Chai Pao/Chai Kueh (Steamed Vegetable Dumplings)

Hakka Chai Kueh / Choi Pan (Steamed Vegetable Dumplings)

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 24 large dumplings
Author: Marvellina
You gotta try this homemade Hakka chai kueh with this easy recipe to get that soft crystal skin with delicious savory jicama filling.
Print Recipe



  • 1 lb jicama peeled and shredded
  • 2 large carrots peeled and shredded
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 6 oz raw medium shrimp -optional peeled, deveined and chop finely
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 stalks green onions thinly sliced
  • small bunch of cilantro leaves roughly chopped


  • 200 gr wheat starch (teng mien)
  • 100 gr tapioca flour + more for dusting
  • 400-500 ml boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil

Chili sauce:

  • 10 medium-size dried chili soaked in warm water to rehydrate
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar


Preparing the filling (can be done one day ahead):

  • Preheat oil in a large wok or skillet. Saute the garlic for about 10 seconds, add in the shrimp and cook until they turn color, about 30 seconds or so. Add in the jicama and carrots and cook for about 2 minutes, add in the green beans and saute for another minute. Add in fish sauce and sugar stir to mix everything. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in green onions and cilantro leaves. Remove from the heat and let it cool off completely before wrapping

Preparing chili sauce (can be done one day ahead):

  • Place all the chili sauce ingredient in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook until the sugar dissolves. The sauce should be slightly sweet and tangy. Adjust by adding more sugar or vinegar to your liking

Preparing the skin:

  • Mix the wheat starch and tapioca starch into the mixing bowl and pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir with a spoon, then use your hand to knead into a dough that is still somewhat sticky to touch. Add in 2 Tbsp cooking oil and continue to knead until you form a non-sticky dough. Add a bit more tapioca flour if needed. Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes
  • Lightly flour the surface and your hands with tapioca flour. Divide the dough into 4 portions and then each portion into 6 little dough and roll into balls

Making the skin wrapper, wrapping, and steaming:

  • If you are using dumpling press or tortilla press: Line the press with parchment paper and then place one dough ball in the middle of the press and press into a thin wrapper. Dust with some flour and repeat until you are done with the dough
  • If you are doing this manually: Use your palm to slightly flatten the dough and then use a small rolling pin to roll into a circle about 1/8-inch thin if possible. The dough might be a bit sticky to work with but just dust with some tapioca flour
  • Place about 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the middle of the wrap and then fold into half circle and pinch to seal. Repeat with the rest
  • Brush each dumpling with some oil. Line the steamer with banana leaves brushed with some oil (optional) or place them on a plate brushed with some oil and steam for 15 minutes or until the skin turns white and slightly translucent. Let them stand for about 1 minute before serving. Serve with the sauce on the side


The uncooked dumplings can be freeze and can last up to max 3 weeks. Try to place them not touching each other so you don't have whole bunch of dumplings stuck to each other