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Happy Merdeka Day! or "Kaya Toast"

9/06/2009 02:56:00 PM


In 5 years of blogging (yes people, 5 years!), I have yet to do a Merdeka day post. (Merdeka Day is Malaysian independence day). I keep meaning too, but it keeps slipping my mind. By the time I realise it's 31st August it's too late to do anything special, and the Merdeka day post goes back on the To-Do list in my mind.

This year I was determined to do something, and even though it's almost a week late - here is my Merdeka Day post, about that great Malaysian tradition - kaya toast.

Kaya, in case you don't know, is a Malaysian coconut/egg jam, flavoured with pandan. It can be brown or green depending on how much colouring you add and how much you caramelise the mixture.

My mum used to make her own kaya, which was delightfully dark brown in colour, and slightly grainy, but it is quite a bit of work - and besides, what are you going to do with a massive vat of the stuff? These days we just buy jars of it from the Asian grocer. I used to love eating Mum's kaya spread between salty Ritz crackers (my amah's favourite!) when I was a kid. Absolutely compulsive stuff.

Anyhoo, to make proper kaya toast you need to start with white bread (don't even think about using artisan or grainy or sourdough). What you want is that super-fluffy, super-soft, super-Asian sweet white bread. The kind that would disintegrate if you got a drop of water on it.

I used the Japanese white loaf from Bread Top.
Toast it lightly...

... and spread with margarine (yes, margarine, NOT butter) and your kaya of choice. Serve with kopi o (black coffee) for the true Malaysian experience.

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4 comments

  1. I'm hooked. Blogged our first experience of Roti Bakar recently, it was heaven.

    Some of the Kaya toast we ate in Malaysian Kopitiams recently had slabs of butter that at first we thought were cheese slices! Love the selection of choices like coffee bread, cheese & other kaya combos too.

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  2. Reposted from Twitter:

    @th0i3 @sarahcooks Nice post. Now i have craving for kaya

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  3. Kaya sounds delicious! Can't personally deal with margarine, but was wondering what the significance of using it over butter was? Also, Happy Merdeka day :)

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  4. Hi Sticky - Mmm.... roti bakar! Haven't been back to Malaysia in like 5 years, can't wait to go back.

    Hey Laura - no strong significance, it's just that they use margarine in Malaysia, so I thought it would be appropriate. :D

    xox Sarah

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