Coconut Jam

Coconut Jam / Srikaya

Coconut spread / coconut jam / “srikaya” /serikaya” is a well loved spread in South East Asia, mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Made of only three ingredients – sugar, coconut milk and egg yolks – it is a cherished companion of bread, sticky rice and rice cake.

This takes a long time to make. The secret technique is in the slowly steaming heat. The cooking time also needs to be longer than three hours to ensure the egg yolk is thoroughly incorporated and cooked well with the rest of the ingredients.

The off-the-shelf products are easily found in any stores / bakeries / supermarkets around the country. But nothing beats making it from scratch, and it gives a rest in mind that only pure ingredients are used. The original coconut spread is thin in consistency and the color is usually light brown and glossy. Commercial types normally contain flour (to make them thicker so can be spread more easily on food surface), preservatives (for longer self-life) and coloring / flavoring (original, pandan or caramel varieties are quite common).

This particular recipe was from our grandmother. She made excellent coconut spread.


Coconut Jam, Srikaya

Makes about 4 400ml jars


8 egg yolks

1000 ml coconut milk (or freshly squeezed thick cream from 4 coconuts)

600 gr white sugar

15 pandan leaves (optional)


All cooking utensils to be used need to be spotless clean and dry. Any drop of water will cause the jam to spoil prematurely.

Whisk coconut milk, egg yolks and sugar slowly until all sugar dissolve.

Strain the mixture into a new and clean container using a muslin cloth / very fine strainer. This will make sure no coarse foreign matter in the spread.

The cooking process needs to be done in a double boiler. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the upper saucepan. Stir in the pandan leaves if used. Fill the lower pot with water and bring it to boil.

Fit the upper pot on top of the lower pot with the boiling water.

The coconut milk mixture is kept above the boiling water and heated only by steam. Make sure both pots are tight fitting to prevent steam from escaping.

For the first hour, the mixture needs to be stirred constantly to avoid build up on the bottom of the pot.

For the next two hours, the mixture needs to be stirred for five minutes every fifteen minutes and then covered. The cover of the pot has to be wrapped by a cotton napkin. This will make sure that the steam coming out of the mixture will not drop back into it in form of water mist.

The more stiring done, the finer and glossier the jam is going to be.

Remove from heat and transfer to sterilized jars. Cover only when cool.

Store in refrigerator. Will last for one week.

If caramel-colored spread is preferred, during the last hour, melt 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Slowly boil till the sugar turns light brown. Add into the pot of coconut spread. This will caramelize it and will result in nice golden color.
If green-colored (or pandan flavored) is preferred, during the last hour, you can drop a couple of drops of green food coloring and artificial pandan extract.

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11 Responses to “Coconut Jam”

  1. 1

    Sharon — November 15, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    Wow, thanks for sharing! I’ve never thought that coconut could be used in such a way! Thanks so much!

    Sharon’s last blog post..Making do with what’s in the fridge

  2. 2

    Lori — November 15, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing. Have never had anything like that but I will be sure to try it.

    Lori’s last blog post..Pomegranate Petit Fours

  3. 3

    FamilyFirst — November 17, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    I have kaya + peanut butter on my bread everyday for breakfast! I love kaya!

  4. 4

    noobcook — November 18, 2008 @ 7:42 am

    You’re making your own kaya!! so pro! hehe

    noobcook’s last blog post..Foil-Wrapped Ginseng Chicken

  5. 5

    Jun — November 18, 2008 @ 9:15 am

    It’s a very southeast asian dish. Sweet and coconutty …

    I think you will find it strange at first. But once you get a taste of it, it is very yummy.

    Me too. I just love it.

    It sounded difficult at first, but it is quite easy .. You should try it

  6. 6

    mycookinghut — November 18, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

    Kaya + Toasts = YUM!

    mycookinghut’s last blog post..Apple Streusel Muffins

  7. 7

    Jun — November 19, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

    I am glad you had this one! LOL

  8. 8

    Tez — January 9, 2009 @ 4:10 am

    One hasn’t lived until you have tasted kayang (as my mum calls in Malaysia).
    Mine always comes out lumpy regardless of how much I stir. The asian gorcer sells some that are imported from Singapore but its not as aromatic and is watered down. Craving is starting on this one!

  9. 9

    Steve — April 14, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    practice makes perfect…… detailed instructions first.. big thanks to u

  10. 10

    maria micaela cabarles — September 1, 2012 @ 4:58 am

    i’m so very thankful to this page because of this i’ve successfully done my project!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

      Really? I am so happy to hear that! I am just about to update this recipe to include step-by-step shot.

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