Koci, Goci, Kochi, Mendut, Lapek Bugis? I Am Confused–Pandan Kuih Koci (锥形香兰椰丝糯米滋)



I have the habit of checking Wikipedia for a definition of a cuisine because from the definition, one would know what is expected from the recipe and whether a recipe stated is acceptable or not. It may not be 100% correct but my experience shows that most of the time, it is a good reference point for recipes that I am going to blog.


I was very shocked to see a short definition of Kuih Koci in Wikipedia, English version. It was written:

“Kochi (also known as Passover cake in English) is a Malaysian dumpling (kuih) made from ground unpolished glutinous rice. For the Eurasians in Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, this snack is often sold at funerals. The black colour of the unpolished rice symbolises death, while the sweet filling represents resurrection.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kochi_(kuih))


I never knew that this cake have such an implicit meaning.. and I don’t recall ever read it elsewhere. But in the Wikipedia, Bahasa Malaysia version, it was written in details that :

Kuih koci merupakan sejenis kuih tradisional yang popular di Malaysia, Indonesia, dan Singapura. Kuih ini diperbuat dari tepung pulut dan mempunyai inti kelapa manis bercampur gula nisan (Gula Melaka) di dalamnya. Di Malaysia ia popular terutama di kawasan Pantai Timur iaitu di Kelantan dan Terengganu. Ia kemudiannya disalut dengan santan sebelum dibalut dengan daun pisang dan dihidangkan. Kuih koci ini agak lembut dan dibuat nyanyian “Ada sejenis kuih tiga segi…. Di luar tepung di dalamnya inti… Makanan orang tiada bergigi…” (Source: http://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuih_koci)


Literally translated as:

“Kuih Koci is a type of traditional kuih which is popular in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. This kuih is made from glutinous rice flour and have sweet coconut fillings mixed with palm sugar. In Malaysia, it is especially popular in East Cost of Malaysia in the States of Kelantan and Trengganu. It is then coated with coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves before being served. This kuih is very soft and there is a song that talked about the kuih ; “There is a kind of triangular shaped kuih…. Outside is flour inside have fillings … A type of food for people whom have lose their teeth “


When I posted the pictures of kuih koci in an Indonesia food group asking the name of this particular kuih in Indonesia, the response was overwhelming, more than 100 comments at least.. The names that was used in this kuih was: koci, koci koci, goci, lapek bugis, mendut and if it was served with coconut milk, it was called  Puteri Mandi. Some claimed that it is their traditional cuisine uniquely in Indonesia…


Hmmm, I was confused… Is it not all regional cuisines are interrelated ?… If readers studied the ingredients of this cake carefully, you will note that there are very similar with red tortoise cake or angku kuih, Japanese mochi, Hainanese Yi bua…It is just some sweet fillings wrapped by some glutinous rice dough and prepared in different shape or with different colour and served differently. Such variations is logical due to localization of regional ingredients and I presumed that Thai, Philippines and Vietnamese will also have similar type of cakes since glutinous rice flour is commonly found in these countries.. Even the name koci, mochi or Chinese called glutionous rice cake 糯米滋 (nuomichi) are all end with the syllable “ci” or “chi”… Are they related??


Not a difficult kuih to prepare. For the shape, you can either use the shape in this illustration and a search of the internet will show you numerous other shapes available..



Recipe adapted from: Kuih Koci Recipe, Penang Nyonya Kuih 

Servings: About 10 Medium sized Kuih Koci



  • 250 grams of grated coconut
  • 200 grams of palm sugar
  • 60 grams or ml of thick coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of corn starch (with one tablespoon of water)
  • Pinches of salt
  • Some knotted pandan leaves (not in picture)



  • 150g glutinous rice flour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 180 grams or ml thin coconut milk (santan)
  • Pinches of salt
  • Drops of pandan paste (optional)




  • In a pan, melt the palm sugar with the coconut milk and pandan leaves, add salt and bring to boil. Once boiled, add the grated coconut milk, stir until well mixed. Add the corn starch and stir until the fillings start to dry up.  Set aside for cooling before wrapping.


