Friday, July 09, 2010

Ham Chim Peng/Chinese Fried Bread

Ham Chim Peng is deep fried bread, a very popular snack in Malaysia. You can find vendors selling this kind of snack along the road side stall. I remember there was this famous yau char kuai (油炸粿) stall right in front of Chow Yang coffee shop at PJ SS2 and there will be a long line of people waiting to buy this popular snack. Of course over here in the US we don’t have the luxury of buying this kind of snack so our group of Malaysian ladies tried our hand in making Ham Chim Peng a few months ago with a different recipe but it didn’t turn out good. The HCP were hard and not fluffy at all. This time we decided to make it again using Lily recipe as we are pretty confident with her recipe. How was the result? It was perfect. The HCP were soft and very taste. We think it taste even better than some of the one we bought back in Malaysia. We never thought it was so easy to make except you have to make the starter dough 2 days ahead. With the success of our HCP we will attempt to make Yau Char Kuai on our next gathering.

Starter Dough:

90 g all purpose flour
90 ml water
2 tsp vinegar

Mix all the ingredients for the starter, cover and leave it on the counter for 2 days.

Ingredients A

360 g bread flour
130 g sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp alkaline water
1/2 tsp instant yeast
250 ml water (I used only 220ml)

Ingredients B

1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp salt
Some red bean fillings
Some sesame seeds

1. Mix all the ingredients A with the starter in a big mixing bowl (Use a wooden spoon or spatula as the dough is very sticky) for 5 minutes until combined. Covered the dough with plastic wrap and let rest of 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, bring the dough from the sides into the center and continue to do this until the dough is smooth. Let it rest again for 20 minutes. Repeat this folding and resting for another 3 more times.
2. Rub some oil on the surface of dough, cover well with plastic wrap and leave to proof for 2 - 3 hours. When the dough is ready, sprinkle the salt and 5 spice powder into the dough. Give it a few folds.
3. Sprinkle the work surface generously with flour. Pour out the dough; pinch the desire size of dough. Flatten it and put a tsp of red bean paste in the center and wrap the dough up to seal. Let it aside. Repeat the same to the rest of the dough.

4. Heat up oil for frying to about 325 degree F. Flatten the dough, wet the center of the dough with a little water, sprinkle and press on some sesame seeds.

5. Lower 2-3 pieces into the hot oil and as soon as the dough rises up to the top, flips it over. Try and flip as often as possible, this will enhance the puffiness. Fry until golden brown.
6. Remove and drain the oil on paper towel. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Don’t be alarm as this dough is very sticky. The HCP still stays soft the next day.

Updates: I made this again a few days ago and this time I fermented the starter for a day and I omitted the alkaline water and the HCP tasted just as good.


Anonymous said...

I live in the US too, and I heard that Leslie, the guy who runs the HCP stall in front of Cheow Yang, is still there! I will be going back next month and I will check it out. His HCP is THE best!

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... said...

Oh gosh..... HCP

That's the extend Malaysians will go to get some familiar food. DIY HCP. Something that we here will never ever think of. Cos, how many can we eat??? Lucky you have a bunch of buddies to share with.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

i never think to do HCP by myself, since it is so easy to buy here. anyway, your HCP look exactly like those hawker selling, well done friend! Have a nice weekend ahead.

busygran said...

Doing your own HCP is definitely better and healthier than those bought ones where the vendors will re-use the oil. Btw they look good.

Dee said...

I hope there's more of this left for me when I get there this weekend.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great, we always buy the Vietnamese plain version here.

Cheah said...

Your Ham Chin Peng looks great. Home made ones are definitely better, at least we don't recycle the oil!

Jennifurla said...

LOVE LOVE, had them when I visited.

My Little Space said...

I'm about to try Lily's recipe too. They look very soft & fluffy. right! My daughter & I are so craving for 'kap chong'. We can't easily get those over at the southern part of M'sia. Hope you'll have a great weekend.
Cheers, Kristy

Anncoo said...

Looks so yummy...can I have some ;))

Elin said...

Wow, Gert you are so good at making our local delicacy :) I wish I can make this HCP like the way you do. I think I will try making this after drooling at yours...looks better than those sold outside..When I think of the recycle oil they is better we make ourselves :) Thanks Gert for the recipe. Oh by the way I tried your Stone Fruit Tea Cake and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing that too !

Anonymous said...

Surely you can mail some of this to California? I have not had this for a year. I just sat here and drool over your HCP. they look so good!!!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

looks so yummy, I am going to get some later :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hey Gert, where did u get your Alkaline water? So nice! I have been wanting to make this but it is hard to look for alkaline water in Singapore itSelf! Okay, must really try this out.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Oh my! I can't believe you've actually made this! I salute you! The HCP stalls here usually sell Yau Char Kuai too - did you make those?

Shereen said...

Yay!You did it!!!!...and they look absolutely gorgeous.Since you dah try and it's good, I guess it's my turn!Meleleh my air liur, nice if I'm living next door to you...boleh lah I tolong you I am super lazy to buat sendiri.

