*I have updated the recipe below. Similar batter is used to make the Vietnamese Banh Beo
I came to know about this popular breakfast dish called chwee kueh when I lived in Singapore for a short while. Chwee kueh or 水 粿 literally means “water cake” and hence in Hokkian dialect, they are called chwee, means water and kueh from Malay language means cake.
I called it savory steamed rice cake. Savory because it comes with a savory topping made from preserved radish. The cake itself is made of water, rice flour, tapioca flour, wheat starch and salt. They were then steamed. The cake is pudding-like in texture. The traditional way of steaming chwee kueh is by using a cup-shaped container used specifically for chwee kueh. Of course I don’t have it here in the U.S., but fret not people. If you miss them so much and you are far away from home, you can still make chwee kueh using muffin cups 😉 They turn out perfect!!!
I got this wonderful chwee kueh recipe from Simply Singaporean by Eric Teo. I’ve been cooking quite a bit with this cookbook to satisfy my cravings for so many wonderful comfort food.
Savory steamed rice cake (Chwee kue) - about 24 cakes
- 5 oz (150 g) perserved radish/chai po- finely chopped
- 3.5 oz (100 g) shallot - finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp sugar
Heat 2 Tbsp of cooking oil in wok. Stir-fry garlic and shallot until fragrant. Add chopped preserved radish along with seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant. Keep warm on low heat
Serve chwee kueh with toppings
Making the cake:
In a large bowl, mix together rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour & salt. Add 250 ml water and stir to mix. Add in the water which has been left 15 minutes after boiling. This step is very important. You don't want the flour to be cooked but you also don't want the water to separate from the flour, this method is to stabilize the flour and give each rice cake the dimple in the middle, like water ferns
Prepare your steamer by adding water. Water in the steamer needs to be boiling at all time during the steaming of the rice cake. This is very important
If you have individual condiments bowls, you can use them, or you can use mini muffin tins. Brush them with a bit of oil. Make sure you place these inside the steamer and let them steam empty for 1-2 mins, Then depending on the size of your bowls, spoon the batter to 3/4 of the bowls, ( It's easier to use measuring cup with pouts to pour the batter), close the steamer lid and steam on high for 5 minutes. I always give the batter a stir before I pour them into the bowls/cups
Leave to cool before either taking the cake out and arrange on a plate and or you can leave them in the bowls and then fill with toppings. I used a mini rubber spatula to remove them from the bowl without any issue
When ready to serve, sprinkle the radish on top and serve immediately