This list is missing a number of better-known Malaysian dishes, because it's limited to the foods I actually eat and enjoy. There are some Malaysian favorites, such as durian or laksa or bak kut teh, which I've never really gotten the hang of.
1. Roti Canai - flatbread, dipped in dhal or curry. There are many variations of fillings in addition to plain old roti canai--my absolute favorite is roti telur bawang--an egg and onion filling. Heavenly!
2. Starfruit Juice - Fresh squeezed fruit juices are a common find at Malaysian night markets. If you want to get away from the predictably-delicious apple, orange, and pineapple juices, try starfruit. I really enjoy it, I think it has a slight 'green banana' sort of flavor to it.
3. Pancakes - There are a variety of Malaysian pancakes--apom is the usual word that designates 'pancake' on a street stall sign. Some are thick and soft and gooey, others are thin and crispy. Typically the pancakes are cooked on just one side and folded in half around the filling, which might consist of sugar and peanut crumbles, cooked egg, sweet corn, banana, etc.
4. Murtabak - pan-fried bread stuffed with fillings, most commonly a minced chicken, vegetable, and egg mixture. There are beef and vegetarian versions as well. They can be a little hit or miss--I've had many that happened to have fragments of bone mixed in with the chicken which makes for a semi-dangerous eating experience. But they are very yummy!
5. Char Koay Teow - Stir-fried Koay Teow noodles, usually with prawns and plenty of bean sprouts. Best eaten in Penang. Kuala Lumpur Char Koay Teow usually disappoints.
6. Dragonfruit Juice - The main perk of this juice is its intense hot pink flavor. It's simply fun to drink ultra-pink juice. The flavor is very light.
7. Mangosteen - A purple fruit with a very thick skin. The inside meat is whitish and the flavor vaguely reminds me of the flavor of rhubarb, but has a very soft and slimy texture.
8. Roti Tissue - Usually served as a tall, crispy cone, with sugary syrup dripping down the sides.
9. Chicken/Mutton/Fish Curry - Usually eaten with rice or bread. I'll be honest, I'm not much of a meat fan, but there's usually plenty of potatoes in these curries and I gobble those up! My friends know when Rachel's coming over, better add extra potatoes to the curry.
10. Veggie Dishes - Too many to list them all specifically, but if typical midwest veggie dishes like boiled green beans and marshmallow-topped carrots don't excite you, you have to try this. Sayur-sayuran literally means "vegetables," but will usually get you a dish of cabbage stir-fried with turmeric and mustard seeds. Also try kacang panjang (long green beans), and garlic baby bok choy, or other green leafy veggie dishes.
11. Teh Ais - Literally "Iced Tea", this is actually iced teh tarik, which is tea mixed with a copious amount of condensed milk through the "pulling" process, which involves the mixture being poured from one cup into another cup and stretched. It's hard to describe, but look up a teh tarik video on youtube and you'll understand this magic.
12. Curry Puffs - Little pastry pies, filled with either chicken curry or a potato curry--spicy and utterly heavenly.
13. Kebab Chicken - Everybody knows about tandoori chicken, but for those who prefer boneless chicken, kebab is a great alternative that's just as flavorful. Usually sold at the same shops that sell naan and tandoori, you can buy kebabs of chicken from slightly different marinades. My favorites are Chicken Tikka (red) and Malai Kebab (white).
14. Puri - A deep-fried bread that bubbles up into a sort of puff-ball, and then deflates as it cools. Usually eaten with a potato curry. One of my favorite shops sells puri 'sandwiches' of sorts--two pieces of puri wrapped around a generous dollop of potato curry, wrapped up in brown paper. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
15. Rambutan - These should be eaten simply for the sake of their ultra-cool looks. I mean, this "hairy" fruit looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. They have a pretty mild, sweet flavor.
Have you been to Malaysia? What food on this list would you like to try the most? Roti canai is what I crave most often when I'm away.