Kelapa Bakar aka Burnt Coconut is a Sabah specialty. I have no idea how it came about or how long it has been around but we were told by our cousin in law (who used to be a tour guide in KK) about it. So off on a kelapa bakar hunt, as none of us has tried it before~
We were all so intrigued that we drove around for over an hour until we found this strip of little wooden hunts with coconuts all over the place.
There was over a dozen huts all lined up this stretch of road. If I could tell you what road we were on, I would. But I have no clue because I fell asleep while they were driving around in circles.
We stopped in the first hut we saw
They sell Kelapa Bakar (Burnt Coconut – RM$3), Cold coconut (RM$2.50), regular coconut (RM$2), Coconut Pudding in a young coconut (RM$4), coconut pudding (RM$2), Yam pudding (RM$2) , Corn pudding(RM$2) , Mango Pudding (RM$2)and Durian pudding (RM$2).
Coconut pudding in young coconut RM$4
This was amazing. There is nothing quite like it – I think the pudding in made with the coconut water itself and maybe a tiny bit of coconut milk. When you get the perfect scoop of smooth, soft pudding along w some fresh coconut flesh – it is mindblowingly good. We polished off a couple of these in seconds.
Very refreshing, very light and fresh tasting.
Pandan Pudding RM$2
This was good, but it does not compare to the pudding in the coconut. It has a very subtle pandan flavour along w some coconut freshness (how many times can I use the word fresh here). Again, the pudding is light, smooth, soft, cold and very refreshing.
We also tried the coconut pudding in a cup & corn pudding. The coconut pudding in the cup is really good, but having it in the fresh coconut makes it better!
The corn pudding was just like the pandan pudding – very subtle in corn flavour with a nice coconuty aftertaste. Smooth, light and soft~
Kelapa Bakar RM$3
It is burnt in little mini huts next to the big huts we sat in:
They just dump the fresh coconut in here and close it:
I think after about 15 minutes, we were presented with a nice black coconut but all ready to be eaten:
The coconut water was piping hot!
I have to say, there is nothing quite like this. The coconut flesh was warm and almost reminiscent of taro/yam but without the “fibres”. The coconut water also changed in taste – it was strange to have something that is hot but still kind of cooling (which was desperately needed in the heat).
They also sell Lukan (a type of clams found in the Mongrove forests and harvested).
They grilled it on a zinc panel on top of open fire
When it is cooked, the shell pops open and they remove it, add a little lemongrass, grills it a bit more
And it is ready!
Served with a chili sauce & kasturi (a type of lime)
Delicious! These were plump, juicy and has a subtle brininess; until cockles or mussels. It was a lot softer in texture as well compared to its’ “cousins”.
I think everyone should give this a try when they are in the area – ask some locals where this strip of road is, because I have no clue!