Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kuching is for Kunvenience! - Apam Balik

Close up of the 'Apam Balik', made of wheat flour and grounded peanuts
There is one high point about Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. It is indeed a very convenient place to stay, live and enjoy a settled life. I always jump to the first thought of coming back to this city which I increasingly find to be a city of convenience.
Like yesterday when I drove to downtown Kuching, at a sidewalk along Gambier Road I stumbled upon two young Malay boys selling 'apam balik'. ' Apam Balik ' is a Malaysian pastry, akin to a pan cake. What surprised me was the ease of buying them here. I can't get such treatment in Bintulu for that matter. You can enjoy a hot apam balik while shopping .
A big spoonful of batter placed over the hot plate.
The apam balik batter is constituted of wheat flour, eggs and sugar with a little colouring added.
I saw the young vendor laying a big spoonful of the batter over the hot plate. Over the thin layer of emerging pan cake is added a generous sprinkle of grounded peanuts and a pinch of sugar. Once finely cooked ( about 5 minutes) the circular pancake is folded once and brushed with butter or margarine, ready to be sold. For the team above, I noticed a division of labour. One specialises in scooping the batter, spread it over the hot plate, sprinkle it over with grounded peanuts and sugar, and fold it once cooked before passing it on to the next guy. The second team member brushes butter or margarine over the cooked pancake and collects money from buyers. A piece of the apam balik is sold for RM1 which I consider reasonable bearing in mind that you can enjoy it fresh from the hot plate plus a 'live demonstration'. Yummy, yummy, it tastes good too!

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