Monday, September 12, 2011

Ban Chang Kueh: simple pancake or not?

Ban Chang Kueh...or ming chiang kuih as it is variously called, is basically a pancake...fried over butter or margerin on a cast iron wok. The flour is cooked till crisp on the outside, and features a very crispy edge, and filled with peanut paste and sometimes sweet corn.

Pretty simple dish...or so we think.

The secret is in getting it just right....just the right mixture of batter, with just the right balance of sweet, savoury...just the right thickness of batter, so the outside is crisp, crusty, but a thin...just right layer of soft, slightly mushy risen flour pampers the palate by providing contrast and counterpoint.

The rich peanut filling...itself providing a counterpoint on its own...the crunchy crushed peanuts dissolve into a rich, creamy concoction as one chews. The addition of the sweet, and slightly acidic sweet corn lifts the flavour a few notches. Providing yet another counterpoint. Magic...when it comes together.

This tiny little stall shows mastery of the art. Not many in Penang or elsewhere do with such success.

Pushcart outside Swee Hong Cafe
Corner of Burma Road and Jalan Pasar

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