Over the last couple of weeks we shared a few recipes for Malaysian food that my husband, Mark, learned to make while he was in Southeast Asia. There’s one more dish we wanted to share from his experience at Lazat, the cooking school in Malaysia.

Kueh Koci/Sweet Grated Coconut in Glutinous Ball, Wrapped in Banana Leaf Recipe

Kueh Koci is a rather nice way to finish the meal.

Kueh Koci is a rather nice way to finish the meal.

This last Malaysian food recipe is a dessert. Like many other treats from Southeast Asia, Kueh Koci is not your over-the-top sweet chocolate decadence, but a rather nice way to finish the meal.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 40 g (1 oz.) palm sugar
  • ½ whole vanilla bean, seeds removed

Chef’s Note: Traditionally, a Pandon Leaf is used to flavor the sugars in Southeast Asia. If you can find one, use it instead of the vanilla bean.

Dough Ingredients:

  • 100 g (3 oz.) glutinous rice flour (also called Sweet Rice Flour)
  • 100 ml (3 oz.) water

For Glaze:

  • 100 ml (3 ½ oz.) thick coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. flour

Other Ingredients:

  • 8 banana leaves, cut into 6” x 7” rectangles
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

Chef’s Note: Before cutting them, soften each banana leaf by running over a low flame to avoid tearing. The leaves are sometimes found fresh at a local Latin or Asian Market and are readily available in the freezer section throughout the year.


To make the dough:

  1. Mix the glutinous rice flour with water in a bowl.
  2. Knead until smooth.
  3. Divide into 8 balls.

To make the filling:

  1. Cook both sugars and vanilla bean seeds until dissolved (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add grated coconut and continue cooking and stirring for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the glaze:

  1. Add thick coconut milk, salt and flour to a small sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened (about 4 minutes).


  1. kueh-koci-2Flatten the dough ball and add 2 tsp. of the filling.
  2. Fully wrap the filling, sealing the bottom (they should look like small golf balls when finished).
  3. Dip your finger into the vegetable oil and spread on the middle of the banana leaf.
  4. Place the sealed ball on the banana leaf and top with 1 tsp. of the glaze.
  5. Seal the banana leaf by folding the short sides up and folding together, then fold the long side underneath. Repeat for remaining 7 balls.
  6. Place the balls in a bamboo steamer and steam for 8 minutes.

Download and print the Malaysian food recipe here.

What type of desserts from Southeast Asia have you tried? Are there any other recipes for Malaysian food you’d like to see?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.