roti prata and chicken satay to more complex dishes like curry laksa, which is a noodle soup with coconut milk and shrimp.

There are also plenty of recipes that use local ingredients, like the coconut-based curry paste called belachan, made from red ants found on Borneo island. The book includes lots of photographs of the food in action, which makes it easy to see how each dish is made.

This is one of those cookbooks that everyone can enjoy regardless of their culinary background!

About the Author ✍️

Wendy Hutton is a food and travel writer. She is originally from New Zealand but has spent most of her life in Malaysia. 

8. My Rendang Isn’t Crispy

Why We Love It ❤️

My Rendang Isn’t Crispy: And Other Favourite Malaysian Dishes by Zaleha Kadir Olpin covers the most popular Malaysian dishes. It’s packed with recipes for traditional dishes like rendang, nasi lemak, and roti canai, as well as more modern ones like kamias jamu. 

Overall, this Malaysian cookbook will be a great addition to your repertoire!

Review 📖

The book starts off with a brief introduction to Malaysian food and how it’s changed over the years. The author then goes on to explain how to make each dish properly, from learning how to grind spices to choosing the right ingredients. She also provides tips for substitutions where necessary. (For example, she suggests using coconut milk instead of cream in rendang if you’re not able to find it in your local grocery store.)

The rest of the book is divided into chapters based on common dishes found throughout Malaysia. There are also lists of ingredients needed for the dishes and suggestions on where they can be purchased online or at local markets.

About the Author ✍️

Zaleha Kadir Olpin is well-known for being a contestant in MasterChef UK Season 14. This is her first cookbook.

9. Simply Malaysian Cookbook

Why We Love It ❤️

The author has done an amazing job of providing clear instructions for how to prepare each dish in her book. This makes it easy for even novice cooks to follow along and cook up some delicious Malaysian-inspired dishes!

Review 📖

This cookbook features simple yet tasty Malaysian classic dishes. The book is divided into chapters, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Malaysian cooking. Sharp provides recipes for dishes like roti canai (a staple in Malaysia), nasi lemak (a dish that has become popular in the West), and laksa.

The book’s layout is very simple—it consists of two parts: a table of contents and a list of ingredients, tools, and utensils required for each recipe. Each recipe is accompanied by an illustration of the dish being prepared and step-by-step instructions for how to prepare it properly.

About the Author ✍️

Stephanie Sharp is a chef and has authored a lot of cookbooks. She also has a small cooking school.

10. Penang Local

Why We Love It ❤️

Malaysian cuisine is a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, and other influences. It’s known for its spicy and complex flavors, which are sometimes hard to describe but totally worth the extra effort in the kitchen! This book doesn’t gloss over anything—it’s honest about what makes great Malaysian food special, and it gives readers a chance to explore further if they want to learn more about the culture behind their favorite dishes. This is something we really appreciate when reading cookbooks—the authors don’t just tell you what to do but instead explain why certain things are done in certain ways, which can help you better understand how the food should taste. 

Review 📖

Aim Aris and Ahmad Salim’s Penang Local: Cult Recipes From the Streets That Make the City is a collection of recipes from street vendors in Penang, Malaysia. These vendors are not only a part of the city’s culture but also its economy. The book includes both traditional recipes as well as modern takes on delicious Malaysian meals.

The authors describe their methodology for collecting recipes, which involved visiting various markets and talking to local vendors who would be willing to share recipes with them. They also included some personal stories from people who have worked in the street food industry in Penang.

About the Authors ✍️

Aim Aris and Ahmad Salim are a collaborative duo who creates upscale pop-up Malaysian restaurants. This is their first cookbook.

Final Thoughts on Malaysian Cookbooks

Malaysian food is infused with a strong sense of history and culture. While Asian cuisine is often clumped together—Malaysia has its own unique culinary traditions that are distinct from other Southeast Asian countries like Pakistani.

These ten cookbooks are all unique in their own way, but they all have something in common: they all feature delicious Malaysian recipes. This great country is close to Bali, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor-Leste; they share many recipes with some variations. In the end, we found that the most successful books focus on a well-rounded menu of dishes to suit any palate. Some of these books also provide plenty of information about ingredients and cooking techniques, which can be useful if you’re interested in learning more about Malaysian food.

Overall, we think that these books are a great place to start if you’re interested in learning more about its inspirational Asian cuisine from Singapore to Malaysia.

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Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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