Sunday, April 03, 2011

Chwee Kueh/Quar Ko Kueh/Steamed Rice Cake with Preserved Radish

We called this Quar Ko Kueh (in Hokkien) or Wun Chai Ko (in Cantonese) and it means small bowl cake, but some people called it Chwee Kueh (means water cake) you can read more about it here. This is a popular breakfast item in Malaysia and Singapore. The cakes itself are pretty bland, but with the sweet and salty topping it transformed the cake into a delectable morsel.

I remember during childhood we kids will wait for this old lady on her bicycle to come by late evening selling this. Beside this she sells the sweet version too. She will unmold the cake and passed it to us to put our own topping and we will put a lot of it. She will always scold us for putting way too much ha ha... For this kueh it is all about the topping. Those were the days. I really miss that.

Ingredients for the batter:

150 gram rice flour
4 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp wheat starch
250 ml water

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
360 ml water


300 gram preserved radish (chye poh) – soak in water for a few hours
1/4 cup dried shrimps – soak in water until soft
6 shallots – sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic
2 red chilies – cut small


2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2-3 tbsp sugar (more if you preserved radish is too salty)
3/4 cup water

Prepare the topping first.

1. In a food processor, chopped up the preserved radish and set it aside. Do the same with the dried shrimps.
2. Heat up about 3-4 tbsp of oil, fried the shallots until golden brown, remove and set it aside.
3. In the same pan, stir fry garlic until fragrant. Add in the dried shrimps and chili. Stir fry until fragrant and add in the preserved radish. Stir fry for a few seconds and add in all the seasonings. Mix well and add in the water.
4. Simmer until almost dry (if you prefer more sauce you can add a bit more water) Add in the fried shallots and stir well. Check seasoning. Dish out and set it aside.

Prepare the rice cake:

1. Combined the ingredient (A) and mix well until no lumps. Bring (B) to a rapid boil.
2. Pour the boiling (B) into the (A) batter and mix well. Grease 7-8 rice bowl or aluminum molds with some oil.
3. Prepare the steamer and bring it up to a rapid boil. Put the bowls into the steamer and steam for 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the bowl and steam it over high heat for 20-25 minutes (depend on the size of your bowl)
4. Remove and let it cool down a bit. Unmold the kueh, top it with preserved radish and serve.

I am entering this post in the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday roundup, created and hosted by Sharon of Test with a Skewer and Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies.


Shereen said...

I love this kuih,Gert.My mom will usually buy this for me from the pasar malam and pasar pagi when I was still in school and then when I dah big (literally..hahaha),I would usually beli kat Taman Connought pasar malam on Wednesday night.After pindah to NZ,I kena buat sendiri but so lazy la kena bangun pagi to make.Don't know why I seems to only make this kuih in the morning.Macamlah cannot make this kuih at other time of the day!!!Yours look so syiok!!!yum..yum!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I liked this enough to blog about it twice :). Usually I like mine with smaller piece of kuih and more toppings! :D

Lyndsey said...

This sounds so interesting to me. It is beautiful...I want to sink my teeth into it...right now for breakfast!!!

ann low said...

I love chwee kuih! Your chwee kuih looks very delicious and makes me hungry now ;D

mycookinghut said...

Love this little rice cakes! They are great as mid-afternoon snacks!

Swee San said...

I like chwee kuih loaded with lotsa preserved radish! Time to make my own :)

Chasing Food Dreams said...

oo.. Chwee Kuih! Love this.. have to try out your recipe now for sure..

Thks Gert! :)

Awayofmind Bakery House said...

Wow, this Chwee Kuih looks delicious! I want to eat!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! U're so amazing! I love yr food blog, thks so much for sharing! The pic not only look real, importantly the recipe works! I love chwee kueh, will definitely try this out!

Anonymous said...

Hi, your chai Kuih looks so delicious, must try it out one day, still home made is the best though there are plenty here in KL.

ReeseKitchen said...

This is so so tempting! It has been quite a long time since I ate this..yum yum!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

A classic that will never get old! Love this cheer kueh! Yum!

Alice said...

i love this!
ive an award for u:
pls check it out when u're free
thks ya :)

lena said...

they look good! so those were your childhood nice that you can put your own topping ..the more the tastier!

ICook4Fun said...

Shereen,you can always cook the topping the day before and make the kueh in the morning. It is easy and it take less than half an hour to mix and steam. Talking about that Pasam Malam. I miss going there on Wednesday :)

Shirley, me too. Loads of topping and less kueh :)

Lyndsey, thank you.

Ann, thank you.

Leemei, for us we usually eat this for supper :)

Swee San, me too. Looking forward to see yours :)

Food Dreams, you are welcome.

Ah Tze, :)

ICook4Fun said...

Anon, thank you. Hope you like this chwee kueh.

Sem, yes I too think homemade is still the best.

Reese, are you making some?

Bee Bee, yes this is an old classic. Eat a lot of this when we were young.

Alice, thank you so much for the award.

Lena, yes this kueh brought back a lot of childhood memories.

Cheah said...

These are nostalgic! Never had this for a long, long time! Thanks for sharing.

Shu Han said...

I love this! will be trying my hand at this soon I hope! (:need to get those little moulds though.

shaz said...

Looks so good. I can't believe I've never tried this kuih before. Or maybe I tried it and forgot about it :) I'm going to have to make it very soon so I can jog my memory! Thanks for another great entry dear.

maameemoomoo - a ½ food blog said...


I'm gonna make this soon! I've gotten the moulds already!

Miss the chewy ones.. :(

MummyDing said...

Hi, Your blog is a great support for me to learn cooking and baking food from home. I didn't really appreciate till i had moved to Japan and wanted my kids to know about their other half heritage.

is there any subsitution for wheat starch coz i can't seem to get them?

ICook4Fun said...

Cheah, you are welcome.

Shu Han, hope you like this kueh.

Shaz, don't forget to try it out the next time you go back to Malaysia :)

Maameemoomoo, hope you like this.

MummyDing, just replace it with tapioca flour.

VLi said...

Hi, I tested out three different recipes from various food blogs today because I wasn't happy with how the first two attempts turned out (first one using rice flour and corn flour, second one using rice flour, wheat starch flour and corn flour, and lastly your recipe). Must say your recipe is my favourite--easy steps to follow and the kueh consistency was to my liking. Love it! So glad I persevered to find this website :)

Andy Yeo said...

I just made this 'chwee keh' from your recipe and it's simply delicious and tickle all my tastebuds. The diced preserved radish served with chilli sauce was the best part of it. This is so traditional and reminds me of the good old days when we would squat by the roadside eating these chwee keh. I was in San Francisco lately. Perhaps you can sell this and I'm sure these will sell like hotcakes! Your recipe is the best!