Saturday, 5 July 2008

White Radish Cake (Basic)

I had never thought of making Cai Teow Kueh due to the lack of mandatory ingredients like rice flour and cai por. Since it is now quite easily available (about a total driving time of five hours including toll charges of S$20) there is no reason not to try it out to satisfy one's cravings.
Final product
Radish puree
Pork lard added
Cooked mixture
Cover with cheese cloth before steaming
Cooked radish cake

This is Gina's recipe from Kitchen Capers. Gina, thanks for sharing.

Read more tips in cooking the mixture from Gina's Forum.

1 kg white radish
600 g Chinese Rice flour
6 cups hot water
1 tsp Alkaline Water (you can get this from Phoon Huat or shops selling baking items)
1 tsp salt

1. Shred radish and steam on high heat for 30 minutes.
2. Add flour and water, salt and alkaline water to mix.
3. Put it over low heat to boil.
4. Stir continuously till dry and sticky.
5. Turn off the stove and pour mix into a large square pan lined with glass paper.
6. Steam on high heat for 45 minutes
7. Wait for it to cool completely before slicing it.

My Method:
1. I have incorporated a tablespoon of pork lard into the mixture before steaming based from my one off experience in making chwee kueh.
2. The shredded radish was brought to the boil instead of steaming with just enough water to cover and simmered gently for about five minutes. Strain, save the juices and puree ¾ of radish in a blender till smooth. Use the juice as part of water content to be added to the mixture. Mix unblended and pureed radish to the mixture.
3. Alkaline water was not used due to lack of availability but I improvised with a teaspoon of potato flour
4. To serve see link for Fried White Radish Cake

Fried White Radish Cake (Cai Teow Kueh)

I am trying to replicate this dish from memory based on my observations back home in Singapore at the hawker centres. I hope it will help you along.
Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.
A platter of sin without Chilli
Yet another platter of sin with Chilli

1. Radish cake, sliced or bite size pieces. Amount depends on how hungry you are.
2. An egg - optional
3. Cai por, finely minced, optional
4. Light soya sauce, if required
5. Chilli sauce - optional
6. Spring onions, finely sliced, amount depending on taste
7. Pork lard, vegetable oil or oil of your choice
8. One clove or more garlic - roughly chopped
9. Black sweet sauce, amount depending on taste

1. Pork lard was used to fry up this dish with minced cai por. For healthier version, use vegetable oil. Fry the radish cake first and when heated through over high heat, fry cai por. When cai por 'pop' around, add garlic, fry till aromatic. Do not burn garlic.
Mix well and cut cakes into smaller pieces if desired.
2. If using an egg, crack and beat egg lightly. Spread over cake and mix well.
3. Amount of sauces if used, are accordingly to your taste.
4. The only sauce needed for my version was sweet sauce or Ketjap Manis (black sweet sauce) as the cai por I have in stock was very salty indeed thus light soya sauce was not necessary.
5. I appreciate eating this dish by using toothpicks especially the tiny weeny bits and the surprise findings of garlic and cai poh amidst the kueh.

Steamed Fish

Mum loved fish and I must have learnt from her in how to appreciate the whole fish.
Mum and dad absolutely loved this dish whenever I had the opportunity to cook it.
It was a privilege and joy to cook for them and seeing the satisfaction on their faces made me extremely happy indeed.
My favourite parts of the fish are the stomach, cheeks and fins etc. I love fish of any variety and there are a myriad ways of steaming a fish. One of my indulgences is steamed fish topped with crispy ginger slivers.

This is my style and hope you will appreciate them as much as my parents.

1. One medium sized whole fish about one and a half lbs, scaled, gutted and patted dry.
2. Three tablespoons of onion oil or oil of your choice. (

For steaming (A)
1. Two spring onions or bunch of parsley/coriander, sliced into halves and three ginger slices to stack loosely to form a bed for the fish.
2. Stuff loosely a few pieces of each herb into fish's stomach.

For garnishing (B)
1. One spring onion, sliced including the white part.
2. Thumb of ginger or more, sliced into very thin strips.
3. ¼ freshly sliced red chillies or more (optional).

1. Two tablespoons of Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chew.
2. Three tablespoon of light soya sauce or more depending on your taste.
3. Four tablespoons of warm water and a very small pinch of rock sugar. Mix well to dissolve.

1. Bring steamer to a rapid boil.
2. Pat fish dry, this is important so that the fish steams immediately.
3. Rub lightly with few drops of Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chew over fish including stomach cavity (you can skip this part if you `prefer)
4. Adopt step under 'For steaming (A)'
5. When water is boiling rapidly, lower to medium and steam fish gently for between eight to nine minutes depending on size of fish.
6. When fish is steaming, heat up a small pot. When pot is very hot, add light soya sauce followed by a splash of Hua Tiao Chew. Quick swirl, lower flame, add water solution with rock sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste. Keep sauce simmering on lowest heat possible or microwave to heat up later.
7. In a separate small pot, heat onion oil and gently fry the strips of ginger till crispy. Dish ginger, set aside and strain oil. Pour oil back into pot and heat oil up till smoking point. Do this only when you are about to serve.

1. Discard herbs, juices from steamed fish and place it on warm serving plate.
2. Drizzle sauce around fish and inside stomach cavity.
3. Garnish fish with sliced spring onions and chillies if used and spoon over with smoking hot oil.
4. Top with crispy ginger and serve hot.

Faster Method:
1. Skip steps under Method for (3), (6) and (7).
2. Splash some light soya sauce on cooked fish and garnish with spring onions, fresh ginger slivers and fresh chillies if used.
3. Heat three tablespoons oil of your choice till smoking and drizzle over vegetables and fish.
Serve immediately. The sizzling sound of oil when in contact will whet your appetite.
4. If using fillet, choose white fish with thick cuts. Skip For Steaming (A) and reduce steaming time.