Monday, May 07, 2007

Apam Balik

This version of the Apam is a spin off from Ban Jian Kuih and is very crispy. It is more of a crispy crepe/pancake but the filling of peanuts, sugar and a dash of butter is the same as Ban Jian Kuih. Seeing how they were made while waiting for your turn in the pasar malam, was amazing, a task i thought was difficult to make at home. The dough was thick and a whole ball of it was put in the heated special apam pan and then the excess was removed leaving a thin layer of dough that was stuck to the pan. This recipe below is totally different although the result of crispy apam is the same. I don't know if it is the recipe or that there is no humidity here that the apam remained crispy throughout.

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170 gm all purpose flour
100 gm rice flour
30 gm cornstarch
2 tsp double action baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
6 - 7 ozs water
150 gm fine granulated sugar


120 g melted butter
150 gm fine granulated sugar
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts


Mix all the ingredients together, strain and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours. (i left it overnight)

Heat a crepe pan or a small nonstick pan slightly. (just hot enough for batter to stick to pan)

Pour in a 4 oz laddle of batter and swirl pan so that batter is coating the edge. Remove the excess batter and sprinkle in some sugar on the pancake.

Cook till the bottom of pancake is golden brown.

Sprinkle with melted butter and then chopped roasted peanuts.

Fold the pancake into a half and leave to cool.(it will be crispy as soon as it gets cold)



ioyces said...

hi Lily!!

wow!! This looks great!!! I'm gonna try it!!

thanks for sharing the recipe!!


Anonymous said...

Ooooooooo.... my favourite! I totally must try this weekend! Thanks heaps, Lily.

Lai Fong

Little Corner of Mine said...

I really love this crispy kind. Looks like I have all the ingredients too! Hehe...

speedoflight said...

What kind of pan did you cook this in?

Tricia Lee-Chin said...

Hi Lily, another great Malaysian pasar malam food made easy! Can't wait to give it a try.

Lee Ping said...

Dear Lily,

A good friend of mine told me to avoid using baking soda and baking powder at the same time in recipes. I guess this is hard to achieve because most desserts call for both of these ingredients.

However, for Apam Balik, I have found a recipe that uses baking powder only and totally omit the baking soda. I have tested it and it taste pretty authentic. Here is the link:张礼彬的厨房/desserts/#c

lilyng said...

lee ping

did your friend say why these 2 should not be used together?


lilyng said...


i used the crepe pan.

tongwooi said...

Hi Lily ,
Thank you very much for your wonderful posting. I just made the apam balik and it turned out great! i have been reading ur blog for 2 years now since i am in us. I am in Minnesota, and your blog was something that i checked frequently ! thanks again ;)

sunchen said...

Lily... its so yummy, i ended up with soft centre and crispy edge,

ps: do you have ban jian kuih recipe?.. i have made countless attempt but unable to achieve those holy, slightly chewy texture, thanks again

lilyng said...


i have a few and if i achieve the texture you like, will certainly let you know

Lee Ping said...

Dear Lily,

According to my friend who studies chemistry, Baking Soda and Baking Powder have certain chemical reaction effect when we consume into our body. I am not a chemist, so I do not know, perhaps some of your readers may shed some light to this. If it is not true, I will attempt more recipes. So far, I have shy away from recipes that has both these ingredients. I use baking powder a lot in my cooking but baking soda, I leave it in my refrigerator to absorb bad smell.

WokandSpoon said...

This definitely brings back memories when I was back in Malaysia! I'll have to definitely try out your recipe. Thanks!

BTAN said...

Another yummy recipe to try..thanks for sharing this great recipe. I had pretty good success on the Chee Cheong Fun too.

ioyces said...

hi Lily,

the pancakes turned out as promised! Really cripsy and very fragrant!!! Thanks so much!! You are my new cooking idol! Hehehe!!!

bee said...

Lily, I lurrrvvv Apam Balik, had them for breakfast almost everyday back in KL. I also like lots of creamed corn in the filling!

Hungry Hamster said...

This is one of my favorite dessert!! I used to get it whenever I visited my relatives in Penang! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

Adele said...

