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Chinese Kueh Recipe: Homemade Delicious Steamed Rice Cakes

Kueh, also known as kuih, is a type of bite-sized snack or dessert that can be found in many Southeast Asian countries, including China. Chinese kueh comes in many different shapes, sizes, and flavours, and is often served during special occasions such as weddings and festivals.

A table with various ingredients and utensils laid out, including flour, sugar, coconut milk, and a mixing bowl. A recipe book open to a page with instructions for making Chinese kueh

Chinese kueh is typically made from rice flour, wheat flour, or glutinous rice flour, and is often sweetened with sugar or palm sugar. The dough is then steamed or baked, and may be filled with a variety of ingredients such as coconut, peanuts, and red bean paste. Some popular types of Chinese kueh include huat kueh, kueh lapis, and chwee kueh.

If you're interested in trying your hand at making Chinese kueh at home, there are many recipes available online. With a few key ingredients and some basic preparation techniques, you can create delicious and authentic Chinese kueh that will impress your family and friends. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with adding seafood to your kueh for a unique twist.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese kueh is a type of snack or dessert that is popular in many Southeast Asian countries, including China.
  • Chinese kueh is typically made from rice flour, wheat flour, or glutinous rice flour, and may be filled with a variety of ingredients.
  • You can make Chinese kueh at home using basic ingredients and preparation techniques, and can even experiment with adding seafood for a unique twist.

History and Origin

A traditional Chinese kitchen with ingredients and utensils for making kueh, including rice flour, coconut milk, and bamboo steamer

Teochew Roots

Chinese kueh, also known as kuih or kue, is a traditional sweet or savoury cake. It is believed to have originated from the Teochew community in China. The Teochew people are known for their culinary skills, and their influence can be seen in many Chinese cuisines. Kueh is typically made with rice flour and coconut milk, and it comes in various shapes, sizes, and colours.

Singaporean Favourite

Kueh has become a popular snack in Singapore, where it is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is an essential part of Singaporean cuisine, and it is commonly found in hawker centres and traditional bakeries. Chwee kueh, a type of steamed rice cake topped with preserved radish, is a favourite among locals.

The popularity of kueh in Singapore can be traced back to the early Chinese immigrants who brought their culinary traditions with them. Over time, the recipes have been adapted to suit local tastes, and new flavours and ingredients have been added.

Seafood can be a great addition to kueh recipes, especially if you are looking to add a unique flavour and texture. For example, you can use prawns or squid in your kueh filling to give it a savoury twist. Alternatively, you can use fish sauce or shrimp paste to add a salty umami flavour to your kueh.

Key Ingredients

A table filled with bowls of flour, sugar, and pandan leaves. A mortar and pestle crush the leaves while a mixing bowl combines the ingredients

When it comes to making Chinese kueh, there are a few key ingredients that you need to have on hand. In this section, we'll go over the most important ingredients and what makes them so essential to this dish.

Flours and Starches

The main ingredient in Chinese kueh is rice flour. This flour is made from ground rice and is what gives kueh its soft and chewy texture. Tapioca flour is another important ingredient that is often used in combination with rice flour. Tapioca flour comes from cassava and is used to help give the kueh its bouncy texture.

Wheat starch and corn flour are also commonly used in kueh recipes. Wheat starch is used to help thicken the batter, while corn flour is used to help give the kueh a smoother texture. Wheat flour is sometimes used as a substitute for rice flour, but it will give the kueh a different texture and taste.

Savoury Toppings

One of the most popular toppings for Chinese kueh is chai po, also known as preserved radish. Chai po is made by pickling radish in salt and then drying it in the sun. It has a sweet and salty flavour that pairs perfectly with the soft and chewy kueh.

Garlic and shallots are often used to add flavour to the chai po. Dried shrimp is another common ingredient that is used to add a savoury flavour to the kueh. If you're a seafood lover, you can also try adding prawns or crab meat to your kueh for an extra burst of flavour.

Preparation Techniques

Ingredients are laid out on a clean, organized kitchen counter. A mixing bowl, measuring cups, and a wooden spoon are ready for use

Batter Mixing

To make the perfect Chinese kueh, the batter mixing process is crucial. You want the texture to be smooth and wobbly. To achieve this, mix rice flour and wheat starch together with 400ml of water, salt, and oil in a large mixing bowl. It is recommended to use a whisk to ensure the batter is well mixed.

You can also add seafood to the batter for a unique twist. Shrimps and scallops are great options to add a seafood flavour to your kueh. Simply chop them into small pieces and add them to the batter mixture.

Steaming Process

Once the batter is mixed, the next step is the steaming process. Grease the kueh mould with oil and place them in the steamer for a while.

It is important to note that the steamer should be preheated before placing the kueh moulds in it. Steam the kueh for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the kueh is cooked through.

