What is kuih cakoi?
Cakoi is a Malay word for You-tiao, a type of Chinese doughnuts.
The cakoi made up of basic ingredients such as wheat flour, egg, yeast, baking powder, milk, water, salt, sugar and cooking oil.
The combination of the above ingredients produces a strip of golden brown color dough when cooked using the deep-fried method.
(*Kuih is a broad term for Malay for our delicacies).
Cakoi does not originate from Malay culture, however, it comes from China and brought by them to Tanah Melayu.
History of Cakoi
Once upon a time in China during the Dynasty Song under the rule of Emperor Gaozong (1127-1279), there lives a military general named Yue Fei, who had led many victories for his emperor.
His series of successes had created jealous feelings from Qin Hui, (the Emperor chancellor). He had to make a plan with his wife to condemned Yue Fei.
While Yue Fei in the middle of a battle at Kaifeng, Qin Hui making up a story regarding Yue Fei that was later trusted by Emperor Gaozong.
Upon hearing the story from the Qin Hui, Emperor Gaozong recalled every soldier, together with Yue Fei.
After Yue Fei returns to the capital, Emperor Gaozong and Qin Hui imprisoned him on baseless charged and sentenced him to death.
The news spread until being knowns by the civilians, they made a protest by making youtiao or cakoi.
It was believed that the two strips of the youtiao or cakoi symbolized Qin Hui and his wife being fried in oil.
According to a belief among the Chinese at that time, a traitor will be killed by frying in oil.
It was a tragic story for Yue Fei, but the origin of the youtiao was based on a person who had an ill-feeling towards him.
A different way of eating cakoi
Even though Cakoi is not from Malay culture, we embrace it as part of our local dish that must be tried once you get here.
There are different ways of eating cakoi based on the respective culture, as general it is suitable to be eaten with tea especially during breakfast or teatime.
However, in Malay culture we eat cakoi during tea break. This can be eaten with different kinds of sauces usually the two sauces that we choose either kaya or peanut sauce.
While in Chinese culture usually eat the cakoi with breakfast together with porridge.
Where we can get the cakoi
Usually, cakoi were commonly sold by the hawker in the food court with each of them has an individual recipe.
As Malaysian love to eat fresh street food, they enjoy seeing cakoi being cooked from the hawker’s kitchen.
They are willing to wait for long que to eat the fresh cakoi!
When I was young, we usually bought the cakoi from the food court at Seberang Prai in Penang where most sellers are Chinese.
At that time, were learning to make one is difficult compared to buying it.
Thus, we choose the latter.
Nowadays, we spend most of our time in the kitchen so we choose learned to make one. 🙂