Hi Auntie Lily,

I'm so happy you put up recipes for apam balik and ban chang kueh -- I simply love them.

May I know what I can replace dry buttermilk with when making the ban chang kueh? Also, do I need to make any adjustments if I use regular baking powder in the apam balik recipe?

Thanks, Auntie Lily, can't wait to try these out!


Anonymous said...

Wow... look yummy...
for Ban Jian Kuih you using "lye water" can you tell me more about this pls? thx..

Adele said...

Hi Auntie Lily,

I just tried to make this but wasn't very successful. The batter was rather thick, and would not spread very well, resulting in a very thick apam balik. When I tried to thin it down with water, it bubbled in the pan. Could you tell me what I'm doing wrong please?


ps: could I leave out the sugar in the batter and just add it in the pan?

lilyng said...


buttermilk is used to activate the baking soda and to replace it you could use milk instead of water and add in 1 tsp of lime juice or vinegar. Another replacement is to sub half of the sugar with brown sugar.

You are in DC if i am not mistaken and the baking powder you buy is mostly all double action.

Flour behaves differently from time to time, day to day or even seasons. The batter in this recipe recipe should be runny like a pancake batter and it should be able to pour. the pan should not be too hot, it should be just nice to coat the batter and the rest of the batter can be poured back into the rest. This way, you will get a very thin layer and there won't be bubbles as the batter is so thin.

the sugar must be added to the pancake as it turned brown so that the peanut can stick. the butter added too helps the peanut to stick to pancake.

good luck

lilyng said...


lye water is alkali and it is added to give some color and the distintive flavor and smell of the kuih

blur_mommy said...

Hi Lily,
remember me? CJ aka Y from Florida.(Actually, I'm not living in FL now. Have moved to Seattle). How are u? I just tried this recipe & it's so good. It remained crispy for a long time. Thanks for sharing! : )

LittleHands said...

Hi Lily, I've tried yr recipe (in fact, twice already) and it turns our real crispy and yummy!!

Previously, I've been searching high and low for this type of recipe but just couldn't seem to find it. So you can actually imagine my happiness when I saw it in yr blog *doing a happy dance,hehe*. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe!! It's definitely a keeper for me *so happy*

Doris Tan said...

Hi Lily, I tried this recipe & found the batter rather thick. So I increased the water content to 15 oz. It turned out just about right to scoop on to the kuali and move the batter around to achieve paper thin. I used ready made Camel brand ground peanut and sugar. My children are crazy over this appam. Thanks so much for sharing. Doris

lilyng said...


flour behaves very strangely and i am glad you are know better and added more liquid.

is camel brand ground peanut only available in singapore?

Doris Tan said...

Hi Lily, there are a lot of ready- made packaged ground peanuts available at Super marts and grocery outlets. Even the popiah skin sellers have them. I prefer Camel brand as the quality of their peanuts is good. I do not know if they are only available here. I love all your recipes. Best regards-doris

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, thks for sharing this really great recipe!!My children love this crispy version n have been asking me to find this recipe. Im so glad tht my search has finally ended. I did have to add more water than the recipe stated - like u advised previously, diff flour in diff climate. This apam balik taste exactly like the ones sold in pasar malam in Malaysia n Sg.Thks for sharing another great recipe with us. Btw, ur blog is one of my fav blogs!!

p/s here is a pic of my apam balik -¤t=crispypeanutpancake.jpg

Susana, Perth

lilyng said...


i visited your photoalbum and was drooling over all the great buns and i specially like the penquin waffles

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Thks for dropping by...and also ur kind comments!

