Selemat Pagi (Good Morning) to you all! In keeping with the theme of my current travels, i have decided to bring to you, the top 10 Malaysian Desserts! The Asian culture is similar to the Greek culture - we are all about food, family and food.
For this blog post I hit up local Penang resident Feizel for his top 10 Malaysian Desserts!
This brightly coloured dessert is known by a few names - the most common being ABC (Ais Batu Campur or "Mixed Ice"). In a nutshell, it is shaved ice, red rose, sarsi (sarsaperilla) or brown sugar syrup, sprinkled with corn kernels, red beans and jelly bits and soaked in condensed or coconut milk.
Some street vendors have unusual dressings like basil seeds, durian, icecream, fruits, raisins or pine nuts but Feizel tells me he likes his ABC traditional style!
Apam Balik is a classic street food snack. It is a buttery pancake that comes in two varieties. The thick variety is Malay in origin and has a sticky cake-like consistency with a filling of crushed peanuts and drizzled with honey and sprinkled with juicy salted sweet corn. The thin version is like the pancakes that we are most familiar with, only smaller and is often filled with anything from banana to chocolate. Find this sweet snack at any night market.
Bahulu is a traditional Malay sponge cake usually baked in the form of a button or a goldfish. Eggs, flour and sugar result in this kid friendly dessert.
This golden, crispy-yet-soft cake makes a great companion to tea or coffee and can be found in most street markets.
This sweet, baked dessert is made with grated tapioca, coconut milk, palm sugar and pandan-flavoured (screw-pine leaves) custard. This sunshine coloured sweet has a gelatinous texture and a light brown crust of grated coconut.
If you are a fan of chewey desserts, Feizel recommends trying Dodol. Making Dodol is a group effort - it involves stirring its ingredients in a giant wok for nine hours non-stop (!), The end result is a non-stick, thick, deep golden brown delicacy that is cut into small pieces and usually wrapped in plastic for easier transportation.
You can get these individually wrapped from local markets and street stalls.
Kuih Ketayap is a local favourite for dinnertime. A soft, tube-shaped pandan crepe rolled up like a spring roll with sweet grated, dark brown coconut filling in its center.
The texture of the crepe varies from stall to stall. Some are super smooth due to the use of a non-stick pan when ‘grilling’ the crepe, while others are spotty – either way, this snack is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This rainbow coloured ,steamed nine-layer cake, is made from coconut milk, tapioca flour, coarse sugar, rice flour and pandan leaves. What makes it special is the way you eat it – you can choose to bite into all nine layers or peel off and enjoy each layer one by one. With a soft texture, this sweet can be found almost anywhere in the city and on some islands.
Ondeh ondeh is another favourite dinnertime snack of Feizel. What he thinks makes it special is its core of gooey, brown palm sugar which acts as a sweet contrast to the green rice casing. Also called coconut poppers, the stringy coconut shavings give each ball a crunchy bite.
Yep - banana fritters! Some street stalls have sweetened bananas coated in flour and fried, while others prefer to have them not-too-ripe, which create a slightly different experience taste-wise. Feizel loves it when the bananas are dipped in honey and then fried which makes each banana fritter especially sweet...
With a sweet pandan custard on the top and steamed glutinous rice on the bottom – this is one of the most popular Malay sweets. Sometimes the glutinous rice is dotted blue from the addition of butterfly pea flowers but otherwise this kuih looks the same at whichever street vendor you visit. It tastes milky and the texture is both rough and smooth, due to the contrasting layers.