Apam balik

Snacking on delicious apam balik in Kuching

Apam balik

Apam balik, a Malaysian pancake that is topped with peanuts and grated cheese that is then folded in half. It’s a delicious and filling snack!

I’m always on the lookout for interesting local food and while roaming around the Medan Niaga Satok on the last day of my stay in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, something just caught my attention. What seems to be a folded pancake at one stall piqued my curiosity. It looked like the martabak that I’ve tried in an Indonesian cafe in Manila. Can this be the real martabak?

Apam balik translates to turnover pancake from Bahasa Malaysia and I couldn’t help but try this. The man at the stall was busy preparing one. With his batter, he pours it into an oiled griddle and spreads the mixture evenly. Just before it starts to set, he puts in chopped peanuts and sugar. Within a minute, he takes it out of the fire, spreads butter (or maragine?), grates cheese on top and folds it.

The folded pancake is hot and good. SOft at some parts, a little crispy at the edges. The sweetness is just okay and the chopped nuts and grated cheese provides a contrasting texture. What I like about it? The sweetness of the pancake complemented with the saltiness of the cheese. It’s a good and filling snack.

Apam balik is also available in different toppings. Other than the chopped nuts, there’s also corn, cheese only and milo powder. It costs from RM1.20 to RM3.0.

Apam balik

Batter poured and distributed around the griddle

Apam balik

Apam balik being cooked in a griddle topped with peanuts

apam-balik-3

It was this pile that got me curious!

Apam balik

Piles of apam balik ready for sale

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    November 9, 2014 @ 9:21

    Snacking on delicious apam balik in Kuching: Apam balik, a Malaysian pancake that is topped with peanuts and g… http://t.co/80y5kpxQRG

  2. Gabriel
    October 8, 2015 @ 18:01

    I love apam balik! It’s one of my all-time faves, seriously! But grnoiwg up, I’ve been calling this local snack “jin loong bao” (煎弄包) in Cantonese. What drives me up the wall is that it has so many names, “dai gow min” lar … Aiyo … Headache …I love mine with lotsa corn, too, more like the Malay version. Both crispy and thick ones are good!

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