Susanna :))

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Thanks for this great recipe. But my apam didn't look as good as yours. The ends were beautifully browned, but the centres were partly brown and partly yellowish, like pancakes. Is it because I greased the saucepan with oil first? Or did I have too much batter in the pan? Thanks!

lilyng said...


it looked like your heat is not even and what you experienced always happens to the first piece made but subsequent pieces should be very even. Regulate your heat and use a nonstick pan.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, thanks so much. I've just seen this recipe which I wanted so much. Thanks so much. Oops do you have recipe for Ngau Chap...longing to eat this yummmy...

lilyng said...


oh yes, ngau chap is very delicious but i have not cooked it here in the states before as the family does not fancy it

if you wish to try, you could braise all the ngau chap with ginger, cinnamon bark, star anise, black pepper, tangerine peel, dark and light soya sauce, wine and sugar to taste

Sally said...

hello lily,
thanks so much for these recepies...we love it but i had a turns out crispy and good but when we eat it our mouth taste kinda bitter and 'pi'(hokkien)...why?? Is it bcoz of the baking soda which u sai hv to put in 2 tsp?? can i replace with baking soda?? I really need help from u...thank you so much....Sally

lilyng said...


2 tsp of baking soda???? that's too much that is why the apam is bitter it is only 1/2 tsp in the recipe

Lei-Ai said...

Hi Lilly,
Is it possible to use normal baking powder rather than the double action one? I can't seem to find them in the uk.

lilyng said...


yes, ordinary baking powder is fine in this recipe

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

I'm a new guy here! I had tried out the recipe for this Apom Balik in your blog, but unsuccessful. It is not crispy. I attempt countless time already.

Can you help me on this. How to make it crispy? What ingredient role is to make the apom crispy?

Please help! Thank you.

lilyng said...


the main factor for crispiness is not in the ingredient alone, it is cooking the pancake until it is golden brown and the batter spread on the pan has to be as thin as possible. my crepe pan is supposed to be 8 inch but the base is only 71/2 inch and i use a 4 oz soup scoop to pour the batter in and pour out the excess, leaving the thinnest coating.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily,

A friend recommended your site a couple of months ago and I have been visiting it regular, to drool over all these wonderful recipes and pictures :-)

This is my first visit to this Apam Balik recipe. I wanted to respond to an old post by Lee Ping, talking about not using baking powder and baking soda in the same recipe. This is what I know, from the book "What Einstein Told His Cook" by Robert L. Wolke.

Baking powder acts by releasing gas as soon as it comes in contact with any acidic liquid such as butter milk or sour cream. Baking powder is baking soda with a dry acid already mixed in and is used when a recipe has no other acid ingredient. IT acts as soon as the powder gets wet. When a recipe has both ingredients, it is actually being leavened by the baking powder which has the exactly the right proportions of bicarbonate and acid. But if there is also another acid ingredient such as buttermilk that would upset that balance, then extra bicarb in the form of baking soda is used to neutralize the excess acid.

Hope this helps put Lee Ping's mind at ease about recipes that use both.

By the way, this recipe looks wonderful and I am definitely going to give it a shot.


Anonymous said...

By the way, regarding double acting baking powder, the same book also says that this type of baking powder releases only a portion of its gas when it gets wet, and releases the rest only after it reaches a high temperature. This is to allow the food time to be baked enough to trap the bubbles in place. It also says that most baking powder in the US these days is double acting, whether the labels says so or not.

Foodie ... again

lilyng said...


thanks for this informative note on baking powder and baking soda.

thanks again

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I just noticed a mistake on the post about baking powder vs baking soda. That first statement should be "baking soda" which acts with the acid, not "baking powder".


lktan_sinee said...

I tried your recipe, and I would like to share my recipe of Indian apom with you. Please visit my link if you like:

lilyng said...


thanks for sharing

chinta said...

Hye Lily,

I was searching for a kuih lapis receipe then I found your blog and I was so overwhelming with the fact that you have many great receipes that really tempting!

I have tried this receipe and it turns out so well and awesome but I did add more water to it. I brought the apam balik to my friend's house and they were so happy because haven't eat apam balik for ages!

thanks again for this yummy receipe.

