Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Carrot Cake (Chinese Style) or Fried Chai Tow Kway

Here's the Chinese version of carrot cake - very different since it is more of a savory item than dessert. You probably came across the pan fried version of it when you are at dim sum restaurant. In Singapore, we call is Chai Tow Kway, and I especially like the dark version which is fried with sweet dark sauce.

Fried Carrot Cake with Black Sauce

I first tried making this with glutinous rice flour, which was a huge mistake since I ended up throwing them away. Glutinous rice flour is too sticky, and more suited for sweet dumplings soup. So make sure you get the plain rice flour!

Makes one 15-cm round portion.

500g Daiko or white radish - finely shredded
Half a red carrot - finely shredded
200g rice flour
70g tapioca starch
810 - 850g room temperature water (Ratio should be 3:1 of rice flour to tapioca starch, water should be 3 times the total flour mix, adjust accordingly if you want a firmer or softer product)

 Rice Flour to Tapioca Starch to Water

1/2 teaspoon chicken stock powder
Dash of white pepper
1 tablespoon of dried shrimps
Half a Chinese sausage

  1. Heat up about 2 tablespoon of oil and fry the dried shrimps and Chinese sausage till they are fragrant. These are optional.
  2. Squeeze the water out of the radish and mix in the shredded carrots. Add to the pan and stir fry until they are slightly soft, this should take around 10 minutes or so.
  3. Pour in the flour, starch and water mixture, stirring constantly using low heat for a few minutes. Add in the seasoning. The mixture will be quite thick and sticky. Add more water if desired if you want a looser mixture, but it should not be too watery otherwise it will be too soft to use.
  4. Pour into an oiled shallow metal dish which you will use for steaming. I used a 15cm disposable aluminum shallow bowl.
  5. Steam over medium heat for about 35 minutes. Pour away any water that might have condensed on top and let it cool completely before cutting.

    Midst of Steaming

    Steamed Carrot Cake

  6. If you want to pan fry it after dipping it in a beaten egg, cut it into thick squares.
  7. If you like the dark version, cut them up into small bit size bits, start with frying up some minced garlic, add the carrot cake, then the beaten egg, season with sweet dark sauce and fish sauce. Sprinkle spring onions and a dash of white pepper over the dish before serving.
Pan fried Carrot Cake dipped in beaten egg

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