Recently my sisters came over to the UK for a visit. And so they brought with them, among other things ( I had list), a Ban Chian Koay mould, as well as the ingredient ‘cukor’ – a type of ginger that gives a special flavour to Penang Nyonya cooking. Now I can make Ban Chien Koay and I can make authentic Hong Bak ( Braised Pork.)
Ban Chien Koay – or slow cooked pancake is a popular snack in South East Asia. The Chinese have their interpretation, the Malays have theirs- known as ‘Apom’ and even the Thais, Indonesians and Singaporeans have their take on it.
There are several types:
The original Ban Chien Koay is the large thick pan type which is filled with sugar and peanuts with sesame seeds. This is the original type I remembered from my childhood. Later, there was this smaller version, which is about 6 inches in diameter, filled with the same fillings, and with added sweet corn.
Later, there was this thin and crispy type – everything is the same except that it is crispy and crunchy
Nowadays you can get Ban Chien Koay with all types of fillings. The popular fillings are: sugar, peanuts, sesame, sweet corn, coconut, chocolate, etc. Nowadays you can even find savoury Ban Chien Koay – filled with all types of combination.
Some good combinations are:
- Ham and cheese and mayo,
- Meat floss with ham
- Egg with onion,
- Sausage with eggs,
- And whatever that strikes your fancy.
The recipe below is for the thick type, fluffy and thick type. However this is not as thick as the ones made in a large pan.
Makes 10-12 pancakes
Time Prepare overnight.4-5 minutes to cook each pancake
1 tsp Fast acting yeast
90g Plain flour
150ml Warm water
Mix all the ingredients together and leave to proof for at least 8 Hours or overnight.
225g Plain flour
55g Tapioca flour
1 tsp Alkaline water ( or lye)
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tbsp Sesame seeds lightly toasted
1 tin Creamed sweet corn ( you only use a little)
4-5 tbsp Butter – melted
4-5 tbsp Coconut – optional
Oil for greasing the mould
1. First make the starter dough and leave to proof.
2. Then, make the peanut mixture.
To toast the peanuts:
- Turn on the oven to Gas Mk 5 or 190C.
- Place the peanuts in a tray in a single layer and put it in the oven for about 10 minutes, giving it a shake after 5 minutes to roast it evenly.
- When it is cooked, and not browned, remove and set aside to cool.
- Flake off the skin and blitz it in a food processor to get a coarse mixture.
- Or if you do not have a food processor, place it in a strong plastic bag and bash it with a rolling pin.
- Toast the sesame seeds on the mould (this saves washing up a frying pan) until it is slightly coloured and plump.
- Remove and cool and mix it with the peanut. Set aside.
3. Prepare the dough:
- In a large bowl, sieve the flours together and add in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Add the water in the centre and slowly stir from the centre to incorporate the mixture. Add in the alkaline water and bicarbonate soda.
- Add in the starter dough and mix well. Cover with a damp cloth and let it stand for 1-2 hours.
4. Make the pancake
- Heat up the mould over low heat.
- Lightly grease the mould.
- Place about 3 tablespoon of the mixture into the mould and push the mixture towards the sides so that all the mould is covered and there is a crust. ( see picture 1).
- Cover the mould with a plate for about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle a fist full of sugar on to the mixture, spreading it out evenly, Cover and leave to cook for about 1 minute. The mixture should bubble and there should be holes in it. Sprinkle a fist full of the peanut mixture. Cover for about ½ minutes. Make sure that the pancake is cooked. Add in 1 teaspoon of the sweet corn and a sprinkling of the melted butter.
- With a knife (a dinner knife will do), carefully slot it in between the mould and the crust all round to dislodge the pancake. Fold the pancake in half and remove from the mould.
- Your pancake is now ready to be served.