Chwee Kueh

Singaporean food isn’t just about the infamous chilli crab and Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice. Singapore has a huge hawker and food court culture. It is normal that a typical Singaporean eats breakfast lunch and dinner outside than at home. What’s a typical Singaporean breakfast when I was growing up? It was kaya on toast with half boiled egg. It was mee siam, mee rebus, porridge, mee pok, fried noodles and so much more yummy savory sort of dishes and none of these boring cereals, rolled oats and even worse, Weetbixs! Breakfast in Singapore is so much more interesting.

kaya toast with eggs

Kaya Toast from Chin Mee Chin (Singapore) with half boiled eggs

I can remember bits and pieces of my childhood with Grandma. We would have many trips to the neighbourhood hawker for cream cakes and one of our favourite dishes, chwee kueh. It is a really simple steamed rice flour topped with salted radish. The texture of the rice flour is rather soft and great for old grandma with few strong teeth left and small kid like me that has missing tooth! Grandma would always have hers with a big dollop of chilli or sambal with a kopi O (black strong coffee) and I would have mine with a Horlick or Milo.

I still have this whenever I am back for a visit. It was also one of Dad’s favourite and now it my turn to keep the tradition and if I ever have kid or kids, I hope they love this as much as their great grandma and grand dad.

Chwee kueh

Chwee Kueh – One of my favourite breakfast hawker dishes

Salted radish can be found in Asian grocer. It needs to be soaked in water to dilute its saltiness.

Salted radish

This jar of sambal is from Singapore and hand carried here by mum. If you do not have any of these delicious sambal, you can use chilli sauce instead or even sriracha sauce.

Sambal sauce

I got these chwee kueh moulds from Singapore. You can use your little tart moulds instead? Also I used the bamboo steamer and therefore had to lower the heat down to medium or else the mixture will bubble over as it is too close to heat. If you are using the metal Chinese steamer, the heat can remain at high.

Rice flour mixture in steamer

Ingredients (makes 12):

Steamed rice flour

  • 75g of rice flour
  • 10g of tapioca corn starch
  • 1/5tsp of salt
  • 425ml of water
Salted radish topping
  • 125g of salted radish, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp of dark sauce
  • 1tsp of light soy
  • 11/4 tsp of sugar
  • White pepper
  • 1tbsp of cooking oil and some extra for moulds
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Sambal (optional)
  • Soak salted radish in water for about 15 – 30 mins. Then finely chop the salted radish. Heat up the oil and then add the finely chopped garlic. Add the finely chopped salted radish, soy sauce, dark sauce, sugar and white pepper. Stir fry until all come together. It takes about 5 minutes. Add a touch of sesame oil at the end, combine and then remove and set aside
  • Mix 75g of rice flour, 10g of tapioca flour and 200ml of water and set aside for 15 minutes. Then mix 225ml of boiling water to the rice flour mixture. Add salt and stir until all mix through
  • Oil the chwee kueh moulds. Place them into the steamer to heat up. Once they are heated up, pour the rice flour mixture into the moulds. Lower the heat to high medium and allow it to steam for about 12 – 14 minutes. Allow it to cool when done and then use a little knife and spoon it out. Top with the salted radish mixture and a dollop of sambal but that is optional
I miss having chwee kueh with a kopi for breakfast. I miss heading to the hawker in my singlet, shorts and thongs for breakfast. This breakfast is simple, it reminds me so much of my grandma and dad. It reminds me of where I come from. It reminds me that good food is not necessary expensive or complex.
Chwee kueh