Is Pork Available In Malaysia? A Simple Guide

Are you planning a trip to Malaysia and wondering if you’ll be able to find pork dishes?

With Malaysia’s official religion being Islam, it’s a common question for travelers. But fear not, pork is widely available in Malaysia, despite being forbidden for Muslims.

From markets to restaurants to supermarkets, you’ll find plenty of options for pork-based products. However, with a diverse range of cuisine available, you may find yourself enjoying the non-pork dishes just as much.

In this article, we’ll explore the availability of pork in Malaysia and the country’s unique food culture. So, let’s dive in and discover the delicious world of Malaysian cuisine!

Is Pork Available In Malaysia?

Yes, pork is available in Malaysia. Despite being a Muslim country, pork dishes are widely available in markets, restaurants, and supermarkets. Muslims do not consume pork due to religious restrictions, but non-Muslims and expatriates can enjoy pork-based products without any issues.

In fact, Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, and you’ll find a diverse range of cuisine available throughout the country. From roadside stalls to fine-dining venues, there are endless options for foodies to explore.

However, it’s important to note that not all restaurants in Malaysia are halal-certified. You’ll easily find a wide variety of restaurants serving pork in Malaysia, but they will have clear “non-halal” signs at the entrance. The same goes for those serving alcohol, which is also forbidden for Muslims.

If you’re wondering where to eat in Malaysia, the capital city Kuala Lumpur offers endless places to try out the best dishes in Malaysia. Penang is also a paradise for hawker food and is considered the place to be if you’re a foodie.

It’s worth noting that finding pork in Malaysia can be difficult in areas like Kuala Terengganu, which is a Malay (Muslim) majority state. However, if you’re sticking to big cities and determined to eat pork dishes, finding restaurants serving pork should not be an issue.

Pork In Malaysian Food Culture

Pork has a significant presence in Malaysian food culture, especially among non-Muslim communities. The consumption of pork is not restricted in Malaysia, and it is widely available in wet markets, supermarkets, and specialty stores.

The Chinese community in Malaysia consumes pork regularly and has incorporated it into their traditional dishes. One such dish is Babi Pongteh, a pork stew that combines pork with quintessentially Nyonyan ingredients like dried shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and fermented soybean paste. The dish has a unique umami flavor and is often served with rice or noodles.

Pork is also a common ingredient in Malaysian Indian cuisine. Dishes like pork vindaloo and pork curry are popular among the Indian community in Malaysia.

It’s worth noting that while pork is not restricted in Malaysia, it’s important to respect the religious beliefs of the majority Muslim population. Restaurants serving pork will have clear “non-halal” signs at the entrance, and it’s important to be mindful of this when dining out.

Where To Find Pork In Malaysia

If you’re looking for pork in Malaysia, there are several places where you can find it. Supermarkets often have a non-halal section for pork meat and pork-based products, as well as for alcohol. You can also find pork dishes in restaurants that are not halal-certified, which will have clear “non-halal” signs at the entrance.

Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, offers a wide variety of restaurants serving pork dishes. From roadside stalls opened 24/7 to well-established restaurants in shopping malls, hipster cafes, and fine-dining venues with amazing views, there’s something for every taste and budget.

If you’re a foodie looking for hawker food, Penang is the place to be. This island is famous for its delicious street food and has a thriving food scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. You’ll find plenty of pork-based dishes here, including char siu (barbecued pork), bak kut teh (pork bone soup), and roasted pork belly.

It’s important to note that finding pork in Malaysia can be difficult in areas where Muslims make up the majority of the population, such as Kuala Terengganu. However, if you’re sticking to big cities like Kuala Lumpur or Penang, finding restaurants serving pork should not be an issue.

In addition, if you’re concerned about the quality of the pork you’re consuming, look for products from Xing Ji Meats partner who collaborates with Malaysia’s largest livestock farm. This farm operates under a closed house system that ensures every procedure, from raising livestock to processing and distribution, is carried out under strict standards.

Popular Pork Dishes In Malaysia

If you’re a pork lover, Malaysia is definitely a place to visit. Despite being a Muslim country, pork dishes are widely available, especially in non-halal restaurants. Here are some popular pork dishes that you must try when in Malaysia:

1. Babi Pongteh – This rich pork stew is a traditional Nyonyan/Peranakan dish from Chinese immigrants to the Malay archipelago. It’s made with pork belly, fermented soybean paste, garlic, shallots, and mushrooms. The result is a flavorful and tender pork dish that’s perfect with steamed rice.

2. Roasted Pork – Also known as siew yoke, this dish is a crispy and savory delight. The pork belly is marinated with five spice powder and salt before being roasted until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender.

3. Pork Noodles – This is a significant Chinese pork dish in Malaysia, and you can find it in many noodle houses around the country. The noodles are served with either minced pork, pork meatballs, or pork organs, and topped with lard oil for extra flavor.

4. Peking Pork Chops – This dish features tender and juicy pork chops coated in a sweet and smoky sauce. It’s a perfect balance of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

5. Meat and Potato Stew – This hearty stew is made with pork or chicken, potatoes, onions, garlic, and taucheo (preserved soybean paste). The result is a deliciously savory stew that’s perfect for cold days.

Halal Vs. Non-Halal Pork In Malaysia

When it comes to pork in Malaysia, it’s important to understand the difference between halal and non-halal pork. Halal refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law, while non-halal refers to food that is not permissible.

For Muslims in Malaysia, consuming non-halal pork is strictly prohibited. In fact, 60% of the population in Malaysia is Muslim, and they are prohibited from eating any meat that is not halal. This includes not only pork but also any meat that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rites or has been killed in the name of anyone other than Allah.

On the other hand, non-Muslims and expatriates living in Malaysia are free to consume non-halal pork products without any issues. Pork dishes are widely available in markets, restaurants, and supermarkets throughout the country.

However, it’s important to note that halal certification is taken seriously in Malaysia, especially when it comes to meat products. To ensure that a food product is halal, there needs to be a thorough process of verifying its halal status throughout the entire supply chain. This includes starting from the raw materials used and ensuring that no non-halal ingredients are used in the production process.

Other Malaysian Cuisine To Try

Apart from pork dishes, Malaysia offers a plethora of other cuisine for food enthusiasts to try. One such dish is ayam percik, which is a popular barbecued chicken dish slathered in spicy chili, garlic, ginger sauce mixed with coconut milk. This dish can be found in most Malaysian stalls and packs more flavor than anything Colonel Sanders can muster.

Another must-try dish is Banana Leaf Rice, a South Indian cuisine that originated in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state. This dish consists of white rice served on a banana leaf with an assortment of vegetables, curried meat or fish, pickles, and papadum. It’s traditionally eaten with the hand, making it a messy but delicious meal.

For those who love fried rice dishes, Nasi Goreng Kampung is a must-try. This fried rice variant originated in Malaysia but has spread to Indonesia and Singapore’s food culture. The rice is fried with assorted vegetables, anchovies, and eggs to blend it all together. It’s usually served hot and complete with cucumber slices and dried anchovies on top.

Malaysia’s food culture is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other culinary traditions that have collided over the years. With so many options available, it’s impossible to sum up Malaysian cuisine neatly. However, a tour through 25 dishes you should know can give you an idea of what to expect. From laksa to rendang and other dishes like satay and char kuey teow, there’s something for everyone to try in Malaysia.