Pek Nga Nyok: The Traditional Coconut Pancake from Northern Malaysia
Pek Nga Nyok (or Nyior/Nyoq) is one of the traditional Malay dishes of Kedah and other northern peninsular states like Perlis, Penang, Kelantan & Terengganu.
Pek Nga means pancake, while Nyok (and its various spellings) is the northern peninsular slang for coconut. Pek Nga comes from the shortened words of Tempek Belanga. In Bahasa Malaysia, ‘tempek’ means to smear or spread, while ‘belanga’ refers to the pot for cooking. This illustrates that the pancake is essentially made by spreading the batter on the cooking surface. Pek Nga Nyok is also called as Tempek/Lempeng Kelapa in some other states.
Pek Nga Nyok is basically made from flour, grated young coconut, water and salt. Some people would add in coconut water or coconut cream for stronger coconut flavour and fragrance. The ingredients are combined into a thick batter, and spread thinly on a hot cooking surface. Once both sides of the pancake are cooked, it is served warm with fish curry, spicy sambal ikan bilis, dried fish, or even sugar or condensed milk.
Pek Nga Nyok can be found in Malay eateries and Malay homes. While it is served all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as snack, many would agree that the best way to enjoy Pek Nga Nyok is to eat it in the morning, with reheated leftover curry from the night before, and with a cup of hot coffee.