Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that the year went by so quickly – it’s already the third day of the last month of the year! Before we dive into tonight’s post, I would just like to mention that 5 out of my 6 recipe entries for the month-long King Chef 2021 Challenge over on TikTok that I participated in, made it on the Top 20 list of weekly winners! This was also one of the reasons why I hadn’t been posting on my blog as I was focused and occupied in developing creative and unique recipes for the challenge. I think next year (month), I’ll share those recipes on the blog. In the meantime, you can head on over to my TikTok and watch my video entries for those dishes!

Moving forward, tonight, I will be sharing one last dish from Singapore before we fly off to our second last destination on our Flavours of Southeast Asia journey. The dish is known as Chai Tow Kway, or in English, Fried Carrot Cake. Yes, I can see the looks of confusion for those who don’t actually know this dish – because I had the same confusion when I first heard of it. I imagined an actual carrot cake being fried. Au contraire, despite its name, this Singaporean street food favourite doesn’t contain any carrot at all. It is actually made of white radish (daikon), which is first steamed, and then fried, giving it a crisp exterior while still soft and chewy in the center. The reason why it is called carrot cake is because the word for daikon, can also refer to a carrot because of a loose English from Hokkien translation.

Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

To make this dish, white radish is grated and then steamed with rice flour and water. It is then cubed and tossed in a wok with eggs, preserved radish, and other seasonings. I opted to add thick sweet/dark soy sauce but you can leave this out. It is a much-loved local comfort food, not only in Singapore, but also in Malaysia, and can be consumed at various times of the day; it goes from being a breakfast dish, to a side dish, to a late-night supper dish.

PREP TIME 25 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 2-3

*Allow for additional time to cool the steamed radish and to cool the steamed radish cake in the fridge overnight.

INGREDIENTS

Steamed Radish Cake Ingredients

For the radish cake

  • 600g white radish (daikon), shredded or grated
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 & 1/3 rice flour
  • 1/3 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 cup water

Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

For the chai tow kway

  • Radish cake, fried
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 red chillies, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk scallion (light green and white part only), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp salted (preserved) radish
  • 1 tsp sambal paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Blanched bean sprouts
  • Scallion (green part), shredded

METHOD

  1. Steamed Radish Cake: Combine the shredded radish with 3 tablespoons of water in a medium-sized stainless steel (or heat proof) bowl. Steam until the radish turns translucent, about 25 to 30 minutes on low heat. Once done, remove from the steamer and set aside to cool down.
  2. Add the flours, salt and, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and mix thoroughly to combine, to get rid of any lumps.
  3. Add the cooled radish to the flour mixture and mix well to combine.
  4. Pour the radish flour mixture into a 8-in square cake tin and steam for 30 to 35 minutes over medium-high heat. Once done, remove from the steamer and set aside to completely cool down for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the cake to firmly set.
  5. Once the cake is firm, remove from the cake tin and cut into smaller chunks.

Steamed Radish Cake

Steamed Radish Cake

  1. Chai Tow Kway: Add cooking oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Fry the radish cake (in batches if needed), until the edges are brown and crispy-looking. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
  2. In the same pan, sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and scallion, cooking until soft, before adding the salted radish. Cook for a further 45 to 60 seconds.
  3. Add the sambal paste, followed by the fish sauce, white pepper powder, and dark soy sauce (optional), mixing well to even coat the radish cake.
  4. Push the ingredients to one side of the pan. If your pan is feeling a little bit dry, and a bit more oil and add the eggs in. Stir to scramble and cook, about 30 seconds and then stir fry together with the other ingredients.
  5. With the heat off, add the blanched bean sprouts and shredded scallion. Toss to combine and the plate up.
  6. Top with extra bean sprouts, scallions, and red chillies. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

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Sinigang na Bangús

Sinigang na Bangús

Hello Everyone! I’ll make this a quick one because I am eager to start watching Season 2 of Game of Thrones – yes that’s right! After much questions have been asked if I watch Game of Thrones, and hearing the gasps of shock when I say no – peer pressure got the best of me and now I am pretty much hooked onto it; I finished Season 1 in a day and a half! Just a note to myself, don’t watch when having lunch or dinner. I made that grave mistake of eating my dinner and the episode started with someone removing the guts of an animal and skinning it – I wanted to puke.

