Chinese Steamed Cake Recipe: How to Make Huat Kueh – Seaco Online
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Chinese Steamed Cake Recipe: How to Make Huat Kueh

If you're looking for a sweet and simple dessert that's perfect for Chinese New Year or any other special occasion, look no further than huat kueh. This traditional Chinese steamed cake is a symbol of prosperity and good luck, making it a popular choice for celebrations and offerings.

A bamboo steamer filled with fluffy, round Chinese steamed cakes, surrounded by steam and traditional Chinese tea set

Huat kueh is made from a few simple ingredients, including rice flour, sugar, and yeast. The cake rises during steaming, creating a light and fluffy texture that's perfect for snacking on. While the basic recipe is easy to follow, there are plenty of variations out there to explore, including recipes that use different types of flour or add in other ingredients like coconut milk or pandan.

Whether you're a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, huat kueh is a fun and delicious recipe to try out. With a little practice, you'll be able to whip up a batch of these tasty treats in no time. So grab your ingredients and get ready to steam up some good luck with this classic Chinese dessert.

Key Takeaways

  • Huat kueh is a traditional Chinese steamed cake that symbolizes prosperity and good luck.
  • The basic recipe uses rice flour, sugar, and yeast, but there are many variations to explore.
  • Seafood can be used in the recipe, such as shrimp or crab meat, to add a unique twist to this classic dessert.

Understanding Huat Kueh

A bamboo steamer sits atop a pot of boiling water, filled with fluffy, round Huat Kueh cakes, steam rising from their soft, golden surfaces

Huat Kueh, also known as Fatt Koh, is a traditional Chinese steamed cake that is usually served during festive occasions such as Chinese New Year. The cake is considered auspicious and is often offered as a symbol of good luck.

Cultural Significance

In Chinese culture, the round shape of the Huat Kueh represents completeness and unity, while the splitting of the cake during the steaming process symbolizes the emergence of new opportunities and prosperity. As such, the Huat Kueh is often given as a gift during festive occasions, as a gesture of goodwill and blessings.

Variations Across Regions

There are many variations of Huat Kueh across different regions in China. In the Fujian dialect, it is known as "Huat Kueh", while in Cantonese, it is called "Fatt Koh". In some regions, the cake is made with yeast, resulting in a fluffy texture, while in others, it is made with baking powder, resulting in a denser texture.

Some variations of Huat Kueh include adding ingredients such as pandan leaves or red bean paste to the batter, resulting in a unique flavour and colour. Seafood such as shrimp or scallops can also be added to the batter, giving the cake a savoury twist. If you are interested in adding seafood to your Huat Kueh recipe, consider using fresh shrimp or scallops, which can be finely chopped and added to the batter before steaming.

In summary, Huat Kueh is a traditional Chinese steamed cake that is rich in cultural significance and often served during festive occasions. With its unique texture and flavour, it is a delightful treat that can be enjoyed by all.

Ingredients List

A table with ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, water, and pandan leaves for a Chinese steamed cake recipe

If you are planning to make Chinese Steamed Cake (Huat Kueh), you will need to gather the following ingredients:

Flour Choices

You can use either rice flour or plain flour to make this cake. Rice flour will give you a chewy texture, while plain flour will make the cake more tender.

Sweetening Agents

To sweeten your cake, you can use caster sugar, brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or icing sugar. You can also use a combination of these sugars to achieve the desired sweetness.

Leavening Agents

To make your cake rise, you will need to use either Eno, baking powder, or yeast. Eno is a popular choice as it is readily available in most supermarkets.

Additional Flavours

You can add coconut milk and pandan leaves to give your cake a fragrant aroma and taste. If you want to add more flavours, you can also use food colouring to make your cake more visually appealing.

Seafood is not a traditional ingredient in Chinese Steamed Cake (Huat Kueh), but you can experiment with adding some seafood to your recipe. Shrimp or crab meat can be a great addition to your cake if you want to add some savoury flavour. Make sure to chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it into the batter before steaming.

Preparation Guide

A mixing bowl filled with flour, sugar, and yeast. A pot of steaming water in the background

Mixing Technique

To prepare the batter for the Chinese steamed cake recipe Huat Kueh, you will need to mix together the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, and fine granulated sugar. In another bowl, mix together the water, cooking oil, and eggs until well combined. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while whisking the batter until it becomes smooth and lump-free.

Proofing the Batter

Once the batter is mixed, it needs to be proofed before steaming. To proof the batter, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This allows the batter to ferment and rise, resulting in a fluffy and light texture.

