With the summer holidays calling for pavlovas, you may find yourself with some leftover egg yolks. This year, I’ve decided to turn the remaining egg yolks into something special on its own accord.

Kaya is a popular coconut jam often found in Malaysia and Singapore. It originated from the Hainan province of China, and there are two notable variations – a green variety (naturally coloured with pandan leaves), known as Nyonya kaya, and a brown version, known as Hainanese kaya. Both are equally delicious with its own distinct differences.

Kaya is often served on toast with a slab of butter, a thick smear of the jam, and a side of soft boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper. Add to that, coffee or tea sweetened with condensed milk and to me, that’s the ultimate breakfast. Take me back to Malsysia or Singapore!


Pandan (screwpine leaves) is sometimes referred to as the vanilla of South-east Asia, and the delicate aromatic flavour is simply exquisite. When I recently dined at Boon Cafe in Sydney, a wander through the adjoining grocery store led me to their walk-in fridge which contained a bounty of fresh Thai vegetables, fruits and herbs. In there, a pile of pandan leaves sat with luscious green bitter melons, long cuts of sugar cane, and perfectly glossy apple eggplants, waiting to be converted into something delicious. The pandan leaves were a bargain at just $2.80 for a bunch of 14 leaves, so I instantly decided upon Nyonya Kaya, including making my own pandan extract from scratch.
Traditionally, kaya requires you to stand at the stove, stirring constantly for almost an hour, however, with clever appliances such as the Tefal Cuisine Companion or the Thermomix, you can essentially make this without much effort at all!

Homemade Kaya (Pandan & Coconut Jam)
Serves 10
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
146 calories
16 g
93 g
8 g
3 g
6 g
62 g
27 g
15 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146
Calories from Fat 71
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 27mg
Total Carbohydrates 16g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 15g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 10 pandan leaves
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 150g caster sugar
  5. 280g coconut milk
  1. To extract the pandan juice, wash the pandan leaves and using a pair of scissors, roughly chop into 3 - 5cm pieces.
  2. Throw the pandan leaves into a food processor and blend well, adding the smallest amount of water if necessary.
  3. Place the blended pandan in a muslin cloth and squeeze the pulp to extract 20ml of pandan juice.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water on low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Whisk in the coconut milk and pandan juice, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened.
  6. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.
  7. The kaya will keep for around two months.
Tefal Cuisine Companion Method
  1. Wash the pandan leaves and using a pair of scissors, roughly chop into 3 - 5cm pieces and place into the bowl fitted with the Ultrablade knife. Mix at speed 12 for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add the smallest amount of water if necessary and mix again for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the blended pandan in a muslin cloth and squeeze the pulp to extract 20ml of pandan juice.
  3. kaya-2
  4. kaya-4
  5. kaya-5
  6. kaya-6
  7. Wipe down the bowl and insert the whisk attachment. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl and mix and mix for 30 seconds at speed 3. Increase temperature to 90°C and cook at speed 3 for 10 minutes.
  8. kaya-7
  9. Add coconut milk and pandan juice and set to 100°C at speed 2 for 40 minutes.
  10. kaya-8
  11. At the end of cooking, let it cool for 10 minutes then quickly blend it at speed 8 for 10 seconds. If you prefer a smoother texture, mix for a further 20 seconds.
  12. kaya-9
  13. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.
  14. The kaya will keep for around two months.
  15. kaya-11
  1. To make Hainanese kaya which has stronger caramel notes, replace half the sugar with palm sugar, and instead of the pandan juice, simply knot 3 - 4 pandan leaves and cook this with the coconut milk (remove the leaves before you bottle up).
  2. Fresh pandan leaves can be found at Asian grocery stores, or can be substituted with pandan extract or pandan essence.
I Ate My Way Through https://iatemywaythrough.com/

The result is a luscious, slightly sweet, sumptuously fragrant jam. Although the jam will last up to two months in the fridge, mine barely lasted us two days! Also see my previous post on how to sous-vide eggs as they make the perfect accompaniment to kaya toast.
kaya-30 kaya-35v2 kaya-52v2 kaya-56v2
For more information on the Tefal Cuisine Companion, go to cuisinecompanion.com.au.

Video & photos taken on Canon 5D Mark III, camera equipment from Discount Digital Photographics

I Ate My Way Through received the Cuisine Companion as promotional consideration from Tefal. As usual, all opinions are our own.

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Jennifer is the founder of I Ate My Way Through. Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. These days, you'll most likely find Jen blogging about slow & intentional living On The Slow Lane and sharing what she knows now about mindful parenting and play-based learning at Mama's Got This.


  1. Thanks that you have given credit where credit’s due by mentioning Malaysia. All too often, Malaysian cuisine is “hijacked” by Singapore, claiming it as exclusively their own. Much of this convenience is aided by the fact that Singapore was once part of the Malayan (former name of Malaysia) federation.
    But, on to a more important topic…you’ve indicated that kaya originated from Hainan. I know that the far majority of the quintessentially local coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore that offer kaya toast on their menu are owned and run by Hainanese immigrants and they make the kaya jam themselves; hence a historical association between the Hainanese and kaya & coffee there. But it’s my impression that pinpointing the actual origin of the kaya jam is an altogether more elusive exercise. I’m researching the provenance of kaya and am interested to know if you would be able to share any literature or point me to any information source that provides clarity on this topic? Thanks in advance.


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