Must Try Malaysian Kuih
I love travelling, I love sampling different food. Malaysia is known for its multicultural society, therefore you will find a variety of food here. I also have a sweet tooth, so I love eating cakes and the cakes in Malaysia is normal sweet. Malaysian cakes are commonly referred to as kueh (or kuih). These kuehs can also come in the savoury version where spices are sometimes added and eaten as snacks. In fact, Malaysian eats sweet or savoury kueh for breakfast, as snacks, at teatime or just in between meals. Or even served to guests whenever they drop in. Below are some must try Malaysian Kueh.
Che Mek Molek
I first came across this little sweet cake when I was working in a small resort in Cherating. Che Mek Molek is normally found in the states of Terengganu and Kelantan. It is made from sweet potatoes and filled with sugar and deep-fried. So the sugar inside melts, therefore you have to eat it carefully so as the sugar doesn’t drip out. The name “molek” is said to mean its smooth oval shape. And to the locals in the East Coast “molek” means good.
The name when literally translated means to jump and stab. This sweet and cold dessert consists of two main parts, the top part is green in colour and the bottom part is white. It is eaten with Coconut palm syrup. The top part is a solution of rice flour which is stirred till it is cooked. Then a second mixture of coconut milk and rice flour, is heated until it thickens then poured onto first layer to become a two layer of delicious dessert.
Pulut Lepa (Pulut Panggang)
This is actually grilled glutinous rice. Glutinous rice with a grilled fish placed in the middle of the glutinous rice and lightly flavoured with coconut milk. It is then shaped like little sausages and wrapped in banana leaf. And grilled over the slow charcoal fire to perfection. The pulut panggang uses the same method of preparation but instead of fish filling they use Grated Coconut filling. As for me I prefer the grated coconut filling.
Kuih bingka ubi is a baked tapioca cake mixed in sweet pandan-flavored custard. The kuih is yellow in colour but has a dark brown crust at the top caused by the baking process.
The Bingka Ubi Kayu is really delicious baked puddings that are usually enjoyed during breakfasts or as snacks during tea time.
Kuih Koci is made of glutinous rice flour and is filled with a sweet coconut filling. It is then wrapped in banana leaf and steamed. It has a chewy bite. Kuih Koci is either white or green (the color green is obtained from pandan leaf ).
Kuih kosui has many names. Some call it Kuih Lompang or Kuih kaswi. It is a sweet sticky cake made from rice flour dough with gula melaka or pandan and topped with grated coconut. The ingredients are mixed into a batter and poured into small cups (traditionally, it is done with Chinese tea cups) and steamed. When served, the cup is removed and the rice cake is topped with freshly grated coconut flesh.
Putu Bambu or Putu Buluh was introduced to me when we were in Cameron Highlands. It’s a mixture of rice flour, fresh grated coconut and coconut palm sugar, all stuffed into the bamboo tube. Then bamboo tubes were then steamed on a container of hot boiling water that had little holes to allow steam to come out. Once cooked, the fillings pushed out from the bamboo tube and wrap with banana leaves. It’s soft, cottony texture and is sweet due to the gula melaka in the middle.
Jemput Pisang, Kueh Kodok, Cekodok Pisang or Banana Balls is normally made from overripe bananas. Most of the time it’s sold on skewers. Apart from banana fritters, this is one of my favourite kuih when I go back to Kuala Kangsar. Some people call it “kuih kodok” or “toad cake” I think it is named due to its uneven knobbly appearance. It’s a mixture of mashed banana with flour and sugar. And deep fried. The method is put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix.
It’s incredibly easy to prepare. Then you shape it in little golf ball size balls and deep-fried. This is a great recipe if you have a lot of overripe bananas.
Malaysian Nyonya Kuih
Onde – Onde
I have always known this kueh as onde-onde but later I foubd out that other states ibn Malaysia calls it “Buah Melaka”. I found out about this after my wife told me that she likes to eat “Buah Melaka”. It made me wonder how can you eat the fruits from the Melaka Tree. She actually meant “Onde-onde”. Onde – onde are small glutinous rice balls flavoured with pandan (screwpine leaf) juice and filled with “Gula Melaka” or palm sugar. Boiled and then rolled in with some freshly grated coconut. The most exciting part of eating onde onde is the explosive burst of melted gula melaka in the mouth! Put the whole cake in your mouth, cause I have seen the melted palm sugar dripping down or spurting out to the person in front. Its a real funny sight. They are really sweet and delicious.
Kuih Lapis in English means “Layered Cake” because of many different layers of colours. The traditional colours used were yellow, pink and white and it is really beautiful to look at. When I was a kid I used to love to eat this kuih by peeling off the individual layers. To make it you need to put in a layer of the batter in a tray and baked. When it is cooked, add another layer and bake. Continue adding layers until you reach your desired height. Its an extremely laborious and time-consuming process.
The best time to see a variety of Malaysian Kueh is during Ramadhan or Fasting Month. Visit the Ramadhan Bazzar and you will find lots of stalls selling a variety of Malaysian Kueh.
Traditional Malaysian Games
Before the dawn PSP and computer games Malaysian children like children elsewhere, were really inventive in the games we played. We used whatever we could get our hands on. We used old tins, our slippers, rubber bands and so on. We were really environmental friendly back then, we recycled trash as our toys. The games we played were mainly played outdoors and we got a good workout from it. Nowadays children are more interested in their Nintendo, PSP or even Android phones, they missed all the fun we used to have. You will have a chance to experience some of these games when you stay at one of the homestay packages around Malaysia. For more info of some games we played when we were small, CLICK HERE