Roti Bakar – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

When a simple toasted sandwich becomes a national icon, it must have something going for it! That’s the case with Malaysia’s Roti Bakar.

The translation is exactly what you get: “roti bakar’ means toasted bread. And not any fancy bread: it’s plain, sliced white sandwich loaf! Two slices are toasted until golden brown then lathered with butter and kaya jam – a sweet coconut-egg conserve. That’s it!

What makes roti bakar special is more than that sticky sweet spread. It’s a customisable breakfast! While locals opt for the traditional version to eat on the way to work, kopitiam (cafes) and food stands offer such toppings as “American cheese” and runny soft-boiled eggs. Some like their kaya toast cut into fingers to dip into soft-boiled eggs served in an egg cup.

There are toasting twists too: you’ll still find vendors who grill the bread over coals, although cafes tend to use toasters or sandwich presses. There’s even steamed bread, but that isn’t truly “bakar”!

“Kaya” means “rich” in Malay, and the jam certainly is that. It’s made with coconut milk, chicken or duck eggs, and sugar, and flavoured with pandan leaf. The colour varies wildly according to the shade of the egg yolks, how much pandan is used, and whether the sugar is caramelised. Nyonya kaya is a pale green, while Hainanese kaya is darker brown from caramelisation and honey may be added.

Roti bakar has been around since the 1950s and is one of Malaysia’s favourite snacks. Whether you opt for additional toppings or keep it classic, order a tea or coffee to wash it down and enjoy!

Shop name:
Roti Bakar Hutton Lane
300, Jalan Phee Choon, George Town,
10050 George Town, Penang

Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

Sign up for updates, news & special announcements:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *