As Malaysians, we love our teh and kuih, but have you wondered what people around the rest of Asia eat for tea time?
There's no denying the universal fact that food sparks joy. From our local curry puffs, kuih, and cucur, to quintessential British cucumber finger sandwiches, each part of the world has got a personal spin on classic snacks when the mid-afternoon cravings roll around.
Whether sweet or savoury, we love every tasty snack imaginable that comes our way, so here's a taste of how the rest of Asia enjoys their afternoon tea:
1. Rice flour Aggala, Sri Lanka
Aggala is a sweet and slightly peppery afternoon treat, which is typically made with roasted rice, honey or jaggery (a type of unrefined natural sugar), raw coconut, and pepper.
These doughnut hole-lookalikes take on a nutty flavour with a pleasant gritty texture — best enjoyed with a lovely cup of Ceylon tea.
2. Cireng, Indonesia
A popular Sundanese snack from West Java, piping hot cireng or aci goreng is perfect as a tea time snack, especially when it's cold and rainy outside.
The traditional snack is mainly made from tapioca flour and deep-fried for a delightfully crispy and chewy texture. While cireng is good to consume with or without a dipping sauce, it is usually paired with a spiced tamarind dip called bumbu rujak.
3. Vada Pav, India
Originating from Mumbai, vada pav is a popular street food, on top of being a favourite midday snack. Sandwiched between two buns, a spicy potato patty is layered with fragrant garlic and green chutney — kinda like a deep-fried potato burger! :D
4. Amardeen, Lebanon
Essentially a super-concentrated fruit roll-up, amardeen is a beloved snack in Lebanon, and its popularity stretches to the entire Middle East.
It's made up of simple ingredients — chopped apricots, citrus juice, and sugar — but packs a massive punch of flavour for a superb midday pick-me-up.
5. Khanom Buang, Thailand
Ubiquitous in Thailand's street food scene, these Thai crispy pancakes that look a bit like tacos are also fondly enjoyed by locals in their homes.
Khanom Buang is generally filled with a savoury or sweet topping that sits on fluffy white meringue. A bite of the former usually includes chopped shrimps mixed with pepper, coriander, sugar, and fish sauce, while the sweet version is topped with shredded egg yolks that have been boiled in syrup, called foi thong.
6. Newari Bara, Nepal
Newari bara is a savoury pancake courtesy of the native Newari ethnic group in Kathmandu Valley, and can be eaten plain or alongside tomato achar and other curries.
Served alongside a good cup of chiya – sweet milk tea – this crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside pancake highlights the simplicity and versatility of lentils (usually split black lentils or a mixture of split moong lentils). A hearty and yummy afternoon delight, yum!
7. Bahn Cam, Vietnam
Vietnamese bahn cam are chewy morsels of glutinous rice flour, beautifully rolled in sesame seeds. The popular snack is deep fried, resulting in a crispy texture, besides the crunch from sesame seeds.
Adding to the appetising factor, Bahn cam is traditionally filled with red bean paste, which sometimes has jasmine flower essence added for a layer of complexity, and goes wonderfully well with teas that feature a green tea and jasmine blend.
8. Gukhwa Ppang, Korea
Baked in a chrysanthemum-shaped mould, gukhwa ppang is a soft, fluffy pastry that locals and non-Koreans both adore for its red bean filing, especially when enjoyed on cooler days.
Contrary to its name, there is no chrysanthemum added to the batter, and simply refers to the flower-shaped mould its cooked in. This is similar to another Korean tea time favourite, bungeo ppang, which is red bean filling in a cute fish-shaped pastry.
9. Kare pan, Japan
Kare pan or Japanese curry buns, are delectable pastries with a savoury curry filling, encrusted in a light coating of panko crumbs.
Airy and chewy, the springy texture of kare pan makes it one of the most popular items in Japanese bakeries. Imagine biting into a freshly deep-fried kare pan that is crispy, yet non-greasy, oozing with mild Japanese curry, and you'll have a picture of how tantalising this afternoon snack can be, ahhh pure bliss!
These snacks from around Asia sure look good, don't they? Whether it is sweet or savoury, traditional or modern, afternoon tea is fully satisfying when there are snacks involved, heheh! :P
So, if you're salivating and suddenly hear your tummy rumbling, here's some good news — KFC has the perfect tea time snack for you to curb your cravings, right now at home!
KFC's Snek Jimat, available every day from 2pm to 5pm, comes in two amazing combos to brighten up your afternoon.
Starting at a great deal of RM5.99 when you dine-in, Snek Jimat Combo A comprises everybody's favourite Cheesy Wedges and four pieces of Nuggets.
For the potato lovers, you'll want to get your hands on Combo B, which comes with one Loaded Potato Bowl and Crispier Fries, priced at RM7.99!
Add RM2 to your order and you can make your afternoons even sweeter with a thirst-quenching Lemonade drink, mmm! What an absolute deal, right?
Takeaway, self-collect, and delivery options for KFC's Snek Jimat are also available exclusively through the app, so hurry on over and score this amazing deal for yourself!
If you're hungry for more, head on over to KFC Malaysia for information! :D