This is a rather moist filling. If you prefer drier filling, omit the coconut milk, squeeze dry the grated coconut, melt the palm sugar and add the squeezed grated coconut.  You will get a rather dry coconut filling for the kuih. The colour of the filling will also be darker but it will also depends on the grade of gula Melaka used. Some are darker and some are lighter.


  • Scald the banana leaves in some hot water.. Cut the banana leaves into a rectangle of about 3” x 4” or sizes that you are comfortable with the wrapping. Grease the banana leaves with some cooking oil. Set aside.

  • Heat the thin coconut milk and a pandan paste in the microwave for one minute until it is hot. If you do not have a microwave, you can do so over the stove. The main aim is to have some warm to hot coconut milk.

  • Put the glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Use a pair of the chopstick to stir the flour until well mixed. Gradually add the hot coconut milk .


  • Initially, use the chopstick to continue to stir until some crumbs. Once your hand can handle the hot to warm dough, use hand to knead until a pliable dough. Take a dough (in this illustration, I used about 35 grams), shape round, use hand to flatten it and put a spoonful of coconut filling on top of the dough. If the dough are too wet, add glutinous rice flour tablespoon by tablespoon and if too dry, add water teaspoon by teaspoon.


  • Seal the edges of the dough and slightly shape into a cone shape. Take a banana leave, shape into a cone, put the dough inside the banana leaves. Seal the bottom of the cone but pressing the banana leaves towards the dough. Put in the steamer tray and steam under high heat for about 10-15 minutes. Best served as a snack  with or without thick coconut milk.



This is a nice, tasty aromatic kuih and I am still confused about the origin of the kuih..I will leave it to the readers to decide.. Is it Eurasian? Nonya? Malay? or influenced by Chinese Yee Bua or Japanese Mochi? In my humble opinion, all regional cuisines are all intertwined and that is how food history evolved…


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


(updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  



You Seen This Glutinous Rice Cake Before–Hainanese Coconut Kuih or E Bua or Yi Ba (海南薏粑粿)


Updated post on 26-11-2014

Decided to re-prepared this as the second attempt and adhere as closed to the Hainanese tradition as possible. Slightly changes in the recipe to enhance the texture of the dough and incorporate a new picture of wrapping as required by Hainanese traditions.



First, I have to qualify that I am not a Hainanese descendant and I have never tasted the authentic E Bua (in Hainanese) or Yi Ba (薏粑 in Chinese) or just Hainanese Glutinous Rice Coconut Cake. However, in my home town, Kuching or in Singapore hawker centre, I am very familiar with another common variants of this cake.

It looks very much like Kuih Koci, another type of Nonya Kuih. Personally, I preferred this than kuih koci as there are some ginger, sesame seeds and groundnuts that create the slight different in taste. If you are interested to understand Kuih Koci, you can refer to this post : Koci, Goci, Kochi, Mendut, Lapek Bugis? I Am Confused–Pandan Kuih Koci (锥形香兰椰丝糯米滋)


Authentic E-Bua should have banana leaves wrapped along the side of the cakes and the fillings were dark coloured shredded coconut, simmer with coconut sugar and have grounded peanut, sesame seeds and pounded ginger added to it. Whereas the common hawker version is just placing the cake in a piece of banana leaves without wrapping the sides, and most of the time, the filling is just sweeten white coloured shredded coconut. Some stalls may use coconut sugar too.


This is the recipe for the simpler hawker version. However, I have also listed out  all the other ingredients that is required for an authentic E-Bua.  Depending on the purpose of your preparation, for normal home consumption, I would think that the hawker version is adequate whereas for big festivals, you may want to consider the authentic version. Hainanese prepared the authentic version for big occasions such as marriage ceremony, baby showers and etc..


Experts looking at my cake will know that my cakes were over steamed. Yes, I have over steamed for additional 5 minutes. Instead of the 10 minutes, I have forgot to look at my watch and steamed for 15 minutes instead. The effect is the E-Bua skins were not smooth and the shape is not round. So, readers have to remember the steaming time is very important and any over steaming will ruined your day’s effort.


