Penang Street Food
I was put up in one of the best hotels in Penang during my FAM trip there, but my heart kept beating for Penang street food! Earlier I had read: Lonely Planet picks Penang as top spot for foodies in 2014 and hoped to taste it some day. So when I was invited to do media coverage (as a blogger) of Penang World Music Festival, I used the opportunity to hog some of the best street foods in Penang.
Night Markets of Penang
Night markets are plenty, scattered all over George Town. The energy is incredible here; you will miss that in regular restaurants and posh hotels. Sizzling sounds, the hawkers explaining dishes, the chatter of customers are something to experience and amidst all these I didn’t get any stink of fish! That is truly amazing! Penang markets are several 100 square meters in area, you can graze at your will and I will specifically mention there is no dearth of choices for vegetarians too.
For beginners try ‘satay’. Such wide range of food in the bamboo skewers, equally wide range of marinades and sauces, choosing can be tough. Marinating time can range anywhere from 10mins to 4 hrs. The hawkers keep them ready. You need to choose the sauce. For sauces you have red curry paste, or lime juice and shrimp paste, or sweet coconut cream and lemongrass, oh there are more! And if you are not a creature of habit you will definitely try something more than chicken and something more than peanut butter sauce.
If you are done with satays try their varieties of sizzling noodles! Their Char Kuey Teow is something to die for! It is made of fried flat noodles, succulent shrimp all burnt to right degree on their woks. Soups with fish balls, meat balls with smooth silky noodles are must have. The curry broths may taste hot and fiery for first timers, but with time I am sure you will ask the hawker to add some more spice!
Don’t forget the humble Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s national food. It is a rice based dish; the rice is steamed in coconut milk and pandan leaves which gives such a rich mouth watering aroma to it.
Penang street food – Sweet Dishes
Try their sweet dishes; you will be one happy soul after that! The job of choosing one isn’t easy let me warn you about that. Their shaved ice bowls of sweet things are so different from other varieties of desserts I have had before, very unique! Ais Kacang – keep scooping into the bowl heaped with shaved ice and you will get corns, red beans, peanuts and they taste so good… omg I want to have some right now! Cendol is yet another variety with lesser ingredients but you can add coconut milk and palm sugar to your taste.
Have you had any of these Penang Street Food? Do you have any other dish to suggest? Let me know in your comments.