If you do not have a steamer, you can use a microwave. Simply place the kueh in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until the kueh is cooked through.

The preparation techniques for Chinese kueh are simple and easy to follow. With a few basic ingredients and the right tools, you can make delicious kueh at home.

Condiments and Seasoning

A variety of condiments and seasonings are arranged neatly on a wooden table, ready to be used in a Chinese kueh recipe

Sambal and Chilli Sauces

Sambal and chilli sauces are a must-have when it comes to eating kueh. They add a spicy kick to the dish and complement the sweetness of the filling. You can find various types of sambal and chilli sauces in the market, ranging from mild to extremely spicy. If you are not a fan of spicy food, you can opt for a milder version of the sauce.

When serving kueh, you can either drizzle the sauce over the kueh or serve it on the side. Some popular sambal and chilli sauces that go well with kueh include sambal oelek, sambal belacan, and chilli garlic sauce.

Soy Sauce and Enhancements

Soy sauce is another essential condiment when it comes to eating kueh. It adds a savoury flavour to the dish and enhances the taste of the filling. There are two types of soy sauce that you can use for kueh: light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.

Light soy sauce is more commonly used as a dipping sauce, while dark soy sauce is used for cooking and adds colour to the dish. You can also enhance the flavour of the soy sauce by adding ingredients such as minced garlic, white pepper, and sesame seeds.

If you want to add seafood to your kueh, you can use prawns or dried shrimps as a filling. They add a unique flavour to the kueh and pair well with the condiments and seasoning. Make sure to cook the seafood properly before adding them to the filling.

Serving and Presentation

A table set with an array of colorful Chinese kueh, arranged in an elegant and artistic manner, showcasing the intricate designs and vibrant flavors

Traditional Methods

Chwee Kueh is a traditional Chinese snack that is often served for breakfast. It is a simple dish made of soft, steamed rice cakes topped with savoury chai poh (preserved turnip). To serve, place the rice cakes on a small plate or bowl and top with a generous amount of chai poh. You can also add a sprinkle of chopped spring onions and chilli for extra flavour.

To make the dish more visually appealing, you can arrange the rice cakes in a circular pattern on the plate and top each one with a small mound of chai poh. This will create a beautiful and appetising presentation that is sure to impress your guests.

Modern Twists

If you want to put a modern twist on this traditional dish, you can experiment with different toppings and presentation styles. For example, you can add seafood to the recipe by topping the rice cakes with prawns, squid, or scallops. This will add a delicious and unique flavour to the dish that is sure to impress.

Another way to modernise the presentation is to serve the rice cakes in individual bamboo steamers. This will create a rustic and authentic look that is perfect for a casual gathering or dinner party.

To make the dish even more impressive, you can also serve it with a side of homemade chilli sauce or soy sauce. This will add an extra layer of flavour to the dish and make it even more satisfying.

Overall, Chwee Kueh is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer the traditional method or want to put a modern twist on the dish, there are endless possibilities for serving and presenting this classic Chinese snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table with various ingredients and utensils for making Chinese kueh. A recipe book open to the "Frequently Asked Questions" section

How do you make traditional steamed Chinese cakes?

Traditional steamed Chinese cakes are made using rice flour, sugar, water, and other ingredients depending on the type of cake. The batter is mixed and then steamed until cooked through. Some popular types of Chinese cakes include Png Kueh, Chwee Kueh, and Huat Kueh.

Can you suggest an easy recipe for making Chinese kueh?

If you're looking for an easy recipe for making Chinese kueh, try making Chwee Kueh. The batter is made with rice flour, water, and cornstarch, and then steamed until cooked through. The topping is made with preserved radish and other ingredients. You can find a recipe for Chwee Kueh online or in a cookbook.

What are the top recipes for authentic Chinese kueh?

Some of the top recipes for authentic Chinese kueh include Png Kueh, Chwee Kueh, and Huat Kueh. These cakes are popular in Singapore and Malaysia and are often served as a snack or breakfast item. You can find recipes for these cakes online or in a cookbook.

What ingredients are needed for a classic Png Kueh?

A classic Png Kueh requires rice flour, water, sugar, and other ingredients depending on the filling. Some popular fillings include ground peanuts, coconut, and red bean paste. You can also use seafood as a filling, such as prawns or fish.

How do you prepare Chwee kueh at home?

To prepare Chwee Kueh at home, you will need to make the batter using rice flour, water, and cornstarch. The batter is then steamed until cooked through. The topping is made with preserved radish and other ingredients. You can find a recipe for Chwee Kueh online or in a cookbook.

What's the secret to creating perfect Huat Kueh?

The secret to creating perfect Huat Kueh is to use the right amount of leavening agent. Huat Kueh requires baking powder or yeast to rise and create the characteristic split on the top of the cake. Other ingredients include rice flour, sugar, and water. You can also add seafood, such as prawns or fish, to the batter for added flavour.