Anyway, if you have been following my blog for a while now, I posted a recipe for Sinigang somewhere in May last year. I made mention in that post that the dish can be made with any type of meat ranging from fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken, stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, and onions as its base. With that recipe, I used pork spare ribs, and for today’s recipe, I made it with bangús (milkfish). It is essentially the same ingredients and a similar process of cooking. Of course you can make it with any other types of fish; my mom has made this dish with pomfret, mackerel/tanigue steak, and even salmon belly – whatever floats your boat! Also, a perfect winter warmer!

Sinigang na Bangús Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bangus (milkfish); scales removed, cleaned, and cut into 4-5 thick slices
  • 2 small spanish red onions, quartered
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 1 medium sized daikon, peeled and sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soup base
  • Ground salt
  • Fish sauce (optional)

METHOD

  1. Fill a pot with about 1.5L-2L of water. Add the chilli, ginger slices, onions, and tomatoes and boil for about 10-15 minutes. Once boiling, add the tamarind soup base and season with a bit of salt. If you want your soup a little less sour, add in a teaspoon at a time to adjust to your liking (I love my sinigang soup really sour!)
  2. Then add in the daikon and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Follow with the bangús and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Taste, and add a few drops of fish sauce if the soup is tasting a bit bland.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the kangkung in. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Sinigang na Bangús

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Hello everyone! So I realised that I haven’t actually posted any Filipino recipes since starting this blog. For those of you who don’t know, a big part of my diet consists of delicious homemade Filipino food cooked by my Mama while growing up. Her food was always the best. And today I want to share with you a nice sour soup that’ll definitely warm up your insides during a cold winter. Well, growing up in the tropics didn’t stop us from having a nice bowl of this soup! I’m actually quite proud to be Filipino because there is nothing that I love more than Filipino food.

Sinigang is characterised by its sour and savoury flavour that is traditionally tamarind based. There are other base variations where the soup obtains its sourness from such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or unripe mango. Seasoning powder or bouillon cubes based on tamarind is also used in place of natural fruits. This dish can be made with any type of meat ranging from fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken, stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, and onions as its base. The dish is then accompanied with various vegetables such as okra, gabi (baby taro), daikon (white radish), kangkung (water spinach), snake beans, and eggplant. Often, chillies or peppers would be added to the dish in order to enhance the taste while adding a little spice.

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg pork spare ribs
  • 2 small spanish red onions, quartered
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium sized daikon, peeled and sliced
  • 5 small baby taro, peeled
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soup base
  • Ground salt
  • Fish sauce (optional)

METHOD

  1. Add the pork ribs into a large pot with water filled to about halfway. Boil the ribs on high heat for 30 minutes, then add the chillies, onions, tomatoes, and season with salt. Boil for another 30 minutes.
  2. Add the baby taro and let to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the daikon in. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove 2 of the baby taro and push them through a sieve. Return to the soup to thicken the base and make it richer (this is optional).
  3. Add the tamarind soup base, if you want your soup a little less sour, add in a teaspoon at a time to adjust to your liking (I love my sinigang soup really sour!). Add a few drops of fish sauce if the soup is tasting a bit bland.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the kangkung in. Serve immediately with rice.

Pork Spare Ribs Sinigang

Filipino is not a very famous cuisine as that of its Thai and Vietnamese neighbours. I only know of one Filipino restaurant here in Sydney, and only 1 grocer in Chatswood that sells all things Filipino. Otherwise there are only a small selection of Asian grocers that carry Filipino ingredients like mang tomas sauce, bagoong, tamarind soup base, etc. There’s more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo) as we are blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks. Also, with more than 7,000 islands and a colourful history, we have some delicious dishes of our own.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com