Some common Nyonya dishes are:

Acar Awak – mixed vegetables of cucumber, carrots, long beans, etc., are cooked and pickled with spices.

acar awak

Acar Ikan (pickled fish) – fried fish soaked in a light gravy cooked from ginger, garlic, vinegar, dried chillies and turmeric.

acar ikan


Ayam Buah Keluak – spicy chicken curry cooked with buah keluak (candlenuts). The curry has a creamy and nutty flavour.

Asam Pedas – spicy sour curry of fish and pineapple. Chilli Crab – spicy crab stir fried with chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal,lemon grass, shrimp paste (blachan) and tamarind juice.

asam pedas


Lor Bak – thin strips of pork seasoned with spices and wrapped in a sheet of thin bean curd skin, and then deep fried. Restaurants in Penang often sells this with fried prawn fritters and other deep fried items served with sauces.

lobak and hare chnee


Nasi Ulam – rice mixed with finely shredded vegetables, fresh green herbs, shallots, chillies, toasted desiccated coconut, fried and flaked dried fish, etc. Nasi Kunyit – glutinous rice steamed with turmeric and creamy coconut milk and usually eaten with chicken curry.

nasi ulam








Jiu Hu Char – a stir-fried dish of shredded vegetables (yambean, carrot, cabbage) and strips of cuttlefish or pork.

Jui Hu Char - mixed vegetables


Nyonya Kueh – a variety of kueh (similar to cakes and puddings), mainly steamed and made from glutinous rice or rice flour and sometimes rich and fragrant coconut milk. Example: Kueh Lapis (steamed layered pudding), Ang Koo Kueh, Pulut Tai Tai, Kueh Talam, Kueh Kochi, Kueh Kodok, Pulut Enti, etc.

kueh nyonya


Otak-otak – spicy fish cake with egg, Some ingredients used in Peranakan cooking - serai, bunga kantan, galangal, etc. wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

otak otak


Perut Ikan (Pulay Ikan) – shredded vegetables (long bean, brinjal, daun kaduk, etc), fresh green herbs and shreds of fish intestines cooked in a light curry with tamarind juice. This dish is unique to the Penang (and Northern) Peranakans.

Popiah (spring rolls) – turnip, bean sprout, pork, fried egg and bean curd wrapped and rolled with a paperthin steamed pancake. The rolls are sometimes deep fried and garnished with a sweetened bean or chilli sauce. Sambal Blachan – chillies and toasted shrimp paste (blachan/ belacan) mixed with lime and salt. It imparts a piquant flavour to any accompaniment that you choose to pair it with.


Where to Eat:



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