So before I take off from Brisbane (only two more sleeps until I head back to London!) I managed to harass my mum into making another Malaysian nyonya kueh. Ok ok, it didn’t take much harassment, she loves making these and seeing as my dad isn’t a huge fan, she’s adored having me here because me? I’ll eat all of it. I love this stuff.

This one here is called seri muka and it’s basically steamed glutinous rice on the bottom, topped with a layer of pandan custard. Taste-wise it’s actually very similar to the pulut tatal, except the pandan kaya in that instance is made as a spread and this one is steamed so it’s more solid and actually part of the kueh.

As you can probably tell from all of the two recipes I’ve shared so far, us Malaysians are really into coconut. And why not? It’s fragrant and delicious and… fragrant and… delicious. I mean, what else do you need?

We also love pandan which, incidentally, is also super fragrant. Did you know pandan leaves repel cockroaches? OH YEAH. #thethingsIlearnfromwiki

Anyway, two more sleeps until I head back to London. Can you believe it’s been 4.5 weeks since the surgeons ripped into me and removed over 12 inches of my large intestines. It’s been an interesting 4.5 weeks, from being completely immobile and on a liquid diet in hospital, to learning to sit up on my own again, to walking to eating and now I’m all clear to take the long flight home.

I’m still not 100% – I’m still eating less and only having pretty easily digestible food. I still can’t lift anything heavier than a 2L bottle of milk and I can’t run. I can’t even walk fast. But I’ve improved hugely over the last few weeks so it only gets better from here!

ps. How cute is this tea pot/cup set my parents brought back from China?

Seri muka (steamed glutinous rice and pandan custard)
Bottom layer:
300 grams glutinous rice, washed, soaked for 4 hours and drained
180mL coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt 

Top layer:
4 eggs
150 grams sugar
350mL coconut milk
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons pandan juice (can be created with coconut milk, water, 1 drop pandan extract and 1/4 teaspoon pandan essence)
a few drops green food colouring

  1. Bottom layer: Put all ingredients into a 22cm steaming tray and steam with high heat until cooked (about 45 minutes).
  2. When steamed, press the glutinous rice into a flat tray (approximately 22cm square) and press heavily until firm.
  3. Top layer: Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and stir lightly until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add coconut milk, flour, pandan juice and green colouring and mix well.
  5. Pour onto bottom layer through a strainer. Steam with low heat until set (about 20 minutes).
  6. Remove and leave to cool before cutting into diamond shaped pieces.

Note: when steaming the top layer, steam on very low heat. If steamed too quickly, the egg will cook too quickly resulting in a lumpy top layer.

Shared dish.

13 Thoughts on “more Malaysian nyonya kuehs! seri muka – steamed glutinous rice and pandan custard

  1. I am going to miss your mom’s cooking…I mean, I’m sure YOU’ll miss your mom’s cooking! 8-P Not to make light of your painful illness and major surgery, but what a way to recover – being coddled and well-fed by both your parents.

    Hope you are fully recovered and safe travels back to London. Thanks for letting us share in the yummy parts of your recuperation, minus the stitches! 8-D

  2. Oooo yummy! I suck at making asian desserts, I attempted making viet steamed banana cake but it turned into a horrible gelatinous mess! This looks easy though so I will definitely have to try it for the parentals. Thanks for the recipe hun!

    Also, good to hear that you are on the road to recovery dear. Have a safe trip home and we’ll see you once you get your butt back down here x

  3. Now there’s something I have actually tried and loved it! Although a little too sweet for my taste I thought this was a really nice dessert 🙂

  4. Tracey: hahaha I think everyone’s gonna miss my parents’ cooking! It’s been delicious and you’re totally right, I’ve had the best of a bad situation, being spoiled here at home 🙂

    Phuoc: I suck even more than you! I can’t even make friggin glutinous rice balls with NOTHING inside! But I’m going to try again cos I’ve got a malaysian recipe for these rice balls with coconut (of course) filling 🙂

    Maria: Oh you have? Where?! Glad you liked it, even though it’s a little sweet. It’s all that damn coconut *rolls eyes*

  5. Loving your Malaysian recipes Catty and while your illness sounds horrible it has been a bit of a boon for the rest of us who get to discover all your mum’s secrets!

  6. Ooh I love these! My mum makes them and Mr NQN hoovers them down like they’re peanuts!

  7. I love pandan, used to eat pandan toast a lot in Thailand and with sticky rice? Even better. You must be looking forward to seeing Panu!

  8. This is going to be fun.
    Oh boy! HOME!! I’ll bet your own bed will feel like you’ve arrived. Finally. Be careful, though. You’re not out of the woods yet, and….yeah, Panu can cook for you. Yeah.
    That’s the ticket.
    And I love that dragon bowl. My utensil pot is an old Chinese Blue Willow-type with a big blue dragon on it. A gift from a friend’s mother. It’s special, coming from her.
    It’s going to be a trip, trying to find pandan leaves here. Is there a good substitute?

  9. Gourmet Chick: I know right? It’s been good for me too cos I never knew how to cook these before but now I know 🙂

    Lorraine: Ahhhh nice! Good ol’ mums recipes!

    Sasa: Pandan toast, like kaya from my previous recipe? Well my MUM’s previous recipe? We ate that a lot in Malaysia too! Mmmmm sticky rice. I can eat it just on its own 🙂

    Linda: I know, my folks keep telling me I’m still not well and that just cos I’m going home doesn’t mean i’m 100% haha.. i know I know 😉 Pandan leaves are hard to find anywhere… if they exist it would be in Chinatown, but you can always find bottled pandan essence or pandan extract (note: extract is stronger).

  10. Omg I can’t remember the last time I ate seri muka! It has been agesssss. Personally though I always preferred the pandan layer to the glutinous rice layer, so would err.. just eat the pandan layers off all the kuihs. 😛

  11. Christine on April 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm said:

    Yummo – I love those mah jong looking kuehs!
    Can’t wait to catch up 🙂 xox

  12. hi it’s my first time here…u have a pretty site.I love kueh kueh and my husband and elder son love pandan..thanks for sharing the recipe..and u take care.

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