Malaysian Monday 46: Snackety-snack

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Monday to all.

This post is a little bit late because we spent the weekend with some wonderful friends who'd visited from out of town, and it's taken me a little while to get out of relaxed mode.

Which will explain why today's offering is going to be quite short and sweet. What you will find is a compilation of all the "snacky" things we'd encountered on our visit to Malaysia recently. Enjoy :)

I just had to start with this because of the name! What it is, is actually "bubble tea" - a drink or tea with tapioca "pearls" added to it. I think the word blog is an acronym for something but I can't recall what exactly. As far as tastes go, my lychee flavoured drink was not too bad, a bit fake, but passable. I didn't like the waste factor though. The drink is made up for you, then a special machine dispenses and sticks on the foil lid. I would have been happy with just having it straight.

A "kacang putih" (literally chick-pea) stand. This used to be a common feature outside cinemas, and you'd pay a few cents (in my day it started at about 20 Malaysian cents) to purchase a paper cone filled with your preferred snack. In this picture is a variety of nuts, legumes and chips. The vendor made these cones from paper ripped out of glossy magazines - yes to recycling! Sadly, it's hard to find these stands now. This one was set up outside the National Museum.

A favourite childhood sweet. They are called Lobster sweets although I can assure you that it contains no shellfish at all (I think!). The lolly is made up of a crisp sweet peanut centre, surrounded by a thin, crisp sugar shell, finally wrapped in edible rice paper. It tastes slightly salty and sweet, and is very addictive!

Malaysians love to feed people. When one of the neighbours heard that we were visiting from overseas, she popped by to deliver these egg tarts and baked pau (baked pork buns). Check out the flaky layers on the tart pastry. 

More flaky layers. I don't know the proper name for this biscuit but it is one of my absolute favourites! In fact it was probably the first snack I ate when we got to my parent's home. We call it puff-biscuit in my house, and the Chinese name is "bay tay soh" (I really don't know how to write that properly, nor do I know what it means). The biscuit is made up of layers, and layers of super flaky pastry, and the centre is slightly hollow and filled with a gooey, treacle like filling that is flavoured with sesame. Oh yum! (If anyone knows how to make this from scratch, please, please share)

 Pick a snack, any snack... these gem biscuits, another childhood favourite. It's a little biscuit with a royal icing decoration, and no guesses which part always gets eaten first.

Ice-cream - Malaysian style. This is know as "aiskrim potong", or  "cut ice-cream". I'm not sure how it was made originally, but I think the ice-cream ended up in a long "roll" which was then cut, and individually  wrapped in paper. A stick would be set into one end. These boxed confections are the modern version. Not as tasty as the original, in my opinion but passes muster when feeling nostalgic.

And lest you think we survived purely on junk, here's some fruit. This fruit is called "jambu air" (sometimes known as water apple). The texture is crisp yet juicy, almost like a cross between an apple and a watermelon. This variety is very sweet, but some smaller ones are actually quite bland or slightly acidic.

And here is a selection of rambutan (rambut=hairy), mangosteen and duku-langsat. The duku langsat would probably be unfamiliar to those outside of SE Asia, it is a tangy, juicy fruit, and the skin exudes a bitter white sap. A bit of an aquired taste.

Hope you enjoyed this very brief view into some Malaysian snacks.

And don't forget, if you'd like to join in the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday blog event, please send all entries to (sureshchong[at]yahoo[dot]com) at 3 Hungry Tummiesthis month.  

Have a great start to the week :)


MaryMoh said...

These are all so familiar to me....makes me drool. You made me miss home badly again...haha :D

Juliana said...

Wow, I love all the little treats...and the water apple sure brings me so many memories...

3 hungry tummies said...

Oh I remember those gem biscuits so well. I used to eat off the icing first lol I found some ice potong today..yam and durian :)

Trissa said...

So many lovely treats... I especially love the pork buns with flaky pastry.

Heavenly Housewife said...

I am very intrigued by all these sweets. I would most want to try the lobster sweets :).
Have a wonderful day daaaahling.
*kisses* HH

shaz said...

MaryMoh - oh, never mind, just look forward to the next trip yes?

Juliana - I remember as a kid trying to pick them off low hanging branches if I spied them anywhere ..he he he

3 hungry tummies- ah, where did you find it? In Melbourne?

Trissa - hmmm, yes, they were good.

Heavenly Housewife - thank you darling!

sensiblecooking said...

My friends introduced me to Malaysian cuisine. Since the first day I fell in love with it though I don't know the name of the dishes. I wish I could get some egg custard and pork puff right now. Yummy.

Hungry Dog said...

Very interesting post--I always love reading about snacks from exotic places! However, it is probably the fruit that intrigued me most. That water apple...looks like somehting I had in Hawaii once. Wonder if it was the same thing? Please post more about mangosteens--I've never had one but am totally obsessed with the idea of them!

grace said...

you always depict the most unique and delicious-looking food! every visit is an education. :)

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I nearly have forgotten about some of these sweet snacks! Thanks for bringing back memories.

shaz said...

sensible cooking- glad you enjoyed Malaysian food.

Hungry Dog - mangosteens are so tatsy, but nothing like a mango as the name implies. I posted about it here :

grace - glad you enjoy it :)

Ellie - very nostalgic visit for me :)

Kirbie said...

Wow, the snacks look so good and interesting. I haven't had them before. I love the water apple fruit. So yummy! I always look for it when I visit Taiwan. I love rambutan and mangosteens too.