Penang nyonya kuih

Nyonya kuih, Penang nyonya kuih, ang koo kuih, Food For Tots
(Ang koo kuih from Eaton)

What is nyonya kuih?

Nyonya may be originated from the Portugese word "dona", which means "lady". It refers to female descendants of the early Chinese immigrants who settled in Penang, Malacca and Singapore.

Kuih is an Asian concept of cakes and pastries, different from that of the Western one in term of texture, flavour and appearance.

Ever since I left my hometown of Georgetown Penang for university studies, I developed a craving for authentic Nyonya cuisine and delicacies (especially nyonya kuih). Hence, whenever I return home for my holidays, the first time I do is to search out all the eating joints that serve Nyonya food. It was no exception during my recent holidays in Penang. My hubby happily tagged along as he too likes Nyonya food.

As both my hubby and son are big fans for ang koo kuih*, I took them to buy some from a shop at Batu Lanchang called Eaton. This shop is not only well known for its ang koo kuih but also its yellow glutinous rice with curry chicken and its special satay (without peanut sauce). They also provide full moon** celebration catering. My hubby gave 2 thumb-ups after savoring them. The kuih sold by this particular shop is different from others. If they are left open at room temperature, its skin remains soft and chewy even after 24 hours. The thickness of its skin was also perfectly done. The ingredients used were tasty, and not too sweet. The photo above shows a box of mini ang koo kuihs we packed before departing home.

*Ang koo kuih is a Hokkien pronunciation. Ang means red and koo means tortoise. It resembles the shape of a tortoise. For Chinese, tortoise symbolizes longevity. Hence, it is a popular item used for praying and full moon celebration. Its skin is made of glutinous rice flour. Usually those kuih with red-coloured skin is filled with mung beans and the green-coloured ones with “gula Melaka” coconut flakes.

** Full moon refers to a celebration held for a newborn when he/she turns one month old.

Below is the address of the shop. If you are coming from the opposite direction across the road, instead of crossing the road, you can also buy Eaton’s “kuihs” (savories) sold by a hawker in a coffee shop that faces exactly opposite Eaton's shop. It is a good business strategy as they cater to customers’ convenience from both directions.

Eaton Kuih Centre Sdn Bhd
Address: 110 & 139-M Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim (Jalan Batu Lanchang), 11600 Penang.
Opening hours: 7.00am – 5.00pm
Tel: +604 2828355
Website: http://www.eaton.com.my/index.html

(Nyonya kuihs from Kheng Batu Lanchang Kaya & Nyonya Kuih)

A - Loh mai chi (glutinous rice ball with toasted peanut filling)
B - Kuih talam (it consists of two layers. The top white layer is made from rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom green layer is made from green pea flour and extract of pandan leaf.)
C - Kuih ko sui (steamed rice pudding topped with grated coconuts)
D - Kuih bengkang bunga
E - Kuih bingka ubi (baked kuih of tapioca mixed in sweet pandan-flavoured custard)
F - Pulut tai tai (blue glutinous rice cake served with kaya)
G - Kuih kochi (pyramid of glutinuous rice flour filled with a sweet peanut paste and wrapped with banana leaf)
H - Pulut inti (glutinous rice topped with caramelised grated coconut flesh)
I - Chai tao kuih (made with grated radish(chai tao) and grounded spices (ketumbar), and topped with crushed peanut)
(Source: Wikipedia)

Besides Eaton, there is a hawker stall called Kheng Batu Lanchang Kaya & Nyonya Kuih located at the nearby Batu Lanchang market, which is famous for their assorted homemade nyonya “kuihs” and “kaya” (a sweetened bread spread made from coconut milk and egg). They sell as many as 30 types of “kuihs”. Some are even considered as “near extinct”, not easily found anywhere else. Prices are reasonable too. Being halal-certified, these delicacies are highly popular among muslim Malays. Indians are also frequent patrons of this stall.

On one afternoon, around 3.30pm, my hubby and I decided to buy some of the assorted “kuihs” from this hawker stall. It turned out that we were a bit early. At 3.45pm, there was still no sign of the stall owner. My first thought was it is closed for business on that day. However, I did a quick check with the stall owner in the adjacent stall to confirm if my hunch was wrong, I was told the “kuih” stall will indeed open that day. It made my feeling of disappointment turn hope. Shortly thereafter, 2 young girls strolled in to make preparation to open the stall. Then, came strolling in was a middle-aged man who pushed a cart loaded with 6 large trays of “kuihs” into the stall. Literally, in split seconds and to our surprise, out of the blue, a group of customers (about 10 people) rushed forward to the front of the stall to give their orders. Suddenly, the place came alive with hustle and bustle. The vendor was busy taking and packing orders. One customer even came holding his own container. My hubby was taken aback by the surging crowd (that looks more like a mob) clamoring to buy the “kuihs”, albeit was amused with the quick turn of the situation. As he is not fluent in the “Hokkien” chinese dialect, he asked me to proceed with our order. I managed to squeeze myself into the crowd which was getting more packed every minute. I didn’t expect to see such a huge crowd on normal weekday. Excuse me if I sound dramatic, but it was how both of us felt then. Guess how much I paid for all those “kuihs” shown in the photo? They only represent 80% of what I bought. The grand sum is RM8.00 (or USD2.20 equivalent).

