Calories in common Malaysian food

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

Here is a summary of calories in Malaysian common Malaysia food- in case you are wondering.

The calorie information is taken from the article Malaysian Calories- Counting Calories in Malaysian food published in The Sunday Star (one of my favourite reads) dated 27 Feb 11 by Dr Y.L.M:

Typical breakfast:

  • Nasi lemak (644 calories- equivalent of 3 bowls of plain white rice) with fried chicken (290 calories) , anchovies and cucumber
  • Teh tarik (83 calories- if you take it sweet, even more calories)
  • Total: 1017 calories- that’s for breakfast and for a 60kg person- your total calorie per day should be only about 1800 calories. Already breakfast is 1017….the rest of the day…how?


  • One roti canai with dhal- 360 cal- most of the time, you’ll probably end up having 2.
  • One roti telur with dhal- 414 cal
  • One plate of wantan mee- 409 calories
  • One plate of mee goreng mamak- 660 calories
  • One bowl of mee soup- 381 calories

Typical lunch of mixed rice (nasi campur) with 3 dish helpings- vegetable, egg, chicken is around 620 calories.

Better alternative suggested by Dr Y.L.M for breakfast:

  • 2 plain half boiled eggs to go with plain bread (with no butter or kaya)- 227 calories


That’s why, sometimes we wonder why it gets so easy to put on weight. That harmless looking small packet of nasi lemak or mee goreng can really add on to inches around the abdomen, hips and thighs. Years ago, I remember a period of being addicted to nasi lemak for breakfast and of course I always have my daily packed coffee/tea (with lots of sugar and condensed milk) to go with it- within weeks, I put on lots of weight- even though that time I was going to the gym regularly.

A friend of mine had given birth to 3 children and still keep a great shape. During pregnancy, she still ate ice cream or food that she craved (in moderation). After giving birth, she went through a good confinement. Then, she got very disciplined in terms of her food intake-

  • light and nutritious breakfast- oats and high fibre bread
  • lunch: bee hoon soup noodles (she said bee hoon is most filling and have the least calories) with lots of vegetables added and yong tau fu
  • dinner: no rice- just soup and vegetables
  • Exercise: yoga few times a week- she was taking yoga before, during and after pregnancy. Only at the advance stages of her pregnancy she stopped for a short while

Within 3 months, she was back her original slim shape. If you see her, you would never believe that she had 3 children.

For most of us, we can avoid undue weight gain by cutting down on food like peanut butter, mayo, carbonated drinks, nasi lemak and oily fried food (can take in moderation but once you take continuously even for 2 weeks- you can immediately see weight gain). Also, don’t underestimate the effect that stress has on the ease of gaining and retaining weight and difficulty in losing weight.

Mixed rice during lunch is also the best kind of food because it is filling- but avoid the temptation of topping it up with thick curries, fried chicken and thick sweet starchy sauces. Also, maintain the portion of the rice to as little as you can. Dinner- minimize the intake to as little as you can. Eating late dinners can easily deposit weight around the hips, thighs and lower tummy especially for women.


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