Ling said...

hi lily... how are you?
it's me again - ling :)
i'm making this apam for the 2nd time. Seems like a once a year thing. i make your ban jian kuih more though. thanks so much for sharing again.

this is regarding another kind of apam we find in morning markets or pasar malam. the really thin ones, usually 2 sides folded, tastes almost like kuih kapit. it doesn't stay crispy for long like it though... gets soggy after 15 minutes. the vendor uses a mini wok to make this. usually 1 ringgit for 3 maybe?

have you made this and would you have this recipe to share? i don't know if this apam recipe can be adapted to the paper thin apam i was talking about.
adding more water to thin it down?

lilyng said...


i know the apam you are talking about and i too crave for it but unfortunately i am not able to try making it cos i could not find a tiny wok. If you could send me one, would be happy.

the batter is like the crepe recipe and has eggs , coconut milk and flour and yeast.

lktan_sinee said...

Hey, why you need to wait to make apom manis telur until you have a little wok. i use crepe pan to make them as long as the taste is right. you can refer my recipe and video at my blog, and create my link in your post if you like:
Please comment to my post once you tried my recipe. Thank you.

lilyng said...


your recipe looks very good but a wok is used so that the extra batter, after coating the sides of the wok will drop back to the center and forms an apom. using a frying pan will give you a crepe or pancake like which will not be apom.

thanks anyway

Chewbies said...

hmmm.. yes. the center has to have a lump but it isn't so thick that you get jelak by the 3rd piece. frying pan won't do it, but i suppose it'll be as close to what you can get from the vendors.

lily, i would need to look for the mini wok from KL. not sure if the asian stores here has it. maybe the indian stores might have. i'll contact you about that when i see one!

did you mean your french crepe recipe? add 1/2 tsp yeast to that recipe you think?

i tried making putu piring once and that was a misadventure. i hope you'll be posting that recipe up one day.

lilyng said...


i could not find it in the vietnamese stores here in denver, if you locate one, please let me know.

btw, if you want to try making them follow the recipe in Iktan_sinee's blog

Chewbies said...

sure will!

Anonymous said...

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Lily for her apam balik recipe. I tried it , it's SO VERY ABSOLUTELY DELIS!

Thank you for your blessing!

Ling from South Australia.

Kunyit said...

Hai Lily,

Thanks for the recipe. I made it yesterday. I like the original taste- sugar and lots of peanuts. While my son likes peanuts at one side and peanut butter on the other side.

ltb2 said...

Tried out yr recipe yesterday and it was good although due to the humidity here in Spore they don't stay crispy for long and I had to reheat in oven toaster before eating.Just want to check with you how long can I keep the batter before frying the pancake?Is it ok to keep in the fridge for a day or two?

lilyng said...


it should be ok if the batter is left in the fridge

|||gReEnLeAf||| said...

hi, i would like to learn mille crepes. Have you try to make it previously?

lilyng said...


i make crepes all the time and one day, i will pile it up and make mille crepes

website design nyc said...

nice post

Za said...

Hi Lily,

i just tried this recipe. Turned out great. Needed to add a little bit more water to the mixture though. Thanks!!! A real treat for the family now that we're away from home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for your wonderful blog. Every holiday especially Chinese New Year my parent's house will be crammed up with 7 grandkids plus cousins and outstation relatives. It's always a headache to feed them. The kids are hungry ALL THE TIME!! I found alot of snacks recipes here like Law Pak Koh, Apam Balik, Hainanese Chicken Rice and so many others. Thanks for saving us the headache. Really appreciate it.


Daniel said...


I have been searching for this recipe for months. I try buying them from the road side sellers in Penang.


Another guy wants to sell at RM30,000. Bloody Crazyyyy!!

You new fan,

lilyng said...


tell the guy to keep his recipe, this one is not bad. try it and give me a feedback.


Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe but fail to achieve the result as promised. When I go to fold it in half it just breaks in half and peanut filling falling out.

The texture is of pancake nature. Taste does not even come close to what I remember.

I will try again.

lilyng said...


good that you will try again.

some of the filling will fall off if we put in too much.

Make a mark line at the center of pancake and it might help to fold.

good luck to your next try

Qasrina said...

this serves for how many people?

lilyng said...


it has been a long time since i made this and i think you can make at 15 - 20 depending on the size of your pan and the thickness of your apam.

Vi Vian Woo said...

I tried adding water to thin out the batter but can not achieve the crispy consistency. Any advice?

lily ng said...

vi vian woo

i think you could have thin out too much.

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