Fried Radish Cake (菜头粿)
I am a huge fan of Teochew food, a southern China regional cuisine. In Southeast Asia, there are a lot of Chinese of the Teochew descent and many of us are familiar with the homey and delicious Teochew dishes. Today, I am very happy to have Ju at The Little Teochew as a guest writer. Based in Singapore, Ju is a talented home cook and a mother of three. The Little Teochew is a resourceful food blog with many Teochew, Chinese, baking, and everyday recipes. Please welcome The Little Teochew to Rasa Malaysia as she shares her scrumptious fried radish cake (菜头粿) recipe.
Rasa Malaysia is literally an icon in the flogosphere, while I am just The Little Teochew. So, it is a huge honour for me to be guest blogging today.
When Rasa Malaysia suggested a Teochew dish, I knew what I wanted to make – Chai Tow Kway (Fried Radish Cake or 菜头粿). If you live in (or have visited) Southeast Asia, you’d know that this is everyday street food, and a beloved breakfast/supper staple of many Singaporeans and Malaysians…
There are two versions of Chai Tow Kway – white and black. I am featuring both, although I personally live for the black version. ;)
I really enjoyed doing up this post because it brought back many happy childhood memories (hence the “old school” feel of my photos). I grew up eating the Chai Tow Kway at Siglap wet market…those were days when people would BYOE (Bring Your Own Eggs!) for the hawker to fry their Chai Tow Kway with, and ate this dish with toothpicks instead of chopsticks or forks. If you are a child of the 1970s living in eastern Singapore, you will remember this. Ah, nostalgia!
Anyhow, this recipe uses a very high ratio of radish to flour. As my late father would say, “the real deal”, where you get to taste the chai tow (radish) and not the flour. Feel free, though, to adjust the proportions of radish, flour and water. Unlike baking, there are no hard and fast rules to making this, and a little more (or less) here and there will not hurt. Do remember that increasing the amount of radish and water will yield a more tender texture, while increasing flour will give you more ‘bite’.
I hope you’ll enjoy making and eating this dish as much as I did!
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