7 Malaysian Breakfast Foods You Didn’t Know Were Healthy

thosai, healthy breakfast malaysia

Let’s face it; it’s extremely hard to diet in Malaysia. Most of our cuisine is packed with carbs and fats in them, which doesn’t trim down the love handles by one bit. However, it’s not that impossible to find healthier breakfast options without giving up our local flavours. Here are seven actually healthy breakfast foods in Malaysia that you can enjoy even on a diet.

Best Healthy Malaysian Breakfast Foods To Cut Back The Calories

1. Soft-Boiled Eggs and Roti Bakar

soft boiled eggs
Photo by Malaysian Chinese Kitchen


Eggs are a common staple breakfast food across the globe. They’re relatively easy to make and taste delicious! For that reason, you’re probably already familiar with the classic soft-boiled eggs and roti bakar (toast) combo that every kopitiam is sure to have.

The eggs are drizzled with soy sauce and white pepper to enhance its savoury flavour and served with warm toasted bread on the side. Well-loved by patrons of all ages, this simple meal is one of the more healthy options amongst most Malaysian breakfasts. It only contains around 250 to 300 calories per serving.

Tip: Skip the butter and kaya, and ask for plain toast instead. 

2. Rice Porridge/Congee 

porridge, healthy breakfast malaysia
Photo by YeXingCheng Official Store

There’s a good reason why both your parents and grandparents served you a warm bowl of rice porridge whenever you’ve caught a cold. This healthy Malaysian breakfast provides a myriad of benefits to your body, assuaging inflammation and boosting the immune system. It’s also less greasy and oily than other Chinese hawker store dishes, making it easy to digest.

Overall, they hold 180 calories per serving, especially when eaten plain with its simple condiments of spring onions, white pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil. Though, on days when you can afford to be a bit laxer with your dieting, elevate the taste with a sprinkling of fried shallots and minced meat.

3. Popiah

popiah, healthy breakfast malaysia
Photo by Sjschen from Wikimedia Commons

Swap out the sinful, calorie-laden fried spring rolls with popiah instead. Its main contents consist of shredded fresh lettuce, shrimp, jicama, and omelette. So, considering that it packs in your vegetables, carbohydrates, fruits, and protein, we’d say it’s a relatively balanced healthy breakfast snack in Malaysia. These ingredients are packed and rolled in a thin, crepe-textured rice paper to secure them in place. One plate holds less than 500 calories, and with each rolled sliced into bite-sized pieces, so you won’t overeat with this one. 

4. Chapati

Photo by Randhir from Wikimedia Commons

Mamak enthusiasts, hear us out: instead of opting for that addictive, fluffy roti canai, which is high in fat and starch, order chapati instead. This unleavened bread is, by far, one of the most healthy breakfast foods in Malaysia.

First off, chapati has the lowest calorie count of fewer than 100 calories per piece. Secondly, together with the dhal (lentil) curry, it’s a good source of soluble fibre. All of this aids in reducing your blood cholesterol levels and promotes a healthy digestive system. It’s also rich in vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B9) and other nutrients, like magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. 

5. Thosai

thosai, healthy breakfast malaysia
Photo by icookasia

Another healthy mamak breakfast food alternative in Malaysia is thosai. This crispy, crepe-like dish is made of fermented rice batter and lentils, which contributes to its familiar, tangy flavour. It carries a minimal amount of oil and is an adequate source of protein that will keep you going throughout the day. Thosai may taste light, but it’s a filling meal that will properly satiate your appetite since it’s served with dhal and coconut chutney. It’s low in fat and contains only 120 calories.

6. Idli

Photo by sarthak from Pexels

These springy and tender savoury cakes comprised of fermented black lentils and rice which are shaped and steamed into small, airy spheres. They’re usually eaten with coconut chutney, sambal or a curry sauce. Though, you certainly won’t be feeling too guilty about these condiments (or even adding a tad more), as one serving is approximately 85 calories. However, if you want to be vigilant about weight-watching, then dhal curry is still your best option. 

7. Yong Tau Foo

Yong Tau Foo, healthy breakfast malaysia
Photo by author

Yong Tau Foo offers a more balanced offering out of all the healthy Malaysian breakfast foods in this list. You can choose from an assortment of vegetables and meat to consume a proportionate amount of protein and fibre. It also includes tofu, and beancurd stuffed with fish paste, but to keep a mindful eye on the calories, skip the deep-fried dishes entirely and cut back on the sauce dressings

Stay Healthy With The Right Breakfast Foods In Malaysia 

healthy breakfast malaysia

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always challenging even for the most disciplined of people. That’s why moderation is key. Take the time to plan a scheduled diet plan that works best for you and stick to it. If you’re just starting out, be realistic with your goals. Begin by implementing small changes like swapping your favourite dish with their less fattening alternatives.

We hope this list has been a helpful guide in navigating through the healthy breakfast options in Malaysia and encourages you in your weight loss/healthy eating journey. Besides breakfast, check out our other healthy Malaysian food article for more local food choices that are easy on the waistline. 

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