April 14th, 2003


Ban Jian Kway and Me

A sudden inspiration prompted me to search online for the recipe, for my favourite Peanut Pancake, or more commonly known as Ban Jian Kway. (or Mee Cheng Kuay, or whatever). Believe me, I’m no true expert when it comes to this peanutty thingee, but I do now one thing or two. For example, I know that Jolly Bean’s Peanut Pancake are non-crispy on the outside, but gooey and delicious when it comes to the peanut paste. Peanut King’s pancakes are crispy on the outside, and more authentic with the peanut fillings. Of course, there’re also pancakes with coconut fillings or red-bean paste fillings, but my favourite’s the nutty one.

A fruitful search ended up with a simple recipe and an eager soul. Got hold of these ingredients from Shop N Save:

  • Self Raising Flour

  • Eggs

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Butter

  • Milk (I managed to find Meiji Fresh Milk! How nostalgic!)

  • Ground Peanuts

Roasted the nuts and peeled them patiently. Grinded them a little too fine (but then again no one was around to complain). Mixed the flour with the egg and etc and let the batter stand for an hour or two. Then began the exciting part of turning the batter better – into the ban jian kway! The first attempt resulted in a crust that was way too thin. Undaunted, I made another attempt, with the remains of the mixture. This time, I was careful not to let the paste spread over too large an area in the pan, so as to give the kway more volume.

This time, there was volume, but no storyline. It was the end. The paste was not well cooked and it tasted ahem ahem. But hey, at least I’ve inched myself closer to the goal of becoming Pancake King II, another silly dream that obviously will not come true.

In this mundane monotony of this little Island, when week after week passes by uneventfully, people get themselves busy and excited by talking about SARS, traveling to Ang Mo Kio to see pole-dancing and to spy on the infamous neighbours quarrelling at Joo Chiat. I’m happy to just spend a couple of hours to reach a state of self-imposed bliss. With just the Teflon pan, batter, peanuts and me.
Happiness is always there; it just that we get too preoccupied with life to notice that it’s around.

Drove to a nearby coffeeshop to get myself some bao for consolation dinner.
And so ends the week….. and the cycle goes on.