While the batter is proofing, prepare your steamer by filling it with water and bringing it to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and place the ramekins in the steamer. Cover the steamer and let the cakes steam for about 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your Huat Kueh recipe, you can try adding some chopped shrimp or crab meat to the batter before steaming. This will give your steamed cakes a unique flavour and texture that is sure to impress your guests.

Steaming Process

A bamboo steamer releasing steam over fluffy Chinese steamed cakes

Steaming Equipment

To steam your huat kueh, you will need a steamer. You can use a traditional bamboo steamer or an electric steamer. If you are using a bamboo steamer, make sure to line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves to prevent the cake from sticking. If you are using an electric steamer, follow the manufacturer's instructions for steaming.

Cooking Duration

To steam your huat kueh, place the moulds in the steamer and steam on high heat for 15-20 minutes. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake to check if it is done. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, continue steaming for another 5-10 minutes.

It is important not to over-steam your huat kueh as it can become dry and tough. Similarly, do not under-steam it as it will not rise properly. The cooking duration may vary depending on the size of your moulds and the power of your steamer, so keep an eye on your huat kueh as it steams.

If you want to add seafood to your huat kueh recipe, try using small pieces of chopped prawns or scallops. These can be added to the batter before steaming and will give your huat kueh a delicious seafood flavour.

Serving and Storage

A bamboo steamer sits atop a pot of boiling water, filled with fluffy, golden huat kueh cakes. A stack of small plates and airtight containers wait nearby for serving and storage

Best Ways to Serve

Huat Kueh is a perfect addition to any breakfast spread. The soft and delicious cake pairs well with a hot cup of tea or coffee. You can serve it plain or with a dollop of whipped cream. If you want to add a seafood twist to the recipe, you can serve it with a side of steamed prawns or shrimp. They complement the cake's texture and add a unique flavour to the dish.

Storing Leftovers

Huat Kueh is best served fresh, but you can store leftovers for up to three days in an airtight container at room temperature. After three days, the cake may lose its softness and become dry. You can also freeze the cake for up to a month. To freeze, wrap the cake tightly in cling film and place it in an airtight container. When you're ready to eat, thaw the cake at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Remember that Huat Kueh is a nutritious snack that can be enjoyed any time of the day. It's low in fat and calories, making it an excellent option for those watching their weight. Plus, the cake is gluten-free, making it a perfect option for those with gluten intolerance.

So, whether you're looking for a quick breakfast option or a healthy snack, Huat Kueh is an excellent choice. Try it out today and let your taste buds be the judge.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming bamboo basket filled with freshly made Chinese huat kueh, surrounded by traditional ingredients like sugar, flour, and yeast

How do you make a simple steamed Huat Kueh?

To make a simple steamed Huat Kueh, you'll need rice flour, sugar, baking powder, water, and any food coloring of your choice. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in the water and food coloring. Mix until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Steam the batter for about 15-20 minutes, or until it splits at the top and rises.

What's the secret to the fluffiest Pandan Huat Kueh?

The secret to the fluffiest Pandan Huat Kueh is using fresh pandan juice. You can extract the juice from pandan leaves by blending them with water and straining the mixture. The pandan juice not only adds a fragrant aroma but also helps to make the cake fluffy.

Can you use self-raising flour for making Huat Kueh?

No, you can't use self-raising flour for making Huat Kueh. Self-raising flour already contains baking powder, which will affect the texture and rise of the cake. It's best to use plain flour and add baking powder separately.

How to incorporate brown sugar in a Huat Kueh recipe?

To incorporate brown sugar in a Huat Kueh recipe, simply replace the white sugar with brown sugar. The brown sugar will give the cake a caramel-like flavour and a darker colour. You can also use dark brown sugar for a more intense flavour.

What causes Huat Kueh to 'smile' properly?

Huat Kueh 'smiles' properly when the batter is steamed at the right temperature and for the right amount of time. The batter should be steamed over high heat for the first 5 minutes, then lowered to medium heat for the remaining time. The cake should also be steamed until it's fully cooked and the top splits into beautiful sections.

What's the cultural significance behind Fa Gao?

Fa Gao, also known as Huat Kueh, is a traditional Chinese cake that's often eaten during festivals and auspicious occasions. The cake is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who eat it. The name 'Huat Kueh' means 'prosperity cake' in Hokkien dialect, while 'Fa Gao' means 'prosperity cake' in Mandarin.

As a suggestion, you can add seafood to your Huat Kueh recipe by incorporating dried shrimp or scallops into the batter. This will add a savoury flavour and a unique texture to the cake.