Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kuih Kapit and Egg Roll

What is Chinese New Year without the ubiquitous Kuih Kapit and Egg Roll making an appearance? Go to any Chinese home during this festival time and you can almost be assured that you will be served some form of this biscuit.

Kuih Kapit/ Egg Roll made by my family and my friends.

I used to help my mom make kuih kapit yesterday. The mould being made of metal gets very hot, and you have to work very very quickly to roll or fold the kuih kapit before they cool and become too brittle. The rule is, the thinner and lighter the batter the more skilled you are!

The love-letter, or more commonly known as kuih kapit (a kind of crispy biscuit) is an essential feature of Chinese and Malay festivals. "To make, very time consuming. To eat, very fast" is an apt and colloquial way of describing the kuih kapit. While the women of the household sweat and strain over a charcoal stove, the younger ones wait eagerly to gobble it all up.

Making kuih kapit requires a certain amount of multi-tasking. The 'chief' cook juggles several tasks at one time – minding the fire, flipping the moulds, mixing and pouring the batter, cooking it to a perfect golden brown colour and then trimming the run-offs. The assistants on the other hand have to quickly fold the kuih kapit into a triangle while it is still hot and pliable and then arranging them into air-tight containers. Althought the latter sounds like a simple task, one must remember that folding of love letters must be done very quickly and neatly, before it hardens and becomes impossible to fold. An experience assistant will also be able to choose the 'nicer side' to face outward so as to make the biscuit look more presentable.

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