Monday, 6 December 2010

Fried Radish Cake - Chai Tau Kueh (Chai Tow Kway) Recipe

I've always loved Chai Tau Kueh and there aren't many places where you can find this delectable dish. I'm of a Hokkien background and for some reason, I know this dish as Kueh Kak. The Boy however is Teow Chew (and insists that this is called CTK), so CTK is what we will go with. Apparently is a teow chew dish, and he is in the process of experimenting with this dish until he gets his grandfather's recipe right.

In the meantime, this is the Hawker style version (which you can apparently get in Muar [a town in Southern Malaysia]).

There are many versions to this dish (and we've tried a few), and you can put as many or as little ingredients into it as you like, provided you follow the same basic recipe, which would churn out a dish that looks like this. Still fantastic tasting on its own, without all the other elements to make it look pretty (and sometimes you don't have to :] )

Vegetarian Chai Tau Kueh

Chai Tau Kueh/ Chai Tow Kway (Fried Radish Cake)
(Radish Cake Ingredients)
600g of shredded White Radish (Daikon)
3 tablespoons of water
200g rice flour
250ml water

Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of when the Boy was processing the Radish Cake... use your imagination :P

(Stir Frying Ingredients – For 1 quarter of radish cake prepared)
2 tbsp of peanut oil (reserve another 1 tsp for later)
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of chopped spring onions
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of chilli paste
1 large egg
1 tbsp of preserved turnip (Chai Poh)
1 tbsp of diced lap cheong or crispy skin roast pork belly (siu yuk)
1 red chilli (sliced) (optional)
Bean sprouts (optional)
Coriander (optional)
White pepper

1)Add 3 tablespoons of water to the shredded radish. Steam radish in wok until it turns translucent. This should take 20 – 30 mins on a low flame. Take radish out and leave it to cool while you prepare the flour mixture.

2)Add a pinch of salt and sugar into your flour and mix with water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to remove any lumps.

3)Combine the radish with the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.

4)Pour your final mixture into a round cake tin (we used a square cake tin instead) and steam in wok for 30 – 35 minutes over a medium-high flame.
5)Take the radish cake out and leave it to cool for a few hours. This should give it a better texture.

6)Once the radish cake is cooled. Cut out 1 quarter of it and keep the rest in the refrigerator.

7)Cut the quarter into smaller chunks (cubes).

8)Use a non-stick pan to prevent the cubes from sticking onto your pan. You would’ve most probably figured it out by now that they tend to be a little sticky (when you were cutting them into chunks earlier).

9)Heat oil and add your radish cake. Fry till the edges are brown and crispy-looking. (If you prefer a crunchier texture on the outside, leave it to brown further).

10)Add in garlic, lap cheong and preserved turnip. At this stage, you might find that the pan is a little dry. If that’s the case, add another teaspoon of oil. Fry till garlic is fragrant.

11)Now, add the chilli paste. Stir thoroughly and add the egg in. Add the fish sauce and a dash of pepper. Toss in the sliced chilli and some spring onions. Fry till the egg cooks.

12)Add the remaining spring onions and bean sprouts in and turn the flame off. Give a quick stir before plating up.

So whether you prefer it all on it's own with no other below in all it's glory!

Or with a few lashings of everything... this dish will definitely have you coming back for more!

So tell me, dear readers, have you had this dish before and what do you normally cook it with?

I would like to thank Ju from The Little Teochew for her recipe and version of CTK :)


  1. Thanks heaps for posting about this. It's my favourite dish!!! :D I'm sooo gonna try it out. :)

  2. According to my mom, this dish is pretty difficult to make because of the amount of work involved in preparing it. This is very impressive!

  3. Oh wow, we have similar backgrounds! My mum is Teow Chew and my dad is Hokkien :). We usually put prawns, chinese sausage, egg and beansprouts in ours with a bit chilli :). We have it every once in a while at it!

  4. impressive! yeh, agree this is quite involved =P.

  5. Bryan: No problem.. it's soooo yummy!

    Michelle: Thank you thank you... the work is in preparing the radish cake!

    Ames4eva: I'm Hainanese and Hokkien.. the Boy is pure Teow Chew

    Almostalwaysravenous: Thanks very much!

  6. Opps, sorry I must have read it too quickly! I don't think we've actually prepared the radish cake from scratch so maybe we'll try that next time :). Great work!

  7. Yum yum yum! I have a new appreciation for this kind of food since travelling to Malaysia for the first time this year. So good. :-)

  8. I luuurve radish cake although to the uninitiated, it sounds very strange. My cousin from Singapore however thought that our version of sweet carrot cake was very strange as he expected something like the radish cake! :P

  9. Ames: Lols... Thank you thank you!

    Cindy: They are the best!

    Lorraine: I must admit, same goes for congee and porridge! Imagine my shock and horror!! Lols

  10. HI there! Lovely to find your blog. My mum is Hokkien and she really likes this dish. I have to admit the few times she gave me some I wasn't converted. But I'm willing to try again with this version because the photo seriously set my tummy rumbling :)

  11. Radish Cake, hey? Sounds delicious! This looks beautiful. I don't know much about this dish. Is it the same/similar as Char kway teow? how embarrassing!! - sorry if that is a stupid question :)
    Heidi xo

  12. You need to add shallots to this dish. Before you add the sliced radish, fry some shallots in 4 tbsp of oil. Remove the shallots and add the cake. Add the fried shallots back at the end of cooking.

  13. This is my favourite breakfast. Homesick now!

  14. Shaz: Thank you thank you! I love this dish!

    Heidi: Same same but different? Char Kway Teow is made from flat rice noodles.. whereas this is from a radish cake... but similar ingredients I guess :)

    Anonymous: Thanks for the tip! We'll try that the next round :)

    Ellie: It's good isn't it? Nom nom nom!

  15. That looks fab. I've never cooked it before, but it does look a lot like one I ate in Muar! Will give it a go, although I doubt I'll get it as gorgeously crispy and brown like yours looks.

  16. Injera: OH yeah!! You were in JB!!! I keep forgetting.. you'd be a good taste tester!! I must remember this!

  17. A great looking chai tau kueh, good effort! If you are sending this for MMM do you mind grabbing a batch and link it back to us?

  18. This looks amazing. I miss going back to Malaysia now. =)


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