Malay Food - Kuih Recipes

 sago pancake, tapioca cake, onion crips, prawn puffs ....


Kuih are bite-sized snack or dessert foods found in the Malay Archipelago. These kuih were created in the deep Malay villages by resourceful grandmothers who created recipes made from whatever ingredients that were available then like tapioca flour, palm sugar, coconut milk, glutinous rice, green beans, banana leaves, pandan leaves etc. And of course they had plain flour and sugar as well.

Kuih is a fairly broad term which may include items that would be called cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries in English and are usually made from rice or glutinous rice.

They did not have ovens back then, so these kuihs were mostly steamed or grilled and thus very different in texture, flavor and appearance from Western cakes or puff pastries.

The end results are moist, rich, chewy desserts and for those that have palm sugar in them, would guarantee the equivalent of chocolate melt.

Today Malay kuih recipes have expanded into many versions but essentially using the base ingredients like coconut milk, white or brown sugar, eggs, flours, just like western desserts must have their butter, sugar, eggs and cake flour.

But that is not all. Variety is indeed the spice of life, no pun intended - these kuih also come in savory version where spices are sometimes added and eaten as snacks or in between meals. In fact, Asians eat sweet or savor desserts for breakfast, as snacks, at teatime or just in between meals.

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