I suddenly was craving apam balik a few days back, so I googled and found myself on Lily’s blog. Her blog is a veritable trove of Malaysian/Singaporean dishes, and she even had three variations of apam balik! Min Jiang Kuih is typically thicker and you can tell from the name that it’s the Chinese version – this is the version that is selling in Jollibean and Mr. Bean – the “peanut pancake” version. Of course, there’s all sorts of variants to the name – Ban Jian Kuih and whatnot, but my parents called it Min Jiang Kuih, so it’s Min Jiang Kuih for me too! Apam balik means the same thing – apam = pancake and balik = turnover or folded, so it’s just Malay for folded pancake! I tend to think that there’s the thick version of apam balik with peanuts, sugar and creamy corn (YUMMEH) and the thin crispy version, which is oh so delicious as well. This tends to be sold by Malay uncles on those motorbikes in Malaysia, but can also be found in pasar malams. I lovex100000 apam balik, especially those hybrid types which are not too thick, and yet crispy on the outside, and they’ve this “sweet spot”, typically in the centre, with the highest concentration of peanuts and butter. Anyone know what I’m talking about? :)
PS: I have this really amusing story about apam balik. I’ve been eating it for ages, since I was a little kid, and I always thought it was called “Abang balik” which means big brother come back in Malay. And NO ONE corrected me when I ordered apam balik, until a few years ago, when this toothy old (seriously very very old) uncle told me, abang balik – salah lah dik, abang tak mahu balik! Basically, he was joking with me, saying that it was the wrong name, and big brother doesn’t want to go back. LOL. 
Apam Balik
Ingredients:
Adapted from Lily’s recipe here
For the pancake: 
85 g   all-purpose flour
50 g   rice flour
15 g   cornstarch
1 tsp   double action baking powder

¼ tsp  baking soda
¼ tsp  salt

1        egg, about 55g
60 g   castor sugar
1 tsp  vanilla essence
90 ml water
10 ml milk
For the filling:
50 g melted butter
30 g granulated sugar (castor sugar is fine too)
60 g roasted peanuts, chopped
Method:
  1. Prepare the filling by melting the butter, mixing it together with sugar and peanuts. 
  2. Add the sugar into the egg and mix until sugar dissolves. Add in the vanilla essence and mix well.
  3. Sieve all the dry ingredients together (all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt). 
  4. Mix together the water and milk and add it into the egg mixture. 
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure to stir well to avoid clumping. Strain the mixture if you cannot get rid of the lumps. 
  6. Set the ingredients aside in the fridge for at least 3 hours for it to thicken. I left it overnight in the fridge. 
  7. Heat a crepe pan or small nonstick pan – and add a little bit of oil/butter to coat the pan. Using a ladle or tablespoon (for small pancakes), quickly spread the batter onto the pan, making sure the batter is uniformly thick. 
  8. Cook until you see the edges of the pancake starting to brown. At this point, add in the filling on one half of the batter. This makes sure that the filling will adhere to the pancake better when it’s ready to be folded. 
  9. Once the bottom is golden brown, using a heatproof spatula to lift up the half of the pancake without the filling and fold it into half. 
  10. Repeat the process for the next pancake. 
  11. Allow the pancake to cool for a minute or two before consuming!
Janine’s jots: 
  • Taste: The pancake is slightly too eggy for me, but that might be due to the fact that I’m using organic virgin eggs. 
  • Texture: This yields a pancake with a crispy texture, so if you’re looking for a thick chewy version of apam balik – this is not it!
  • Serving size: The original recipe is twice that noted above, but this halved portion is more than enough to make 10 pancakes (at least!) I managed to churn out close to 20 mini 4-inch pancakes. 
  • Modifications: The batter is slightly thick, even after sitting at room temperature for a while. I’d probably put more milk in the future and reduce the amount of water to give the pancake for flavour. 
  • Other comments: Be sure to let the batter sit for at least 20 minutes to let it reach room temperature so that it will be easier to spread. If you’re greedy (like me) and can’t wait for 20 minutes, simply add a teaspoon or two of milk to the batter and incorporate thoroughly such that the batter is more fluid and spreadable. 
  • Storage: The batter is able to last pretty long in the fridge. I managed to eat pancakes every day for breakfast for 4 days. However, note that there’s an egg in the batter, so if you’re icky about leaving a raw egg in a batter for 5 days, I’d advise you to consume the batter at one sitting. 
  • Would I make this again? Definitely! It’s almost too easy to whip up if you’re having an apam balik craving! You just need to have rice flour in your kitchen :]
In pictures: 
Spread the batter on your pan as thinly as possible. As you can see, I’m not really good at spreading it thinly and my pan is a little small >.<
Once the edges start to brown, you can add your peanut filling. I cheat by adding the butter directly to the batter without melting, and then sprinkling the sugar and peanuts.
Mmmmmm =D Be sure to fold it into half the moment you get it off the pan because it hardens very quickly when cooled and will crack if you try to fold it then!
Oooh thin crispy goodness! You can make a thicker version (a min jiang kuih version) with the same batter!
Or you could be more ‘French’ and add nutella to the apam balik instead! It tastes as good as the ones with peanuts, seriously!

PS: All these photos are taken with my iPhone, with minor adjustments done on the computer. Looks not bad eh? I’ve been using my phone to take a number of my photos, mainly because I don’t have the camera with me sometimes, or am too lazy to take it out.

Also, this marks my first entry into Muhibbah Malaysia Monday event hosted by Shaz of Test With Skewer and Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies. My mom is a really good cook, and I do hope to gradually write all her recipes down so that I can cook equally delicious meals for myself in the future and possibly pass it on! So may this be the first of many entries into MMM :]



9 comments

  1. Oh Lovely!!! I love those crispy outer skin cracking in my mouth :p

  2. Spear says:

    Oh I love Min Jiang Kuih since I was a child too, especially those with loose peanut filling that will drop all over the place when you bite into it. And I have no idea it’s called apam balik until recently, alamak!
    I’m gonna bookmark this recipe. =P

  3. j3ss kitch3n says:

    oh dear now that you posted this i really want to make some tonight! this is really my fav. of all times!

  4. OMG! that’s my favourite! i love to fill it with those orange coconut! yummy! it looks so crispy! (: i want to make it!

  5. shaz says:

    Hooray! Welcome aboard :) I’ve used Lily’s recipe too, it’s fantastic, great for making pancakes for the kids afternoon tea. I actually prefer the thin and crispy version myself :) . I think the thick version actually contains some yeast in it to the get the “sponginess”. Looking forward to more Malaysian Mondays.

  6. Janine says:

    @ellena: yessss I love the crispy texture too!!

    @spear: min jiang kuih in my opinion is thicker than apam balik. i guess apam balik is more of the malay name used in malaysia! i haven’t heard it being called apam balik in singapore actually.

    @jess: make some tonight! it’s really easy to make!

    @jasmine: wow orange coconut? I’ve never eaten that combination before! sounds really good!

    @shaz: thanks for dropping by :) I like the thin and crispy version too!

  7. Indie.Tea says:

    With your iPhone – amazing! They look really, really good.
    The apam balik is new to me, and sounds delicious.

  8. Janine says:

    @joyti: thanks for leaving a comment! I popped by your site and BOY was I amazed by your amazing photographs! I like your clean, white style :D

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