Green Tea Seri Muka: A Luscious Kuih That Will Have You Writing Poetry

Green tea seri muka kuih is amaaaaazing!
Oh for that sweet umami bite and chewy texture, we will do anything!

Do you love Seri Muka Kuih? If you are reading this recipe, this confirms the depth of your devotion. In the Malay language, seri muka translates to “pretty face”.  This classic dessert has graced the tables of Malaysian families for centuries. The tender texture of glutinous rice and reliable richness of the pandan green custard is a staple for many. Here at Butterkicap, we like to take the occasional break to sample a slice of something indulgent – and this dessert is a firm and absolute favourite.

Popping a little green tea powder into your Seri Muka may sound new-fangled – what’s wrong with pandan juice, we hear you cry? Well, green tea powder is the surprising new best friend you never knew you had. Although its roots lie in Japan, like so many once little-known Asian ingredients, this humble hero had a slow path to prominence. Today, green tea is classified as one of the world’s best superfood for optimal health.

Our own version of Seri Muka kuih harks back to this dessert’s Malaysian roots.  Accordingly, we hope to add a dash of excitement to this classic recipe by blending some green tea powder into this popular favourite, typically made from santan, eggs, salt, sugar, pandan, kaya, flour and pulut rice. After some experimentation, we are pleased to say, it worked beautifully! Naysayers and non-believers, you can rest easy, this kuih will rise to meet your expectations. Selamat menjamu selera!


Green Custard

The makings of the best green custard ever!
The secret ingredients for that addictive green custard.
  • 100g (3/4 cup) flour
  • 6 g (3 teaspoons) Fulleaf Tea green tea powder (6 grams)
  • 135 g (3/4 cup) of sugar
  • 288g (2 1/4 cup) of fresh santan or coconut milk
  • 3 small eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pulut Rice (aka Glutinous Rice)

Pulut rice is glutinous rice
Sticky rice made tasty with just a few ingredients.
  • 1 1/4 cup glutinous rice – soak for one hour
  • 230g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 230 g (1 cup) santan
  • 8-inch tray (21 cm deep)


Let’s Start with the rice base

1. Spread pulut rice in a tray.

Fill up the tray with the rice.
Pour the rice in and spread it out evenly.

2. Add 1 tsp salt to santan and stir.

Stir in the salt gently

3. Pour santan mix over rice. The level of santan should be just over the surface of the rice.

Cover the pulut rice with salty santan

4. Steam pulut rice for 25 – 30 minutes. Remember to close the lid of your steamer.

It's ready to get steamy!

5. Take the tray out of the steamer. Press down the sticky rice.

Pressing it down gently makes it compact.
Wear gloves and use a spatula to gently press the pulut rice so that it becomes compact.

Now on to the top green tea layer:

6. Add 1 tablespoon hot water to the green tea powder and mix.

Stir in some warm water
Green tea powder is easy to prepare.

7. In a bowl, add flour, sugar, egg, salt, tea and coconut milk.

Put it all in a bowl.
Throw in the flour, sugar, egg, salt, green tea and coconut milk.

8. Mix well.

Use even strokes.
Use a whisk to mix everything in.

9. Sieve mixture to remove any lumps of flour.

This makes it smooth.
Use a sieve and a spoon to even out any flour lumps.

10. Pour it all over steamed pulut rice.

Fill in the green custard bit.
Pour green custard mix to cover all of the pulut rice.

11. Let it steam again for 25 minutes.

Cover it and let it steam.
Put the lid back on and let it steam.

12. Take it out of the steamer. Let it sit for 1 hour.

Let it rest after being steamed.
Does that look like green tea leaves on the surface?

13. Cut into diamond shapes.

It smells lovely.
Use a knife to cut it into classic diamond or rectangle shapes.

14. Serve. It tastes best when eaten fresh!

Perfect anytime.
Serve it for tea or have it as a dessert.

Extra Tips

  1. If you buy boxed santan, you will need to add in 2 cups of warm water.
  2. If you live abroad and can only get santan in a can, just add 1 cup of water to 3 cups of santan.
  3. 2 1/2 cups of coconut cream makes 3 cups of santan.
  4. If there are water droplets on the surface of the kuih, use tissue to dab away the water. Or if you have deep steamer, you can wrap the cloth around the kuih so that it absorbs water from the steamer.
  5. Get good quality green tea powder. We got ours from Fulleaf Tea Store.
  6. Best consumed fresh. Store in an airtight container if you must. Forget refrigeration, it will make the pulut rice hard, and it will not taste as nice.

Did you take a bite? We did, and we felt like we needed to write poetry to celebrate this lovely heritage kuih for its richness and the ease with which it was made. So here is our little malay pantun for all of you here in Malaysia:

“Seri Muka dijamu waktu petang,
kalau nak menikmatinya jemputlah datang!”

If you have not devoured your masterpiece, do snap a picture and share it on Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to use the #butterkicap hashtag to let us know what you think!

Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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