Kuih Kodok – the curious case of toad cakes

Kuih Kodok Finished Product

“Toad cakes.” That’s the literal translation of its name from the Malay language. But don’t stress, no toads were harmed in the making of these snackable goodies.

Its name sounds dubious, but there’s no doubt kuih kodok (kway-ko-dok) is as tasty and popular as they come in Malaysian street food. These deep fried dollops of mashed bananas, flour and sugar used to sell for 10 cents each at street side push carts – when I was growing up in the 80s, anyway. The same street hawker would also sell other deep fried goodies, like goreng pisang (battered and fried whole banana), and goreng cempedak (battered and fried cempedak fruit – a stringier, more fragrant cousin of jackfruit).

My mother didn’t cook a whole lot, but this was always a favorite whenever she did make it. She’d stir the thick batter with a spoon in a big Chinese rice bowl – that deep muffled sound – with the occasional clang whenever the spoon hit the rim of the bowl.

Kuih kodok is an anytime food – breakfast, snack, tea time or any other time. It’s best served straight out of the fryer for maximum crispiness. Speaking of which, I’ve incorporated tapioca flour to ramp up the crispy factor.

Oh, why the curious name? It simply refers to the imperfect shape of these fritters. Somewhat round, but irregular and sometimes knobby. Like a toad.

Click here for the recipe.

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