Apam Balik – A Malaysian Street Food

By Nisha Jha

The one thing that has always fascinated me about Malaysia is the variety of food available for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Malaysians love to eat and I heard from one of the locals that they eat a minimum of six meals a day! He was so right; wherever I go in Malaysia there is always ample food in sight.

I have tasted many traditional Malaysian street foods while touring the country and Apam Balik is one of them. This crispy peanut pancake is also known as Chin Loong Pau in Chinese, something Indians can relate to as it is similar to the south Indian dish dosa.

I tried to find it in restaurants but it’s probably better on the street. The best ones can be found at the morning markets or the night bazaars. This is a must try if you’re planning to visit Malaysia.

Apam Balik

Traditional Apam balik pan on the street. Pic: Nisha Jha.

When I returned home I attempted to make my favourite Malaysian snack to satiate my cravings and I think my recipe below is pretty good. Eating it makes me almost feel like I’m back in Malaysia!



170g plain flour
100g rice flour
1 tsp instant yeast
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp salt
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
250ml water

For the filling

200g unsalted, roasted peanuts ground coarsely
120g caster sugar
120g melted butter

2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

½ cup cooked corn (optional)

Apam Balik

Crispy Apam Balik, almost ready. Pic: Nisha Jha.


1. First mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Break the eggs in a separate bowl and beat them to a smooth texture. Add water and pour over the mix of dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth and lump-free batter.

3. Leave for 30 mins.

4. Heat a crepe pan on medium-low heat and lightly melt the butter. You could use the traditional Apam balik pan or non-stick cookware.

5. Pour in a small ladle of batter and spread out flat like a pancake so that it covers the entire surface of the pan and thicker than a crepe, but not as fluffy as a pancake. Once bubbles have formed, sprinkle some peanut, sugar, sesame seeds and corn over the pancake and dot with a bit of the melted butter over one half.

6. Cook till the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

7. Flip one side of the pancake over the other to fold in half and remove from the pan to cool. Cut in half or into small wedges and serve immediately.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website


Author Bio

Nisha Jha (India)

 Nisha is a solo woman backpacker from India, where women generally do not venture out unaccompanied. Passionate about travelling, she has been to 20+ countries and her idea of traveling is “counting number of memories, not places”. She has been travel blogging at ‘Le Monde – A Poetic Travel’  giving insights & intricacies of a place and its culture. Her blog has been featured in Asian Traveller and is read by people from across the globe. She is a regular author & contributor; her travel articles being published and featured at various travel sites & magazines including some in-flight magazines. See her blog at www.lemonicks.com.