Sweet Potato With Spicy Coconut Filling (Cucur Badak)
Popular Malay Snack
Cucur badak is a famous, traditional Malay snack consisting of a sweet potato wrap with a spicy sambal filling. This deep-fried savory snack is very filling and is usually served at teatime.
I remember watching my mother make this in her kitchen when I was growing up. Often, I learned the traditional Malay recipes by watching my mother cook and asking her questions. For instance, I asked her what's the best type of potato to use for cucur badak. Her answer was brief: "the orange color one." I think she meant the sweet potato.
I love eating cucur badak when it is crispy on the outside. When I bite into it, I want to hear the sound of a crunch. However, to make it crispy, it needs to be deep-fried with a sufficient amount of oil.
The core ingredients of this snack are very similar to Malaysian-style donuts and pulut panggang, both of which feature sweet potato and spicy coconut filling. I love those snacks, too.
If you find that you have extra spicy coconut filling after making this recipe, you may keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Okay, let's learn how to make cucur badak.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dried shrimp, washed and drained
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1-inch ginger, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 dried red chilies, seeded, soaked in a hot water and drained
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups finely grated fresh coconut
- Water for blending
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Make the spicy coconut filling: In a blender, combine the dried shrimps, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, sugar, salt, turmeric, and water. Blend until it makes a paste. Heat two tablespoons oil in a pan or wok. Saute the paste till fragrant. Throw in the grated coconut and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat. If it becomes too dry add some water. Remove from heat to let it cool.
- Make the sweet potato wrap: Peel the sweet potato skin, wash and cut into small cubes or chunks. Boil the sweet potato in hot boiling water for 15 minutes or more. Drain the hot water and transfer the boiled potato into a big bowl. Mash it using a spatula until it smooth. Add the flour into the mashed potato. Continue to incorporate the mixture until it forms a dough. The dough shouldn't be too sticky. If too sticky, add more flour to the mixture.
- For the wrapping: Brush some oil into your palms or dust some flour, take a bit of dough (about the size of a small ball), flatten it and take a tablespoon of filling place it in the middle. Cover the filling by taking the bottom of the wrap and start pinching the edges with your fingers. Continue doing this until it's all done.
- In the meantime, heat oil in a wok or pan over a medium heat. Fry the cucur badak for about 3 minutes on each side or until it's golden brown.
- Transfer the cooked cucur badak on the paper towel to drain the excess oil.
- Eat them while it's warm and enjoy with your favorite drinks!
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