Courage Through Kueh

September 10 2019 – admin

Courage Through Kueh

Courage Through Kueh


Kueh means so many different types of food in Singapore and covers the spectrum of sweet and savoury. Growing up, we had different Kuehs from Malay, Nonya, Teochew, and Hokkien foods. Kueh can be a breakfast item, a tea time indulgence or a snack on the go between meals. The common denominator of all Kueh things is that it is usually small-ish, bite-sized and always, always delicious.

One of my favorite Kueh-Kuehs since childhood is Kueh Salat. When it’s made by the Malay / Nonya aunties, they color the top layer coconut custard green with the natural extract of the pandan leaves. The glutinous rice bottom layer is white and blue with the almost indigo blue coming from the Bunga Telang aka Butterfly Pea Flower. This weekend, I decided to try to re-creating this taste memory from home. 

I’ve been listening a lot to podcasts lately and while making the kueh, I re-listened to one with Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. This same weekend was also when I found out a friend from home has been hospitalized and the outlook isn’t very positive.  

In our insta-beautification world we live in today, what we see is highly edited, air-brushed and filtered within a pixel of its frame. Life isn’t instagram perfection as much as it seems so. It is hard to learn to be grateful for all that comes, be it good or bad and to craft love and continue to show up. The Kueh Salat I made didn’t come out the way it was supposed to and fails all food photography styling standards. Despite its lumpy-ness and less than uniform layers, it did taste good. It brought back happy memories and gave courage to rise up to life’s uncertainties and send positive vibes back home.