Let’s get into it.
#1 Asam Pedas Johor
Those living in Southern Malaysia are no strangers to Asam Pedas, especially in Johor and Malacca. This fish or chicken-based dish is very popular not only in Malaysia, but also in Sumatra, Indonesia.
The specialty of Johor’s Asam Pedas lies in a pan of stir-fried chilli paste which is then mixed with tamarind water. Meanwhile, bunga kantan (torch ginger flower) and daun kesum (Vietnamese coriander) give this dish a unique taste. Want to know a secret from the Johor people themselves? Aside from white rice, Asam Pedas also works well with a type of pancake called lempeng kelapa!
#2 Laksa Johor
History has it that Sultan Abu Bakar, the first Malay ruler who visited Europe in 1866 loved pasta during his holiday to Italy so much so that he ordered the chefs in his palace kitchen to replace the rice noodles with spaghetti while preparing his laksa. Mamma mia! The unique Laksa Johor was thus born!
The Laksa Johor is made up of spaghetti with special fish sauce that’s quite thick, as well as side dishes such as cucumber slices, basil leaves, daun kesum (Vietnamese coriander), big onions, calamansi, bean sprouts and even sambal belacan (sambal shrimp paste). Some locals in the area around Johor also enjoy this meal with only long bean slices and sambal belacan.
Usually ikan parang (Wolf Herring fish) is used to make the laksa sauce because it is more delicious and sweeter. However, this ikan parang can also be replaced with mackerels or sardines.
#3 Mee Rebus
In the past, Mee Rebus were sold by mobile hawkers using a pole balanced on the shoulder to carry one basket containing kitchen utensils and cooking pot, while another was filled with ingredients for the dish.
Mee Rebus has a rather unique taste which is sweet, spicy, plus slightly sour when eaten with the crunchy flour chips. The dish is also garnished with boiled eggs, calamansi, meat slices, green chillies, fried tofu, bean sprouts, celery leaves and spring onions. The delicious and thick sauce is made from sweet potatoes, curry powder, salted soybeans, dried shrimp and also peanuts.
Believed to be from Indonesia as Mie Godhok Jawa, the special Mee Rebus recipe was developed by Basid Ali Karam Ali, father of Haji Wahid in 1918 in Johor Bahru. Today, Mee Rebus Haji Wajid is a traditional Johor food that you MUST enjoy if you go there!
There are two types of lontong, the dry one and the soupy one. Lontong is one of the most popular breakfast foods among Johoreans.
Lontong, originally from Indonesia, is steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves. It is cut into bite-sized pieces, then served with various toppings such as peanut sauce, chicken/meat rendang, coconut flakes, stir-fried sambal, and Javanese fried vegetables.
The soupy base is prepared from vegetables in coconut milk called Lodeh.
#5 Kacang Pool
Kacang Pool is a popular Johor fusion food which hails from the Middle East. Ful Mudammas (fava beans stew) is the staple food of the Egyptian people. This dish was introduced in Johor Bahru by Makpol Kairon, better known as Haji K Pool, and has been modified to suit the tastes of the community here.
The base of this Arabic-Malay fusion dish is fava beans stew and minced meat garnished with sliced big onions, green chillies, calamansi and egg that has a runny yolk. All of this is paired with a thick, soft buttery toast. Forget about your English breakfast set, here’s the brunch you should enjoy.
Now you know some of the BEST Johor foods, which food you can’t wait to try first?