Kuih Seri Muka is popular Malaysian dessert made of steamed sticky rice (sometimes dyed blue with extract of blue pea flowers) layered with coconut egg custard). This combination is very well-loved by many in Southeast Asian countries.
My dad absolutely succumbed to kue kue (loosely translated to cake). They were his favorite afternoon tea snacks. I can probably say that I don’t have a major sweet tooth issue, but I absolutely love kue kue too. This kuih seri muka is one of my favorites. There are similar kue like this at the hometown I grew up, however I remember it was just steamed sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and then pressed down into a pan (just like this) and then a coconut egg jam (srikaya) is spread on top. This coconut egg custard definitely has that similarity to srikaya, except that it is much more custard like and firmer.
Seri Muka means pretty face in Malaysian language. I can tell you that the combination of sticky rice and coconut egg custard is just out of this world. But again, I have a Southeast Asian tongue 🙂 Many of my American friends have never tasted coconut milk with eggs combination (or even coconut milk!) In fact, they think it sounds really weird. There’s a saying in Indonesian language “Tak kenal maka tak sayang” which means “If you don’t know it, you won’t love it”. I think it’s true!
I don’t have blue pea flower at the time I made this cake and so I just used a blue food coloring. It’s just for visual and you don’t have to use the food coloring if you don’t want to.
Seri muka (Coconut Egg Custard with Sticky Rice Cake)
Sticky rice cake:
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup glutinous rice soaked in water overnight or at least 8 hours
- Pinch of salt
- Blue food coloring optional
Coconut egg custard:
- 100 ml of pandan juice 20 pandan leaves
- 4 large eggs beaten
- 200 gr sugar
- 200 ml coconut cream not coconut milk
- 100 gr of all-purpose flour
- 30 gr corn starch
Making the pandan juice:
Roughly chop the pandan leaves and place in the food processor and add about 1-2 Tbsp of water and process into a watery paste. Place this in a cheese cloth and squeeze more of the pandan juice out. Measure 100 ml out and store the rest for other use if any left (good for about 2 weeks in a fridge)
Making the sticky rice cake:
Drain the water you use to soak the sticky rice. Place the sticky rice in a tray (I use 7-inch round tray). Pour in the coconut milk and pinch of salt and stir to mix. Place this in a steamer and steam for about 30 minutes or until cooked through and soft. Remove from the steamer. Refill steamer with water and bring it back to a boil. While waiting for that, if you choose to use the blue foold coloring, drop in few drops of the food coloring and use a spoon to kinda spread the coloring, but not entirely. We just one spots of blue here and there and not turning all the rice into blue. Use the back of the spoon to pack the sticky rice down as much as you can
Making the coconut egg custard:
I place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer with flat beater and beat at low speed (4 on kitchen aid) until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. You don't have to do this and just beat the eggs with a balloon whisk and whisk in sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add in the coconut milk and stir again to mix. Add in all-purpose flour and corn starch. Stir until mixture is smooth. I highly recommend to strain this mixture so it's really smooth. Strain this mixture over the pressed down sticky rice cake. Put this into a steamer and steam on high heat for the next 30 minutes
Remove from the steamer and cool completely before cutting. Use a wet knife to cut when ready to serve
I have to admit that I was a bit impatient and cut the cake when it’s still warm! (because it was getting dark soon and wanted to take photos asap). So, the sticky rice was still a bit at a soft side when it’s warm
Definitely need a repeat!
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