I was going to start off this post by reminding you of my fetish for a bit of banana and hot oil action. And then launch into the fact that this ‘dumpling’ is not to be confused with a fritter and that it’s more like a dense and chewy steamed Malay glutinous rice dessert. I guess I could quickly mention how ‘kodok’ means toad and then fire some silly comeback or cheesy joke about ‘toad cakes’. But I’ll just put this simply; this is one of my favourite Malay snacks and it’s so damn easy to make that even a monkey can do it (I do recommend adult primate supervision for the hot oil action though!).
Banana dumpling with coconut and pandan custard (it’s actually greener in real life stoopid photos).
But I will demand you to make this gorgeous Thai coconut and pandan custard to go with it. Yes, demand! I first tried this custard at Sydney’s Chat Thai and I immediately swooned. It was a lighter version of my favourite Malaysian kaya and oh lordy, it was amazing! The problem was they don’t serve the dessert all the time and I always have to wait more than a hour for a table at Chat Thai.
Ever since I found the recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, I’ve been as happy as unicorns. You can seriously churn out litres of this magical stuff within 10 minutes at home and avoid the Chat Thai ‘queue rage’. And oh baby, every day, I’ve been shamefully dunking my face in this sexy custard and dipping everything in it – bread, man tou, yu tiao and of course my little alien banana dumplings.
Like this little guy! My little tadpole! Aah toad, geddit?
Now this guy is my favourite. I mean, look at him! He looks like a mini roast chicken complete with teeny tiny drumstick! Umm chicken. It seriously broke my heart when I devoured him.
*turns head upside down*
Ack, the ugly ducklings! They might be society’s rejects but they were dee-licious all the same.
Actually you know what? Lets just stare at that custard again…
Kuih Kodok with Sangkaya (Fried Banana Dumplings with Thai Coconut and Pandan Custard)
2 large very ripe bananas, peeled
200g plain flour
4-5 Tbl caster sugar (adjust according to taste)
1 large egg
Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat up a pot or wok of oil until 180°C. Drop in tablespoon-sized quenelles of batter into the oil and fry until it floats to the top and is golden. You might have to turn the kodok to make sure it’s evenly browned. Do not overcrowd the pan other the temperature will drop.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep warm while you finish frying the rest.
Thai Coconut and Pandan Custard
Adapted from David Thompson’s Thai Street Food
4 fresh or frozen pandan leaves, chopped
100ml hot water
1 x 400ml can of coconut cream
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 Tbl cornflour
1.5 Tbl tapioca flour
Place pandan leaves and water in a food processor and blend until fine (it’ll look like fine, wet moss). Strain pandan pulp in a fine mesh strainer or muslin cloth. Squeeze the mossy pulp to extract as much pandan juice as you can. Set juice aside.
Whisk the coconut cream, egg yolk, salt and sugar until combined. In another bowl, whisk the cornflour, tapioca flour and milk until mixed and lump-free. Add the cornflour mixture to the coconut cream and stir to combine.
Strain the custard into a heavy-based saucepan and cook over low heat while continuously stirring with a wooden spoon until it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 77-80°C on a thermometer). Stir in the pandan juice, remove from heat and leave to cool.
If you’re not serving immediately, cover the surface of it with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Store custard in the fridge.