I have decided to issue the report because after I posted in Facebook Group, quite a number of members are interested in preparing this cake. Many told me that they missed the cake and wanted me to share the recipe. I have taken the recipe from YUMMY HAINANESE COCONUT KUEH. In this post, you can see the pictures of the authentic version of E-Bua and its fillings.




Servings: About 24 5 cm diameter size Coconut Kuih



  • 500 350 grams of glutinous rice flour (糯米粉)
  • 150 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 200 grams of coconut milk (one package) (椰奶)
  • 300 200 grams of warm to hot water (温水)
  • 100 grams of sugar (白糖)
  • 50 grams of cooking oil (食用油)
  • Pinches of salt (少许盐巴)


  • Ginger – 1 pieces of about 1 cm – pounded (姜)
  • 300 grams of grated coconut (新鲜椰丝)
  • 180 grams of Gula Melaka –coconut sugar(椰糖)or Black Sugar 黑糖
  • 30 grams of water (水)
  • 5 pieces of pandan leaves – bundled (not in picture) (香兰叶)
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour (普通面粉)
  • 50 grams of grounded peanuts (not in picture) (花生碎)
  • 30 grams of white sesame seeds (not in picture) (白芝麻)


  • About 24 pieces of banana leaves (6 cm in diameter) – cleaned and lightly greased with cooking oil
  • A few tablespoons of cooking oil for glazing after steaming.

Note that the colour of your filling will very much depends on the type of sugar used. Not all grades of coconut sugar are dark enough. In China, coconut sugar is not used and substitute with brown or dark coloured black sugar.




  • In a big mixing bowl, put the salt, sugar and glutinous rice flour. Add in the warm to hot water and use the spoon to stir until it form some sticky dough. Add in the coconut milk. Use hand to knead until it form a pliable dough. The dough should be smooth. Add water tablespoons by tablespoons if you find that the dough is too dry. Cover with clingy wrap or wet towel and rest for 20-30 minutes. If you want, you can divide the dough into about 30 – 40 grams each depending on how thin the dough you can manage it.


  • Pound the ginger in the pastel and mortal. Put the coconut sugar or gula melaka. Pound in until small pieces. This process is just to expedite the melting process in the next step. You can use knife to chop if you do not have the pastel and mortal. In a pan under medium heat, add water, gula melaka, pounded ginger and pandan leaves bundle (I did not add in this illustration). Let it boil until all the sugar are melted.


  • Add in the grated coconut and stir until well mixed. Add in the plain flour to thicken the grated coconut. Once well mix, dish up and let it cool before shaping into individual balls of about 30-40 grams. Note that my ratio of dough to filling ratio is 1:1, meaning if dough is 30 grams, filling is also 30 grams. However, feel free to adjust the ratio to the ratio that you are comfortable with.


  • Take a dough ball, slightly flatten it, put a filling ball on the centre. Seal the edges. Shape it again in a round shape. Put on top of a piece of banana leaves. Flattened it slightly. Put some glutinous rice flour on your hand if you find it too sticky.


  • After wrapping the filling, have a piece of banana leaves of 5cm x 12 cm. Wrap the banana leaves surrounded the ball. Tuck in the bottom  and reverse back and the wrapping is done. If the leaves are too hard, you can cut some vertical lines on the part to be tucked in and pressed down to facilitate the tucking.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Dip a tooth pick in some permitted red colouring and place a small dot on top of the dough.

  • Heat up a steamer with water adequate of steaming for the cake for about 10-15 minutes. Bring to boil and steam the cake under medium heat for 10 minutes. Brush some cooking oil on top of the cake while the cake is warm. Let it cooled completely (about 2-3 hours) before enjoying yourself.



This glutinous rice cake is rather common during my childhood day. I love the cake very much because of its sweet coconut fillings. You can use white sugar if you do not have coconut sugar. You can also go until the extend of wrapping the sides of the cakes with banana leaves and putting grounded peanuts and sesame seeds to make it more authentic. Pardon me for the images of over steaming E-Bua.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 20 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.