I love kueh. Whenever I go to Malaysia to see family, or manage to find it in Chinatown, I eat silly amounts of the stuff. Of course- as you might have guessed if you've been following me for a while- one of the things that appeals to me about kueh is the bright colours it often comes in! But I also love the wonderful fragrant, not-too-sweet flavour and soft texture.
There are several different types of 'kueh' (Malay for 'cake'); they usually include coconut milk and sugar somewhere in the recipe, and often have a pleasantly chewy, custard-like mouthfeel. This is my recipe for a layered and steamed cassava kueh (although it can be baked, too- but if you want colourful layers, steaming is less of a pain in the arse because it's quicker). Here I've used the largest bamboo steamer I could find at the time I bought it.
- 1 packet frozen grated cassava, thawed (about 500g- the packet I had was just under)
- 1/2 tin coconut milk
- 1/2 tin condensed milk
- 4tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp pandan paste* (for the green layer- you could substitute with vanilla and green food colouring)
1) Butter a 20cm square baking tin- remember kueh is sticky, so be generous.
2) Empty your cassava into a bowl: it won't look as wet as mine here (see the end of this post for my mini-fail**).
3) Whisk in the coconut and condensed milk, egg and sugar.
4) Pour half the mixture into another bowl, and whisk in the pandan paste.
5) Half-fill a large wok or saucepan with water and heat until simmering. Now place your steamer on top (making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom- if so, pour some out), and place your baking tin in the steamer.
6) Pour the green pandan mixture in first as the bottom layer, cover with the steamer lid and steam for about 20mins or until the layer is firm.
7) Now pour the white layer on top, cover and steam for 20mins, or again until firm.
8) When it's ready, turn off the heat and take the baking tin out to cool for about 15mins. The top might still be a bit wet because of condensation, but if you poke the surface of your kueh gently with the back of a spoon it should hold.
9) Cut into diamond shapes and serve!
** Right, so my mini fail... the common way to defrost bags of frozen grated cassava is to immerse the bag in warm water. I stupidly dumped boiling water fresh from the kettle and caused the bag to burst a bit, letting a load of water in- but I didn't realise until too late, and all the cassava inside had mixed with the water. My kueh should have been a lot firmer and held its shape more stiffly, but as you can see from the first photo at the top it was quite soft because of my mistake. Never mind, it was still delicious!