Visiting a county is not complete until you bought yourself some souvenirs as a memory. This does not apply just for just fridge magnets and key chains ya know. It would be great if we can bring something that is made in that country and referred to by locals as part of their ‘heritage’. In the case of Malaysia, lots of people are confused about what is a true ‘Malaysian souvenirs’?. Well, you are lucky, below is top 6 made in Malaysia rare ‘souvenirs’ to bring back home!
Mustajab Lotion or Losyen Mustajab
What, a lotion? Yup, you heard it right, Mustajab Lotion. Came in various ‘flavors’, Mustajab is a series of lotion that is made by the local Malay folks for medicinal purposes. The company that owned this brand Dunia Herbs are famous for traditional Malay herbs products. This lotion is known to reduce belly fat and cellulite. Mustajab itself means Effective in English. The heat from this lotion helps with menstruation pain, muscle, and joint pain and also heal insect bites, magic huh?. The main ingredients of this lotion are the extract of herbs such as ginger and lime. The Health Ministries of Malaysia also approve it. So where to find this fantastic Malaysian lotion? Well, you can get it at any Malay cosmetics and herbs stores especially around Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) Road and Masjid India Road in Kuala Lumpur!
Dried Anchovies or Ikan Bilis
Huh seriously?. For those who come to Southeast Asia from Europe, America or African continents, this rare food is hard to find in your country. Famous mainly in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, it is one of the ingredients in the most famous Malaysian dish, Nasi Lemak. It will be not wise to bring nasi lemak out of Malaysia but you can always bring the dried anchovies or ikan bilis for the sambal!. This small fish is mainly caught along the coastline here. The fish then dried under the flaming hot sun and sold. The best way to eat it is by frying it till crispy!. There are various grades with the most expensive is known as ‘blue eyed bilis’. Most Malaysian prefer to buy the headless bilis as sometimes it can look a bit creepy with the head bigger than the body. The best way to buy it is in packets at any Supermarket. Do wrap it in papers to avoid your whole luggage smells like fish!.
Axe Brand Medicinal Oil or Minyak Cap Kapak
No, we are not talking about the actual Axe or Kapak in Malay. The Cap Kapak oil is trusted for generations Chinese medicinal ointment that has been used for various minor health issues such as a headache, muscle paint, insect bites and nausea by rubbing a few drops of it on the affected areas. It is almost for sure that you will find this ointment in any Malaysian house. That is how popular it is, maybe popular enough to become a ‘necessities?’, hah!. Even the motto is ‘A handy medicine for the home’. The ointment which contained mostly Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol Crystal, and Essential Oils comes in various size from as small as your thumb. It can be found in any medicinal shop, pharmacies, and convenient stores. The strong smell will make your nose feels fresh but do not let it touch your eyes!. Oh yes and it also approved by Malaysian Health Ministries, so no worries ya!.
Dried Fish Crackers or Keropok Ikan Parang
Another fish, yep. This fish cracker, specifically using saltwater fish named Parang and Tamban in Malay or a species of Herring and Sardine. It is a common fish crackers in Malaysia made mostly in the east coast peninsular. If you ordered a fried rice here, most of the times it is served as a side dish. Made solely of Malaysian fish, it is processed with flour and salt and then turned into small long dried pieces. It is eaten after a deep fried for few seconds until it expanded, do not over fry it or it will become hard and bitter. Most of the Keropok Ikan Parang producers are a small family-owned industry that operates mainly in the east coast peninsular. If you happen to be in islands such as Perhentian, Tioman or Redang you will for sure find it being sold in packets at the local grocery stores. It is also can be found in some supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur. The keropok comes in a various brand such as Cap Dua and Cap Ikan Parang Tiga Ekor. As weird as it sounds, it tastes amazingly delicious!.
Babas Curry Powder or Rempah Kari Babas
Curry must be best if it is from India, right? Nope, you are wrong, for Malaysian their best curry powders are made here locally by Malaysian of Indian origin. The most famous and fabulous brand is Babas. This brand has existed for generations and has been used by Malaysian of all races in their dishes. This brand is so widely used here that they even have their own show on local TV, yup Malaysian and food are inseparable. The curry powders come in different type for different dishes such as for meat, fish, chicken and even crab curry! It comes in small, medium and big packets. You can even find the recipes on how to cook it at the back of the packets or in their websites. Babas curry powder can be found at any supermarket and grocery stores across this tropical country!
Gamat or sea cucumber (yep it is a living thing) is processed and traditionally used as an Oil for massaging muscle and skin. It is mostly used to relieve body tiredness, muscle pain, burn, injuries and insect bites. Manufactured vastly in the northernmost island in the Peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi, it is one of the most famous oil that you can find in almost all Malay houses. It is usually mixed with herbs like coconut oil and produce a magical result! The best-known brands are Nusantara. So get yourself one of these ancient Malay ointments before boarding your plane!