Traditional Hainanese Yi Buah 自制海南薏粑

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The traditional Hainanese yi buah is a vanishing snack. A thin pastry skin made of glutinous rice flour wraps a fragrant coconut filling. Ingredients for the filling are shredded coconut, sesame, ginger, peanuts and coconut sugar. The main ingredient of this snack is shredded coconut.

It is the custom of our Hainanese family to serve yi buah at joyous occasions such as weddings and birthdays. In addition, the snack is offered to guests to convey blessing.

 traditional hainanese yi buah
 Steamed Hainanese Yi Buah

At every Qingming Festival, we offer handmade Hainanese yi buah to our ancestors at the worship ceremony. The women folks would get together to make the snack one day before the worship ceremony.


traditional hainanese yi buah
fragrant coconut filling wrapped by a thin pastry skin

My sister-in-law’s homemade Hainanese yi buah is well-known and popular among the clans. Every time she brings these to an ancestor worship ceremony, clan members would look longingly at them. They devour our yi buah when offered. Some even resort to stealing the snack when we were not looking. LOL

pan fried traditional hainanese yi buah

Pan fried Hainanese yi buah

Our homemade delicious yi buah stands out among others. The thin pastry skin wraps a tasty coconut filling. We have turned down clansmen who offered to pay S$2 for each of our homemade yi buah. We are reluctant to take orders as it is time consuming and requires lots of hard work to make them.

Learning to make Traditional Hainanese Yi Buah

traditional hainanese yi buah making
Learning to make traditional Hainanese yi buah 

As a Hainanese daughter-in-law, I am expected to learn the family’s custom and traditions. To preserve the skill of making traditional snacks, I learnt making yi buah from my sister-in-law. For the Winter Solstice celebration, we made the snack together. My first attempt was successful under the watchful eye of my sister-in-law.

We do not stinge on ingredients and use good quality products to make the snacks. The aroma of fried coconut stuffing would fill the whole house. Every one in the house just could not wait to taste the first tray of yi buah!

We are more than happy to share our homemade snacks since it is a sharing of blessings and good fortune. Traditional handmade yi buah is not easy to find today. They are hardly sold commercially. Interested to learn how to make them, click here for recipe.


为清明节祭祖, 我们家做的海南薏粑。

以椰子为主馅的海南传统小吃, 海南薏粑(ba第三声)已经被列为“中华名小吃”。 薏粑象征喜庆、团聚、吉祥、幸福、甜蜜、芬芳、丰收、欢乐、友好、情意。


馅料有椰丝、碎花生、碎芝麻、 姜絲和椰糖。

夫家都是海南人,我们一家大大小小都爱吃。姑姑制作的传统海南薏粑是出了名的! 糯米皮蒸得柔软、滑润而不粘, 皮薄馅料饱满, 香浓味美。超好吃!

身为海南媳妇的我, 快快学做海南薏粑, 以免它失传。那么我们就可以在任何时候都有得吃。 (✪‿✪)★

为庆祝冬至, 与姑姑一起制作海南薏粑。姑姑不惜重本用顶级材料 : 进口有机花生, 文冬姜, 印尼椰糖等。哇, 一屋子的椰子香! 大家都好期待第一盘薏粑出炉!


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[…] Views Making Hainanese Yi Buah (glutinous rice coconut cake) which is well-loved by my Hainanese husband and his elders. My […]