Kheng Batu Lanchang Kaya & Nyonya Kuih
Address: Store No 29 Batu Lanchang Market
Opening hours: 3.30pm – 6.30pm (closed on Sundays)
Tel: +604 6589405


Dora said...

Maybe "I" is some form of Muah Chee cos can see some grounded peanut and sugar...

mycookinghut said...

Ang koo kuih!! I have long not eaten this. My brother loves this. I like it but I have to choose, from all those that you posted, I think I really love:

Loh mai chi
Kuih talam
Kuih ko sui
Kuih bingka ubi
Pulut tai tai
Pulut inti

Hehe... I'm a bit greedy.. :)

mycookinghut said...

Ang koo kuih!! I have long not eaten this. My brother loves this. I like it but I have to choose, from all those that you posted, I think I really love:

Loh mai chi
Kuih talam
Kuih ko sui
Kuih bingka ubi
Pulut tai tai
Pulut inti

Hehe... I'm a bit greedy.. :)

pigpigscorner said...

OMG I miss these!! My favourites are E and F! I've never had D. As for I...can't help you there.

Piggy said...

I like pulut tai tai, tapioca kuih and kuih talam! ahh... I'm now craving for penang nyonya kuih.. slurp!

jesse said...

Oh my god, these pictures just made me soooooo homesick. =,(

Selba said...

Whooaaa... kuih.. kuih... :)

Most of them are similiar to Indonesian kue.

Beachlover said...

I wanna to grab some from my screen now!! talking about ang ku,I better make some myself since I can't just walk out to the street and get some Lol!

cariso said...

I like the way you portray the nyonya kuih! Sooooo 'school' feel! :)

noobcook said...

The nyonya kuih looks so good. Looks like a must try if I go Penang :)

Little Inbox said...

I love to visit that stall too. Can find whatever I like from the stall.

ck lam said...

Your post remind me of not visiting Eaton for a long time.
Time to get some of those ang koo.

New Kid on the Blog said...

I am not a Nyonya kuih fan.... cuz, I always find it either sticky or too sweet. :)

ICook4Fun said...

Nonya kuih is one thing that I miss most living in US. This post kind of remind me to eat more of it while I am still here in KL :)

Food For Tots said...

Dora: No really similar to muah chee bcos it tastes slightly salty.

My cooking hut: I think I am no loser to u when it comes to nyonya kuih. Hehehe!

Pigpigscorner: My fav are B, D, F & I.

Piggy: Since u r still in Spore, go to get some frm Bengawan Solo lah.

Jesse: I am also homesick now looking at my own photos. Hehehe!

Selba: Yes, nyonya kuih and Malay kuih have a lot of similarities.

Beachlover: Wow! U must be an ang koo kuih expert! Can teach me? Easy for novice like me?

Cariso: Actually my hubby was quite hungry at that time. So I put everything together and snap as fast as I can before he pengsan. Hehehe!

Noobcook: Yes, must try! Good n cheap!

CK Lam: Their ang koo kuihs are indeed the best I have tried so far. Worth your trip!

Little Inbox: On weekends, they sell addition type of kuihs (eg onder-ondeh).

NKOTB: How about rempah udang? Spicy and not stick.

ICook4Fun: Yes, must eat until "puas-puas" to solve your craving. Hehehe!

4malmal said...

hi i chanced upon your blog and your ang gu kueh is making me DROOL!!!!
my son loves it and so do I
maybe i should try making some!

Bits of Life 'n' Taste said...

Wah!! The "kuih" looks so tempting... I love Ang Ku too...

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Thanks for the very educational post! I love kuih bingka ubi. Wish I could reach through the screen and pick on up:-)

diva said...

oh what beautiful kueh. i'm actually craving some so badly right now. but thankfully, i've got a little box of sugee from Singapore with me so that kinda makes up for my loss. x

Food For Tots said...

4malmal: Tks for dropping by at my blog. Wow! Another ang koo kueh master! Ur son is so lucky to have u!

BOLNT: Alice, remember to get some when u go to Pg next time. ;)

Mac@NoRecipes: Glad that u find it educational. Kuih bingka ubi is my hubby's favourite too!

Diva: Tks for dropping by at my blog. I luv sugee too especially sugee cake. ;)

worldwindows said...

This is definitely a favourite. My son loves the AngKhoo so much that my MIL will buy half a dozen just for him. Talking about granny's love!

Food For Tots said...

worldwindows: My MIL treats her grandchildren better than her own sons. Guess all grandparents' love are the same. Hehehe!

Asian Food Gallery said...

Ang Ku Kueh is one of my favourite kuih, just love it.

Hi, I am Jon Looi

Food For Tots said...

Jon Looi: Tks for dropping by. Luv your site and will surely submit more entries in future. ;)

Anonymous said...

The kuih labeled 'I' is called chai tao kuih, made with grated radish(chai tao) and has pounded ketumbar to spice it up. The crushed peanut topping makes it even more irresistible! The taste is rather unique but some of my friends in the Klang Valley find it too weird, but I just love it. There is another type of chai tao kuih which is deep fried and served with chilly sauce.

Food For Tots said...

Hi Anonymous,
Tks a lot for your info! I had already updated my post. R u from Pg too?