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