Minatamis Na Bao (Coconut Jam)

Easy recipe for rich và creamy homemade Hainanese kaya (coconut jam)! You only need the base ingredients of a custard – sugar, eggs, & coconut milk – to lớn make this delicious, distinct caramel coconut jam.

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This Hainanese kaya (coconut jam) has been on my to-do danh mục for a while!


Two posts ago, I shared this recipe for a rich, creamy homemade Nonya pandan kaya. Even as I was writing that post, I was already thinking ahead of making this Hainanese version.

Hainanese kaya is creamy & so smooth, that the rich fullness of its sweet and distinctly caramel-infused coconut flavour simply melts in your mouth.

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As a lover of kaya or coconut jam, I enjoy both types & cannot possibly argue the merits of one over the other, because their flavours are unique and delicious!

If you’ve tasted both before, whether a homemade or ready-made, vì chưng share your thoughts! Especially how you most enjoy having it!

What is kaya?

Kaya is traditionally prepared with 3 simple ingredients – eggs, sugar và coconut milk.

Though thought of as a coconut jam, as you can see, it’s really a cooked custard.

It’s a staple Asian spread popular in South East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia và Thailand.

The coconut milk is the ingredient that transforms the custard.

Flavours can also be added khổng lồ this base custard lớn make some really amazing varieties of kaya, with added flavours of tropical fruit such as durian, honey & even XO.

It’s actually very convenient to lớn buy ready-made kaya here in Singapore and in Malaysia, that you wouldn’t really feel the need to lớn make this at home.

In supermarkets & mini grocery marts, you can easily get commercially bottled as well as canned kaya spreads.

Bakeries and confectionaries also offer their own freshly produced kaya, catering to lớn increasingly health-conscious consumers by making less sweet or lower-calorie versions.

As easy as it is to just grab và buy a jar of kaya off the supermarket shelves, I very much enjoy the satisfaction of making our own at home because it can be không tính phí of preservatives & made less sweet.

How vì chưng we enjoy kaya?

Seriously, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you could eat it right out of the jar off a spoon! Just like how you would eat peanut butter or ice cream!

I most enjoy eating kaya the classic way. Picture it spread lavishly onto thick or wafer-thin slices of toasted soft trắng milk bread.


And in typical Singaporean fashion, thickly cut slabs of cold butter laid on vị trí cao nhất are a must!

The butter, melting và oozing over the kaya by the warm heat of the toast, will have your eyes rolling in sweet gastronomic heaven!

Kaya is also amazing as a sweet filling in sweet buns & rolls, pastries & cakes.

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Hainanese Kaya vs Nonya Pandan Kaya

You don’t need khổng lồ be a regular kaya eater to appreciate the differences as well as similarities between Hainanese kaya và Nonya pandan kaya.

One obvious difference is the colour. Hainanese kaya is usually the colour of deep caramel or toffee imparted by the caramelised sugars.

Nonya pandan kaya is naturally light green, as the custard is typically coloured by the juices of freshly squeezed screwpine leaves, or what we refer to, locally, as pandan juice.


this recipe

The next difference is flavour. Personally, I find that Nonya kaya has a muted sweetness khổng lồ it, & obviously, a very distinctive pandan flavour because of the pandan juices.

Hainanese kaya is typically sweeter, và has a syrupy, honeyed flavour from the caramelised sugars.

The method of preparation may also be slightly different. In traditional Hainanese kaya recipes, sugars are heated & melted until completely caramelised into a golden toffee-coloured syrup.

The syrup is then added to the coconut-egg mixture, và gently cooked, bain-marie style. Sometimes, honey may be used to sweeten the jam.

When cooking Nonya pandan kaya, eggs, sugars, coconut milk & pandan juices are all first mixed together, before cooking in a bain-marie to lớn get the soft custard.

Both Hainanese as well as Nonya pandan kaya spreads are aromatic and characteristically ‘lemak‘.

Lemak is a Malay word used in gastronomic terms, to mean the creamy richness of a food, often attributed to lớn recipes with lots of coconut milk.


It doesn’t take very long to lớn prepare homemade kaya. For an hour’s light labour in the kitchen, you’ll be rewarded with this wonderfully rich & creamy coconut egg jam!

I guarantee homemade kaya will absolutely spoil you, once you try it. You probably won’t be able to lớn appreciate those cloyingly sweet, bottled ones ever again!


About this Hainanese kaya recipe

The great thing about homemade versions is that you’re absolutely không tính tiền to make it the way you & your loved ones enjoy them.

In pinning down a recipe that’s easy và straightforward, I came across this one posted by Sonia of Nasi Lemak Loverhere.

I’ve adjusted the sweetness by reducing the amount of sugar.

I’ve also taken the liberty of adding a little butter, as I typically bởi vì when cooking fruit curds và jams.

I added it at the over of cooking lớn enrich the flavour a notch, và to blunt the sharp sweetness of sugars in the jam.

Do try this, và tell me what you think! If you’ve got a good recipe to lớn share, or made one with your own adaptations, I’d love lớn hear about it! Sharing is caring! Have a wonderful week ahead!

If you tried this recipe, don’t forget to nội dung it on Instagram by tagging
nhatroso.com or #nhatroso.com. I’d love khổng lồ see!