Nyonya Food

A combination recipe of Chinese and Malay cooking........

Acar-Acar Nyonya Assam Curry Fish
Assam Fish Curry Chicken Cincaluk
Baked Fish (Otak-Otak) Nyonya Assam Fish
Deep Fried Fish with Nyonya Style Sauce Braised Pork with Hardboiled Eggs
Deep-fried Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce Spicy Chicken
Roasted Pork Trotter with Salted Vegetable Soup Mango Rice
Stir-fried Chicken with Ginger Chicken Curry
Mee Suah Soup (Wheat Flour Vermicelli Soup) Stir-fried Curried Clams
Gerang Asam (Spicy and Sour Fish Curry) Deep-fried Sour Prawns (Shrimps)
Braised Peppery Chicken Titik Papaya (Papaya in Peppery Soup)
Sambal Cencaluk (Chilled Preserved Shrimps) Kerabu Kubis (Cabbage Salad)
Ikan Kukus Asam (Steamed Spicy, Sweet and Sour Fish) Nyonya Fried Rice
Acar Awak (Vegetable Pickle with Sesame and Peanuts) Devil Curry
Ikan Pinang (Fish in Spicy Tamarind Gravy) Otak-otak Panggang (Grilled Spicy Fish Paste)
Ayam Oh (Chicken in Preserved Soy Bean Paste Gravy) Crispy Anchovies with Kalamansi Juice
Udang Masak Lemak (Prawns [Shrimps] in Coconut Gravy) Nasi Kembuli (Spiced Rice)
Paceri Terung (Eggplant in Sweet and Sour Sauce) Udang Berempah (Spicy Prawns)
Stir-fried Chicken with Preserved Soy Bean Paste Mee Suah Tow (Birthday Noodles)
Chilled Prawns (Shrimps) with Preserved Soy Bean Paste Inchee Kay Bin (Koy Bin Fried Chicken)
Belimbing Buluh dengan Tau Cheo (Bilimbi with Preserved Soy Beans) Nasi Goreng Cencaluk (Fried Rice with Preserved Shrimps)
Sambal Jantung Pisang (Banana Blossom with Chili Paste) Hee Peow Soup (Dried Fish Bladder Soup)
Laksa Melaka (Melaka-style Noodles in Spicy Coconut Milk) Fish Curry
Fried Spicy Chicken a’la Nyonya Rojak Nyonya (Nyonya Salad)
Sambal Belimbing Buluh (Bilimbi in Chili Gravy) Nyonya Fried Noodles
Fish and Eggplants in Coconut Gravy Kerabu Bee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli Salad)
Ayam Cencaluk (Chicken with Preserved Shrimps) Turnip in Coconut Milk
Ayam Pongteh (Chicken Stew with Preserved Soy Bean Paste) Ikan Masin Masak Air Masam (Fried Salted fish in Tamarind Gravy)
Pong Taufu Soup (Fish and Bean Curd Ball Soup) Acar Ikan (Fish Pickle)
Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken in Black Nut Gravy) Itik Tim (Duck Soup with Salted Chinese Mustard)
Mee Siam (Spicy Fried Vermicelli in Tangy Sauce) Fried Chap Chye
Kari Udang Kapitan (Captain’s Prawn Curry) Sweet Potato and Sea Snail Curry
Spicy Tamarind Prawns (Shrimps) with Long Beans Jackfruit Curry
Nyonya Yee Sang (Nyonya-style Chinese New Year Salad) Spicy and Sour Fish Head Curry
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Nasi Ulam (Rice with Herbs)
King Prawns (Jumbo Shrimps) with Spicy Shrimp Paste Prawn Fritter
Steamed Pearl Sago with Coconut Kuih Pie Tee (Top Hat)
Putugal (Banana-fired Tapioca Rolls) Apam Sauce
Apam Berkuah (Pancake with Rich Banana Sauce) Tai Bak (Nyonya Cendol)
Gading Galoh (Glutinous Rice with Custard Topping) Apam Balik Nyonya (Nyonya-style Pancake)
Talam Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar Layered Cake) Kuih Bijan (Sesame Puffs)
Spicy Shrimp Paste (Sambal Belacan) Popiah (Spring Rolls)
Chicken Stock Crisp-fried Shallots
Crisp-fried Chopped Garlic Sweet Sauce
All-purpose Sauce Fish Paste / Fish Balls
Butterfly / Blue Pea Flower (Bunga Telang) Juice
Nyonya Food Glossary
Banana blossom Bilimbi (Averrhoa bilimbi)
Butterfly / Blue pea flower (Clitoria ternatea) Candlenut
Chili (Capsicum annuum) Greater galangal (Alpinia galanga)
Dried shrimp paste Kaffir lime leaves
Indonesian black nut (Pengui medulae) Lemon grass (Cymbogopon citratus)
Polygonum leaves (Persicaría adorata, syn. Polygonum adoratum) Preserved Shrimps
Preserved soy beans / Preserved soy bean paste Pandan leaf (Pandanus amaryllitolius)
Turmeric (Curcuma domestica) Torch ginger bud (Nicoloia elatior)



The Chinese immigrants to Malaya in the early nineteenth century inter-married with the local Malays, Siamese and Indian, which produced a unique culture and later settled to Penang, Malacca and Singapore. These people are called the Baba-Nyonya or the Peranakan.

Peranakan means "Straits-born" in Malay language. Woman is known as the "Nyonya" and man as the "Baba". The traditional Baba-Nyonya speak a language that mix of Malay and Hokkien dialects which is known as "Baba Malay".Coconut

They have created the Nyonya cuisine, which is an interesting amalgamation of the Chinese and Malay dishes. Nyonya cuisine is an exotic art itself. Its recipes are a complicated affair. With its unique mixture and preparation, it is only natural that the best of both Chinese and Malay is manifested in the cooking. Nyonya cooking often required hours and hours of preparation and is about blending of spices like galangal, turmeric and ginger; aromatic leaves like pandan leaf, fragrant lime leaf and laksa leaf, together with other ingredients like candlenuts, shallots, shrimp paste and chilies. Lemon, tamarind or green mangoes are used to add a tangy taste to many dishes.chang-kul

Nyonya housewives would spend the better part of their lives in the kitchen. They were proud of their unique cuisine. Their combination of spicy and non-spicy dishes of curries, fries, soups and stews can be imaginative, tasty and extremely subtle. Nyonya cakes are rich in ingredients like sweet potato, glutinous rice, palm sugar, and coconut milk. One should always leave room for desserts because Nyonyas are noted for their gorgeous colorful cakes and sweets and sticky delicacies using cream of coconut milk.galangal

Nyonya food is native to Penang and Melaka state in Malaysia and also Singapore. The Penang Nyonya preference for sour food, hot chilies, fragrant herbs and pungent shrimp paste (belacan) which is inspired from Thai cooking style. Whereas, Indonesia influence in Melaka and Singapore Nyonya food, which is generally sweeter, richer in coconut milk and with some combination of Malay spices like coriander and cumin.

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