Susie, Don’t Forget Your Coconut and Butter Sandwiches: Kaya Toast

Many fellow travelers I have encountered have played up Singapore’s role as an eating paradise.  My first time there, in August 2004, I didn’t have much liberties in where I ate, or what I chewed.  That said, the local highlight was definitely using mantou to scoop up chili crab and its delicious sauce at the East Coast dining promenade.  (photo thanks to thelivingpollypocket)  For some reason, repeat sagas in the Lion City have kept the crustacean out of reach, and instead an easier to find snack has taken the baton, kaya jam and toast.

Kaya jam counts as its main ingredients coconut milk, eggs, sugar, and pandan,  a tropical leaf with a uniquely sweet flavor that has also been used to enhance the taste of ice cream, as well as on its own in cakes.  The color of kaya can be more green (as in the jar above) or more brown, depending on how much pandan is used.  I think the stuff is great, but undoubtedly sweet; after a pandan binge in Kuala Lumpur, I was incapacitated for a few minutes.  It’s common in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, and I’ve found it in the states as well (in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Asia Market Corp. at 71 1/2 Mulberry St. near Bayard St. stocks it in the shelves across from the cashier).

Usually, it’s spread on grilled toast.  With butter.  What’s that?  Coconut and butter?  Well, just take a look:

The layer of butter is almost thicker than a slice of bread

Singapore makes it easy for you.  There’s no need to spare a moment to search the city-state for this arterial arrogance.  As soon as you arrive at Changi Airport, have one of the staffers lead you to a food court, where the fun awaits.  You say there are long queues at immigration, and you don’t have any Singapore dollars?  No worries, use your excess euros, drams, people’s money, or punts and make sure to get a “sandwich” for passport control too, it beats the unusually-flavored hard candies that they offer when you are allowed in.  In case you think the kaya toast counters might dash your dreams and run out of butter:

Seems (US) state fair-worthy

If you have tried kaya jam before, how have you eaten it?  Virtual handshakes to all those who eat it out of the jar.



About buildingmybento

Bread, olive oil Waking up in Nakagin Sure does sound like me
This entry was posted in East & Southeast Asia, Food & Drink and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Susie, Don’t Forget Your Coconut and Butter Sandwiches: Kaya Toast

  1. Rukasu says:

    I had the fortune of trying Ya Kun Kaya in Singapore’s Chinatown on toast with some very strong instant coffee, I then proceeded to buy 3 jars duty free at Changi. Wilford Brimley would be ashamed of the blood sugar spikes I endured on the flight home.

  2. Pingback: There’s No Street Food in Singapore | Collateral Lettuce

  3. Pingback: If at First You Don’t Succeed, You Might Be an Airline Caterer « buildingmybento

  4. Pingback: Be Better, Buy Butter « buildingmybento

  5. Pingback: Sugar Bombs of the World: Malaysia’s Teh Tarik | buildingmybento


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s