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Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)

Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)
Filed Under: Ingredients

Gula Melaka or palm sugar. They are popularly used in Nonya, Malaysian, Thai and South East Asian cooking (including drinks and desserts).

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They are commonly sold in the cylindrical cake blocks as shown above, as the collected sap from coconut palm trees are boiled, thickened and poured into cylindrical bamboo tubes to solidify.  As compared to white sugar, it has a deeper, richer and smokier flavour.

Granulated Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)

You can also buy gula melaka in the granulated form, which is convenient for use as a sweetener for coffee and tea (replacing regular white sugar).

Gula Melaka Syrup

Gula melaka syrup (see recipe) is made by melting the chopped pieces over a low stove heat with small amounts of water until a thick maple syrup consistency is reached (pictured above; 1-3). They are used to flavour many South East Asian drinks and desserts. You can also buy ready-made ones from the supermarkets (pictured 4 above). In Singapore, you can purchase gula melaka from major supermarkets such as NTUC and Sheng Shiong (dried goods section).

Check out recipes tagged with the ingredient “gula melaka” on Noob Cook.

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4 comments on “Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)”

  1. Hi, I used the same brand pictured at the start of this post. Used it for a tangyuan soup and found some big ants and many black specks. Previously used another unknown brand and also found many black specks and suspected insect parts (possibly baby roaches?!). Is this normal for all gula Melaka? Is there a particular brand that has less of such impurities?

    • It’s not supposed to come with insect parts no matter which brand! I think you have to buy where the stock is fresh (try a market with high turnover).

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