Sarah said...

How delicious! Hope you had a cup of our local kopi to enjoy them with.

ICook4Fun said...

Anon, so this still selling at Chow Yang. mmmm I should drop to visit him the next time go to back to Malaysia.

Wendy, yea the few of us ladies will gather once a month to cook Malaysian and also make Malaysian kuehs. At least we won't miss home so much :)

Sonia, if I am in Malaysia I won't make it either. After all we only eat a piece or two so too troublesome to make. You too have a great weekend.

Busygran, yes at least we don't recycle the oil.

Dee, we made this over a month ago so it was long gone. Sorry :)

LCOM, thanks.

ICook4Fun said...

Cheah, yes this HCP were good.

Jennifurla, yea they were great.

Kristy, do try them out. There were really soft and stays that way after 2 days.

Anncoo, thanks.

Elin, yea they do recycle their oil over and over again until you can see the oil were dark brown. Glad that you like the Stone Fruit Tea Cake.

Josephine, too bad we finished all of it already. Maybe the next time :)

Jess, easier just to go out and buy a piece or two :)

Bee Bee, we are able to get the alkaline water from the Asian grocery store. Back in Malaysia or Singapore you can get it from the sundry shop or those Medicine hall. Not sure if you can get it from supermarket or not.

Shirley, yea we will be making tha Yau Cahr Kuai next :)

Shereen, finally we got it right. The previous one we made were no good so do try out this one. There were GOOD. Yea too bad we were so far away from each other kalau tidak we can share :) :)

Sarah, yes we did :)

ReeseKitchen said...

WOW...HCP & YCK are both my favourite. Always buy these on weekends for tea or supper..;p Maybe I'll try to make someday. Your HCP look really nice Gert..:)

Christine said...


You mentioned that you didn't add alkaline water the second time you make it and it tasted okay... what does the alkaline water do ?!

Is alkaline water call "kan shui" in cantonese ?!

Thank you... Really wish to make these and yours look really good = )


Beachlover's Kitchen said...

wow!! you ladies make so much HCP!! look really good especially the golden brown color!!

MaryMoh said...

Mmm...I love this and miss this. It's really a long time I have not eaten this. Wonder why I didn't see this when I went back recently. I think I didn't hunt down the town enough...haha

Pete said...

Wow, nicely done Ham chim peng...

petite nyonya said...

Wow, these look FANTASTIC! Kudos to you and your Msian friends over there. Popular bookshop was on sale last month and I bought a recipe book just for the HCP and yau char kway recipes inside. Of course, it will take ages before I actually will even attempt making them. Haha.

babe_kl said...

gosh look exactly from YCK stalls in KL!!! i really salute you :p i tend to take these stalls for granted.

btw, I'm trying to get suggestions for this year's Merdeka Open House, hope you can contribute some ideas later today. thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have made the starter dough and making this real soon, but i dont really understand the first step instruction by saying " bring the dough from the sides into the center" what does that mean side to the center?? could you pls pls help me to understand as soon as possible....

ICook4Fun said...

Anon, either with a spatula or fingers, pull the dough from the side of the mixing bowl to the center of the dough a few times. Let the dough rest again and repeat the same steps for another 3 times.

Anonymous said...

ok, thank you so much dear i understand now. i have finished my first step and resting now and anyway, i was thinking, why can't this step of kneading/folding use a mixer dough hook instead of using woodenspoon to fold, isn't that faster and more even with mixer? why is that? can u tell me. do u think i can try? what effect it will happen if i use dough hook for dough mixing?

ICook4Fun said...

Anon, you can always try but I too am following someone else recipe and it works well for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! i didn't use the mixer hook, follow your idea of following the recipe. I find that making HCP is not easy, especially the waiting time of the 20 mins and 2 hours..heee....but the result is rewarding!! i managed to make 16pcs, and all turn out super delicious!! look exactly that kind of HCP that i recognize..haaa..taste super good and its soft and puffy so successful! even though some of my HCP redbeand leaks but they look just fine. :) Thank u so much for helping me through in the beginning. love ur blog and courtesy! have a great day ahead and happy cooking dear.

Ken Low said...

i am planning to do this overnight, can i mix a and B together and let it sit for at least 12 hours?

ICook4Fun said...

Ken, I've not done that before so I can't advise you on that. But if you really need to do that, you might want to put the dough in the fridge. Take it out at least an hour before you shape it. Good luck trying. Do let me know on the outcome of it :)

Unknown said...

I experimented this recipe and it turns out very well, IMHO.
The final bread was very soft and has the chewy texture, almost mimic 100% of those that we used to eat during our childhood in Malaysia.
For the first timer, the damn sticky dough can really trick you. You may thought that in somewhere, somehow your recipe might have gone wrong. It's not. The dough is just very sticky right from the start to the end before frying it in the hot oil.
Thank you.