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Apam balik hits sweet spot

The Star Online logo The Star Online 5/9/2018 VIJENTHI NAIR
a sandwich cut in half on a plate: A selection of apam balik available at the stall in Pudu. © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad A selection of apam balik available at the stall in Pudu.

APAM balik is a sweet peanut pancake that is a much-loved street food, found in most parts of South-East Asia.

In Malaysia, it is common to find this sweet delight sold by Malay or Chinese hawkers.

From my observation as an apam balik lover, the Malays make it very sweet and sell it whole, while the Chinese prefer it more nutty and sell them in slices.

Also known as terang bulan or martabak manis, this simple snack is usually made with flour, egg, sugar and coarsely ground roasted peanuts.

However, over the years, the snack has diversified with unconventional ingredients added as toppings.

The apam balik stall in the Pudu Wai Sek Kai (food street), Jalan Sayur in Pudu sells five versions.

The stall with no name is manned by two very shy but hardworking youngsters. The girl makes the fluffy thick pancakes while the young boy cuts, packs and handles orders as well as collects the cash.

There is only one stove. So, the wait for each pancake takes an average of three to five minutes to prepare. These pancakes are best eaten hot.

The pre-mixed batter is poured into a hot mould and then topped with the required ingredients.

a group of people standing around a table: Hot, crispy and sweet delights whipped up in five versions by these shy, diligent youngsters manning the apam balik stall at Pudu Wai Sek Kai. © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad Hot, crispy and sweet delights whipped up in five versions by these shy, diligent youngsters manning the apam balik stall at Pudu Wai Sek Kai.
Hot, crispy and sweet delights whipped up in five versions by these shy, diligent youngsters manning the apam balik stall at Pudu Wai Sek Kai.

There are two versions of the basic recipe – one is made with white sugar while the other has brown sugar in it.

I could not tell the difference in taste between the two.

Perhaps, the idea of eating the sweet snack made of brown sugar is believed to be a healthier option, convincing the health conscious to grab a bite with less guilt.

The basic apam balik with sugar costs RM1.30 each.

I like my apam balik sweet and my favourite is the version with creamed corn.

While readying my order, I noticed a generous amount of creamed corn being added to the apam balik.

It may be a messy affair as the creamed corn oozes out as you take a bite, so it is best to have a napkin handy.

The apam balik with corn is priced at RM1.50.

There are also two savoury versions with cheese and egg.

One was with chicken ham and the other with creamed corn. The smell of the egg was a little overwhelming for my liking. I think I will stick to the sweet version.

The cheese and egg version costs RM3 each.

The stall is open every day, between 5pm and midnight.

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