....... Divertimento: Kueh Lapis (Malaysian 九層糕)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Kueh Lapis (Malaysian 九層糕)

One of the things I bought during my walk around Sheung Wan on Monday was a stainless steel pan. What a good excuse to make some Malaysian kueh lapis 九層糕 (九层糕). Here’s a recipe I have worked on and refined for a while and its perfect!

KUEH LAPIS (MALAYSIAN 九層糕) Kueh Lapis 九層糕

1270 ml coconut milk (not coconut cream)
500 gm sugar
1 ½ tsp pandan essence
200 gm rice flour
200 gm tapioca starch
½ tsp salt
Red food colouring

Straight sided round steaming pan - 24cm


  1. Boil coconut milk, sugar and pandan essence to dissolve sugar.
  2. Sift both types of flour and salt together into a heatproof bowl.
  3. Pour hot coconut milk slowly into flour while stirring.
  4. Sieve mixture and push any lumps through the sieve.
  5. Traditionally, kueh lapis has 9 layers, so divide mixture into 2 bowls in the proportion of 4:5. (I count how many scoops there are using a ladle and then divide accordingly.)
  6. Color the ‘5’ part pink and leave the rest white.
  7. Grease pan with vegetable oil. Boil water in wok/steamer. Place pan on a rack in the wok and pour in 1 part pink mixture.
  8. Steam with lid on wok until set, for 4 minutes.
  9. Add 1 part white mixture. Steam for 4 minutes again.
  10. Continue until the last pink layer. Color this a deeper pink (some even color this layer red) and steam for 8 minutes to ensure that the kueh lapis is thoroughly cooked.
  11. Each time you lift the lid of the wok, be careful not to drip any water onto the kueh lapis. Wipe the lid dry before putting it back on the wok.
  12. Cool before cutting. Greasing the knife with some vegetable oil helps to give you a clean finish.
Enjoy!Kueh Lapis 九層糕

This is the kueh lapis when it was cooling - notice the new stainless steel pan? That's the one I bought in Sheung Wan on Monday.

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