Nonya Kueh : Kueh Sarlat

Few months ago, Daisy organised a Sweet High Tea at her place and I was invited. Together with 4 other gals, we were to bring one or two sweets/savoury to share. We ended up a table full of yummy food and I must say we definitely did well trying all the food. I didn’t even eat dinner that evening.

I was expecting there will be a lot of cakes, cupcakes, slices, bread etc so I wanted to contribute something different. Its also an opportunity to try out new recipes. But I wasn’t sure how adventurous are the gals with Kueh as it is not commonly available/known in Australia. It’s more commonly found in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. I always explain Kueh = Asian cakes when questioned. Lucky they were open to the idea. In the end,  I chosen to make two types of kuehs: Kueh Dadar and Kueh Sarlat.

lAssemble time

I had made Kueh Dadar before but I totally forgot how time consuming it was cooking the skin. 30 minutes before the high tea start and I was still in front of my stove with a small pan in hand . Lucky Daisy stay only a stone throw away from me.


I’m actually very disappointed with the Kueh Dadar. I did manage to make the skin really thin. So thin that I don’t even know how I did it! LOL But the filling was totally dry 😦 Seriously have no idea what went wrong. *sob* I even used fresh frozen grated coconut instead of desiccated coconut. No idea when I will gain back the courage to try again.


Because I had never tried making Kueh Sarlat before and didn’t want to end up attending the high tea empty handed. I had a trial run the weekend before. I made a very small batch from a recipe I came upon on Nasi Lemak Lover website. The flavour was nice but custard topping turned out to be half cooked. I might have under steam it.

I decided to turn to my favourite and trusty Mrs Leong for help when I made it again. Because Mrs Leong’s recipe quantity is double of Nasi Lemak Lover’s recipe. I took the risk of using Nasi Lemak Lover’s recipes ingredients and quantity but Mrs Leong methods. I think it turned out pretty well and I’m happy with the result. Just not sure whether is that the best way in plating it. Hmmmmmmm


Source:  Recipe is adapted from two sources.
Ingredients adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover  and Steps from Late Mrs Leong’s Festive Cooking Book

Kueh Sarlat (Glutinous Rice Cake with Custard Topping)

Glutinous Rice
350g Glutinous Rice, soaked for 4 hours and drained
6 Pandan Leaves (knotted)
200ml thin Coconut Milk (100ml thick coconut + 100ml water)
Pinch of salt

Custard Topping
2 eggs (large, lighten beaten)
150g Caster Sugar
100ml Pandan Water (Blend about 12 pandan leaves (screwpines leaves) with 100ml water)
400ml thin coconut milk (200ml thick coconut milk + 200ml water)
120g All-purpose Flour
25g Tapioca Flour
¼ tsp salt

Custard Topping:
Combine all-purpose flour, tapioca flour and 4 Tbsp of coconut milk. Mix until smooth.
Add remaining coconut milk to pandan water and salt. Mix and strain through a fine muslin.
Blend the milk with flour mixture and set aside.
Place sugar and beaten egg in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a very low heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and add the flour mixture. Stir and set aside.

Glutinous Rice:
Steamed glutinous rice with pandan leaves over rapidly boiling water for 15 minutes. (Before steaming, make steam holes in glutinous rice using a handle of wooden spoon)
Transfer glutinous rice to a saucepan, pour in coconut milk and mix. Leave covered for 5 minutes.
Return glutinous rice to the steamer. Steam for 12 minutes or till cooked.
Transfer glutinous rice to a round/square pan. Press rice down firmly with a banana leave or a thick piece of soft plastic.

Steam the pan for glutinous rice over boiling water for 15 minutes.
Re-heat the custard topping for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour it over the glutinous rice, cover and steam over moderately high heat for 15 minutes or until it changes colour and sets, forming slight ridges on the surface.
Reduce heat to very low and continue steaming for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the custard layer.
Transfer tray to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

While steaming, wipe the water droplets on the underside of the lid from time to time as they can discolour the cake.
Replenish steamer with boiling water when necessary during steaming.


4 thoughts on “Nonya Kueh : Kueh Sarlat

  1. This looks damn good Liz, I like how the green colour is so natural as opposed to psychydelic bright green. :p

    We just bought Kueh Sarlat on friday (from a Malaysian place) and wiped them out at home within a day. So coincidental that I want to make it in the next few weeks and lo and behold, your recipe is right here! 😀 😀 😀

    • Thanks! I prefer to use actual real pandan even though it’s more troublesome and expensive. It’s better for the body right? I wrote the method from memory as I left it aside for too long. You can test it for me and let me know whether it works 😛

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