Recently, while walking through our weekly Friday "pasar malam" (night market) looking to chow down on some goodies, I came upon a stall selling Teochew Kuih (or otherwise known as chai kuih) which wasn't here previously.
We'd usually see this type of kuih sold by stalls that sell all types of local kuih although this particular one is harder to come by these days. Probably because it's labour intensive and time consuming to make, you don't find many stalls selling it nowadays.
The ones I usually see are oblong in shape where the dough is pinched to make leaf-like patterns or shaped like a "sui kow" (soup dumpling) but this one I came across at our Pandan Indah pasar malam was shaped like a "har kow" (prawn dumpling) dim sum. I've not seen such pretty looking ones I must say.
The skin, made from rice flour, is quite oily as the chai kuih is drizzled with oil before they're steamed. This is to prevent the skin from sticking to the bottom of the tray + it also helps to keep the skin moist and smooth. The fillings of the chai kuih are typically yam bean (sengkuang or jicama) and chives, the two most common types, though you can also find fillings of yam and sweet potato.
I bought a box of six @ RM1 each, three with chives and three with yam bean, and they were packed with fried shallots + a packet of chilli sauce to go. The fried shallots further lent a gorgeous aroma and taste to the chai kuih.
The skins I've encountered are usually thick and have a chewy texture, some even tend to be mushy, but these ones had a much thinner, smoother and translucent skin than those I've had before.
This is the one with a filling of chives and dried prawns...just look at the amount of chives in one kuih. Only for those who actually love the taste of chives, otherwise the sheer abundance of it may make it taste slightly bitter to non-lovers of chives.
Again, this one with yam bean and dried prawns was filled to bursting point. I preferred this one over the chives as the yam bean provided a much more fragrant, savoury and slightly sweet taste overall.
I absolutely adore these Teochew Kuih...and these ones were excellent (the best I've had so far because of the superb texture of the thin and smooth skins). If you want to find this stall, it's sold by the same person who fries (or used to fry) the radish cake (you can find him beside his radish cake stall or just opposite it). You bet I'll be visiting my neighbourhood pasar malam for more of these.....woot woot! ^o^