Bright moon


Spongy and honeycombed, this street food favourite is rather like a giant crumpet. Its entrancing name (terang bulan in Indonesian) comes from the resemblance to a cratered full moon once the batter has puffed and bubbled in the pan. Pick a filling of your fancy before sandwiching into a half moon. A rubble of roasted peanuts and sesame seeds frosted with lots of sugar and a little salt is good. I also like salted butter and a glossy slick of tropical honey. The combination found at most street stalls is a thick spread of yellow margarine (at home I use butter) followed by a generous scattering of dark chocolate sprinkles, grated mild cheese and a final drizzle of condensed milk. Suspend your disbelief at the chocolate cheese combo; as they melt together in the residual heat the resultant salty-sweet ooze is riotously vulgar and totally glorious.


  • 120 g (generous ¾ cup) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 20 g ( tablespoons) butter
  • filling of choice (see recipe introduction)


Tip the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add 100 ml (scant ½ cup) water and one of the eggs and beat until smooth. Set aside for half an hour.

Set a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-low heat - I use one 20 cm (8 inches) across.

At the last moment, when the pan is hot, whisk the second egg into the mixture to make a loose, custard-coloured batter. Stir together the bicarbonate of soda and 1 tablespoon water and whisk this in too.

Grease the sides and base of the pan with a small knob of the butter, then pour in the batter. Swirl to thinly coat a little way up the sides of the pan. Leave undisturbed to cook until three quarters of the surface is pricked with large bubbles.

Turn the heat down to low. Sprinkle over the remaining teaspoon of sugar and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer. It is ready when the wobble has gone and the bubbled surface feels springy to the touch. The bottom should be well browned and crisp.

Remove from the pan and slather the top with butter whilst still hot. Add your chosen fillings in generous quantities and slice the moon in half. Sandwich together and cut into manageable pieces. Eat without delay.