Kaya Toast: A Taste of Malaysia

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Kaya Toast, a dish consisting of two slices of toast with butter and kaya (coconut jam), is a popular breakfast item in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore. It is believed that Hainanese immigrants created Kaya Toast during the Straits Settlements period when they served on British ships docked at ports.

The Traditional Preparation

Traditionally, the bread for Kaya Toast is grilled over charcoal, then buttered and topped with kaya jam. In Malaysia, this toast, prepared with butter and kaya, is sometimes referred to as “kaya toast” in English. Despite changes in preparation methods over time, the kaya spread itself has remained largely unchanged, with renowned retailers still using traditional recipes.

Source: thespruceeats

Kaya Toast Today

Today, Kaya Toast has become a regular item in cafés and can be found at almost every hawker centre. In 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore even unveiled commemorative coins featuring Kaya Toast as part of its commemoration over the inscription of hawker culture into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.


Kaya Toast is more than just a breakfast item; it’s a symbol of Malaysia’s rich culinary history and cultural heritage. Whether you’re dipping it into a soft-boiled egg or enjoying it with a cup of traditional coffee, Kaya Toast offers a unique taste of Malaysia that is sure to delight.


Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal