10 Must-Try Nyonya Dishes in Melaka

Memories of my childhood are still vivid in mind. I can clearly recall those precious moments in the kitchen where my late grandpa was stirring up pots of thick curries - prepared meticulously in accordance to the Peranakan recipes he inherited from his grandparents, who were descendants of the Chinese immigrants living along the Straits of Malacca for decades.

He would tell me the history of our family, the reasons as to why our lifestyle and traditions are so heavily influenced by the British (more so than both Chinese and Malay combined), and how truly unique it is to be of a Peranakan descent. I truly hope there comes a day when I'd be able to learn more about my ancestry and to preserve its ways before it becomes history!

Read also: 13 Must-try Food in Teluk Intan

Table of Content

best nyonya food in melaka
10 Must-Try Nyonya Dishes in Melaka

10 Must-Try Nyonya Dishes in Melaka

Ayam Buah Keluak

If you're on the hunt for a classic Peranakan dish to excite your taste buds, look no further than the delectable black chicken, renowned for its rich and complex flavours. The secret to its striking appearance lies in the use of buah keluak nut, while its irresistibly savoury taste is owed to a masterful blend of shrimp, tamarind, turmeric, candle nuts, and galangal. It's no wonder this dish has earned a place in the hearts (and stomachs) of many Peranakan food enthusiasts.

ayam buah keluak melaka
Ayam Buah Keluak is a must-try Nyonya dish in Melaka

Babi Pong Teh

Literally meaning "meat tea", this pork and potato stew is prepared notably using salty fermented soy beans and gula melaka. The pork belly is braised for long hours to achieve a complex and layered flavor and is best eaten with a bowl of warm fragrant rice.

best nyonya food melaka
Babi Pong Teh | Image source: Nyonya & Baba

Itek Tim

This duck and salted vegetable soup is the perfect dish to be eaten on a cold, rainy day, served with a steaming bowl of rice. Simple yet comforting, it consists of salted vegetables, tomatoes, tamarind juice and asam gelugor, as well as meat from a whole duck which gives the broth a distinctive aroma.

best nyonya food in kl
Itek Tim is a popular Nyonya dish


Otak-otak is a delicious dish consisting of finely ground fish meat, expertly blended with a medley of fragrant spices like chili, turmeric, and curry powder. To achieve the perfect texture, soy sauce and tapioca flour are skilfully incorporated into the mix, resulting in a delectably thick and satisfying consistency. Whether you're a seasoned fan or a curious newcomer, this flavourful and satisfying dish is sure to leave you wanting more.

otak-otak melaka
Otak-otak is a must-try Nyonya dish in Melaka

Bak Chang

Also known as Zongzi, this specialty Peranakan cuisine uses an exotic combination of pork, sambal, coriander powder, aniseed powder, winter melon and ground roasted peanuts as filling. It is widely consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival each year.

Bak Chang melaka
Have you tried the Nyonya-style Bak Chang in Melaka?

Ngoh Hiang

Ngoh Hiang, a delightful delicacy, is a beloved fried meat roll that's bound to tantalise your taste buds. The dish is made with ground meat, seasoned with the aromatic five-spice powder, combined with shrimp or fish paste, shredded jicama, carrots, and other vegetables, and topped with salted egg yolks. The meat mixture is then rolled into a sausage-like shape using dried bean curd sheets before being steamed and deep-fried to perfection. This crispy, succulent, and savoury treat is a must-try for any food lover!

Ngoh Hiang Melaka
Ngoh Hiang in Melaka

Nyonya Laksa (Laksa Lemak)

Indulge in the exquisite flavours of Malaysia with the classic Nyonya Laksa, a culinary masterpiece that embodies the diverse cultural influences of the region. This delectable dish features a luscious coconut broth infused with a fiery red spice paste that comes alive with a splash of lime. The rich and savoury base is elevated by the addition of dried shrimp, which imparts a distinct depth and complexity, effortlessly balanced by the refreshing crunch of cucumber and the invigorating aroma of fresh herbs. With every spoonful, Nyonya Laksa is sure to transport you to a world of unparalleled taste and culinary bliss.

Nyonya Laksa melaka
Delicious Nyonya Laksa in Melaka

Pie Tee

Get ready for a flavour explosion with Pie Tee, a deliciously crispy pastry tart shell kuih. This Peranakan favourite is filled with a delectable mixture of spicy shredded Chinese turnips, thinly sliced vegetables, and succulent prawns, all encased in a thin and crispy pastry shell. Whether you're celebrating Chinese New Year or hosting a fancy tea party, Pie Tee is the perfect indulgence for any occasion.

Pie Tee melaka
Pie Tee is a must-try Nyonya dish in Melaka

Asam Fish Head

Experience the exotic fusion of Chinese and Indian flavours and transport your taste buds to a world of sweet and sour delights. Cooked to perfection with fragrant tamarind and creamy coconut milk, the rich and flavourful gravy is the perfect complement to a medley of fresh and vibrant vegetables, including juicy tomatoes, succulent eggplants, and tender okras. Prepare to be swept away on a culinary adventure like no other with this delectable fish curry that is sure to leave you craving more.

Assam fish head melaka
Assam fish head is one of the most demanded Nyonya dish in Melaka

Babi Asam

Go on a culinary adventure with this mouth-watering dish of pork stew cooked in a blend of tangy tamarind juice, shrimp paste, and flavourful taucheo. As you enjoy every bite, you'll be transported to the bustling streets of Malaysia, where this dish is a staple in many households. The pork is simmered to perfection in the tangy and fragrant broth, which is infused with the salty and earthy flavours of the taucheo, creating a delightful balance of tastes. The shrimp paste adds a depth of umami flavour that perfectly complements the tanginess of the tamarind juice, resulting in a dish that is both bold and satisfying.

best nyonya food melaka
Babi Asam | Image source: Feast to the world

Experience the full-bodied richness of Peranakan cuisine by pairing it with a piping hot bowl of fragrant white rice, no matter the time of day. Don't forget to share your travel and dining adventures with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or using the hashtag #RollingGrace.

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