Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kueh Pai Tee (easy version)

I am on the roll with local delights lately. :) There is my recent post of the delicious Curry Mee, followed by the Soon Kueh. And now I am making Kueh Pai Tee. Well I strongly feel keeping the local food heritage alive is important. So being able to cook and share this with everyone, in a way we help preserve what our forefathers have handed down to us. :) And in turn we can hand down to more people. Share the love, share the food ya? 

Though I did make some short cuts of not making the cups myself, I feel we do need to start somewhere right? Plus these cups are readily available in major grocery stalls like Cold Storage and NTUC at a reasonable price. I bought mine for 30 cups at S$10.40 at Cold Storage. Crisp and delicious! It stayed crispy for a good hour and held up the filling really well. I would totally buy again next time haha! Anything to make the busy mummy's life easier!

But, if you die die must make the Kueh Pai Tee shells yourself, try out this recipe from my fellow blogger Alan. 

Else, let's get on with my easier version shall we? And here is what we need:
If you want to add red carrot, by all means. If you want to add ground peanuts, feel free to! As I mention, this is a quick version which you can whip up in an hour's time. 

Ingredients for Filling: (enough for 30 cups)
1.5kg jicama (aka Bang Guan), peeled and shredded
4 cloves shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked and minced

150-200g fresh mini shrimps (I didn't want to use normal ones because it will too big and overwhelming, and thus "ruining" the whole Kueh pai Tee crispy texture.

handful of wolf-berries/Goji (not shown here and it's optional, added for extra sweetness and colour, its good for your eyes!)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken powder 
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white ground pepper
1/4 cup water

Cilicuka sauce (Shermay's , highly recommend! It is halal certified, non GMO, no artificial flavoring and no MSG!)
30 store bought kueh pai tee shells 
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into small cubes
some washed parsley or cilantro leaves for flavor and garnish 
  • In a large cooking pan, add 2 tbsp oil over medium low fire. Add in garlic and shallots. Cook till soft and aromatic.
  • Next add in the minced dried shrimp and cook for another 3 minutes till slightly toasty.
  • Next add in the shredded jicama / Ban Guan and the water. Stir fry a little and then add in the seasoning to the mixture.
  • Combine well and cover the mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium low fire till the jicama is soften. Off fire and dish out the filling. Sprinkle in the rinsed goji and combine. Set aside to cool a little for use later.
  • For the small shrimps, wash and devine them. Then place them in a steamer to cook for 3 to 5 minutes at medium fire till they turned pink. Set aside for use later.
  • Once you get all the filling and topping ready, you are ready to fill those shells and enjoy the kueh pai tee!
It ain't rocket science when it comes to filling these babies... 
My little kiddo was really excited about having this for dinner and eager helped me filled the cups. You first off fill the cups with the jicama mixture, then top it off with chopped egg and the mini shrimp. Then add a cilantro for good measures haha. You can fill them up and enjoy all in one shot or alternatively, make one at a time as you enjoy the crispiness to the max heehee.

Remember to top it off with Shermay's Cilicuka sauce to add that extra "oumph" and kick in the flavor. :9 I am in love with their Cilicuka sauce which is spicy, tangy and a hint of sweetness, a perfect condiment not only for thie Kueh Pai Tee, but also in many local cuisine like carrot cake and chicken rice, yum!

If you are interested to try it out, do drop by TANGS at Orchard on the Feb 1st 2014 from 11am to 8pm for a tasting. But if you can't make it down that timing, don't fret. This Shermay's Cilicuka sauce will be available in TANGS from now onwards. :) Each bot cost S$9.90. 
This is indeed a fun and easy meal to prepare for the family over a lazy weekend. Plus my kids had as much fun filling the pai tee cups as eating them! Kids.... :P I am sure an adult will enjoy these too!

So feel free to give this a try. :) Happy weekend all!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ban Guan Kueh / Soon Kueh

Ah yes, I have finally decided to blog about this Kueh recipe. There has been so many requests for it and because of so many reasons (shan't go there), I held back. Anyway, today's the day I share with all my readers my all time favorite kueh...Ban Guan Kueh...or Soon Kueh?
Frankly speaking, up till now, I am still a little puzzled over the name of this delicious savory kueh. So is it Ban Guan Kueh or is it Soon Kueh? Technically speaking, Ban Guan is jicama in Hokkien. And in this recipe, I used only jicama and no bamboo shoot which is "Soon" in Hokkien. In Chinese, known as "竹笋".So if you ask me...I really don't know haha! Perhaps someone that is reading this, whom also is a kueh "expert" for that matter, can enlighten me on this matter. ;) 

In all else, let's just get to the juicy part shall we? The recipe of course! I have tried so many different recipe and I finally come to one that I can say it works perfectly. All thanks to Anges Chang's book "Anges Chang's Hawker's Delight" which I believe Singapore bookshops have already stopped selling this book. *bummer right* One of her vegetable dumpling recipe uses this kueh skin which looks pretty close to a soon kueh skin. I tried, it turned out great and the rest is history! Anyway, I did minor changes to it and so here is my version:

Ban Guan / Soon kueh (makes about 20-23 kuehs)
Kueh Filling:
800-1kg jicama, peeled and shredded
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked till soften, sliced to thin strips
4 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water till soften, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves, minced
5 shallots, chopped small

3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water (thickening agent)

Kueh Skin:
300g wheat starch (蒸面粉)
200g starch flour (aka Tapioca flour)
100g rice flour
1 tsp salt
825ml boiling water
4 tbsp shortening (those white vegetable shortening, can get in NTUC bakery section)

Some cooking oil and brush to coat the kuehs before and after cooking it
  • First we prep the filling: In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium low fire. Add in the minced garlic and chopped shallots, cook till fragrant.
  • Add the chopped dried shrimp and sliced shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for a good 3-5 minutes till the mixture is aromatic and slightly brown.
  • Add in the shredded jicama and seasoning, stir fry to mix well. Cover and cook till the jicama is soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Lastly mix the corn starch and water together and add into the jicama mixture. This will thicken the whole filling.
  • Scoop out the filling and let cool completely before use.
  • Next you make the skin: In a large mixing bowl, add in all three flours and salt. Next you carefully add in the boiling water.
  • Gently but work rather quickly, stir the whole mixture together (you can use the mixer) till it is all combined.
  • Add in the shortening and again mix well. Let mixture cool down before working with it.
  • Prepare the steamer before you start working on wrapping the kuehs. 
  • If you prefer, you can weigh out the skin portion by portion of about 70g each. Or you can
    just eye balled it. Because once you wrap, you will need to trim the sides to make it neater.
  • Roll out that skin dough portion into a flat round, then scoop about a heaping tablespoon of the filling on top, fold the skin and seal the sides. Give the kueh a good brush of cooking oil to prevent it from sticking.
  • Next is just repetitive work, roll, scoop, wrap ...repeat till all the filling or skin dough is used up. 
  • Steam in the steamer at medium fire for a good 10 minutes. Remove and brush with some cooking oil. Repeat till all have been steamed.
  • Enjoy the kueh while still warm with lots of sweet dark sauce and chilli! Yum :9

This is just one of those comfort meals that I think I will never ever get tired of. Brings back the good memories and nostalgic feelings. :)
So when was the last time you have a warm Soon Kueh? Been awhile? I guess it is time for you to get to work and make some for yourself and love ones! :D

Have a great day ahead all and Happy cooking!