In Malaysia, apam balik refers to a folded pancake containing peanuts. It’s a local favourite, and some variations have different fillings including cream corn and kaya (coconut pandan jam). This turnover pancake is also known by many names such as Jian Kuih, Chin Loong Pau, Martabak Manis, Terang Bulan, Apam Pulau Pinang or Kuih Haji (in certain areas) which are included in the types of griddlecake.
Apam Balik is a very popular traditional pancake in both Chinese and Malay cuisine. The snack can be found sold at roadside stalls as well as morning and night markets. The sticky and sweet pancake filled with peanuts and cream corn is popular among the locals. For some, it is a definite must to purchase from the food stalls almost every day.
What is Apam Balik?
This fluffy pancake has a thick and fluffy middle and is crispy on the edges. Apam balik is traditionally made on a brass pan and the thickness of the pancake is dependent on the thickness of the brass pan used. In most cases, apam balik can be served either thick or thin depending on the style that the shop has adapted.
Where did Apam Balik Come From?
In 1855, General Tso was a Chinese statesman that was appointed to lead an army from the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. General Tso invented the flatbread using locally sourced cane sugar with peanuts as the filing.
Usually, the army will be provided with flatbread filled with spring onions and chilli sauce for nourishment. He changed the way of serving the flatbread to avoid disrupting the lives of the locals.
The recipe for the pancake then spread across the whole of Southeast China. It was also brought over to the Southeast Asian region by Chinese Hokkien immigrants.
Where to find Apam Balik in Malaysia?
This fluffy pancake can easily be found as street food in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Within 15 minutes of cooking, the peanut pancake is commonly served while it is still hot and crunchy.
The Malaysian peanut pancake is usually served after it has been folded and that is how the dessert got its name. Additionally, peanut pancake is a famous dessert because the ingredients and texture are suitable for people of all ages.
These days, more flavour choices have been created to attract more customers. For instance, there are flavours such as oreo, chocolate, chocolate cheese, and cheese.
If you’re interested to taste the new recipe of apam balik, you can visit Apam Balik Linda in Kuala Lumpur. There are also other options like Apam Balik Legend which serves the pancake with condensed milk.
Last but not least, the short preparation time makes it a great hit among locals as the pancake is usually freshly made and is still hot when serving. Generally, the stall owners will prepare the ingredients beforehand to ensure that no customer waits too long.
Now, apam balik has two types which are thin or thick. the thinner pancake is usually sold at a cheaper price than the thick pancake. The difference in the thickness is achieved using different amounts of flour in the preparation.
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