MIRI: The Movement Control Order (MCO) to stay at home has meant that many have had more time to spend in the kitchen.
To while away the time, netizens have been challenging each other to make kueh penyaram, a popular local snack.
“Challenging each other to make kueh penyaram is fun and it also helps to kill our boredom during this MCO period,” said SMK Sungai Merah, Sibu teacher Laura Brown.
Laura learnt how to make kueh penyaram pandan from her mother.
“I’m not really good in this but I learnt from my mother. I cheated a bit in the challenge as my mother helped me with it. She made the batter and I just fried them in the wok,” she confessed.
She said some of the kueh penyaram turned out well while others were failures.
“My friends laughed when I uploaded the pictures of the disastrous ones. They said they looked like penyaram ‘Covid’,” she said, adding it was fun to joke and laugh over the misadventures during a WhatsApp group video chat.
Bernadatte Zaza, who works for a private company in Kuching, never made kueh penyaram but was eager to accept the challenge from friends and followed a standard recipe.
“I did not expect it to turn out well. Thanks to my mum who guided me. She told me there is a secret to ensure that it turns out ‘pretty’ in the wok.
“We must use the old type of wok with a thick base that curves up like a bowl. This will help the kueh penyaram to turn out ‘pretty’ when they are cooked,” she said.
A ‘pretty’ kueh penyaram should be a nice shade of brown, due to the use of brown sugar or palm sugar, with its sides curving upwards like a blooming flower.
The sides should also be crunchy while the centre should have a springy texture.
Bernadette, originally from Sungai Pelugau, Balingian, also shared a Selangau version of the kueh penyaram recipe with her friends and challenged them to make it.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) staff member Lurve Rca also enjoyed her first try at making kueh penyaram.
“My first try did not look like a kueh penyaram and I just laughed at myself. I shared the end result with my friends and they too laughed at it. They responded positively and also gave me tips how to perfect it.
“The second time I made it today (Wednesday), thankfully it turned out well,” she said, adding if not for the MCO, she might never have learned how to make kueh penyaram.
“The challenge is like a chain thing, from one group to another. Most importantly everyone had fun and this is how we overcome boredom from sitting at home all the time and obeying the MCO,” she said.
Meanwhile, Teresa Janting, who is working from home during the MCO, has also taken up the challenge.
“Making kueh penyaram will be quite challenging for me because it is a traditional delicacy. Everyone should know how to make it, but this will be my first attempt and I hope I succeed,” she said.
Teresa from Marudi, who works with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) in Kuching, said she completed the kueh penyaram batter on Tuesday and left it in the refrigerator overnight as required by a traditional recipe.
“I prefer to follow the traditional way and now I’m nervous to see the result of my kueh penyaram. I hope my friends will not laugh at my result,” she added with a laugh.