Fried Carrot Cake

No, this is not your regular dessert. In fact this savory cake has no carrot!  At least not the orange one.

This is one of Singapore’s hawker delicacies. It is locally known as “Chai Tow Kway”.  It is made of radish instead of carrot.  For some reason, back in time, some westerners, confused in translation perhaps, called it carrot cake, and the name stuck.  It is made with white carrot, also known as radish, stir fried with eggs, and flavored with seasonings.  Chilli is added on request to give you an extra kick.

Fried Carrot Cake

Fried Carrot Cake
Source: yoursingapore.com

Two variations can be found: black and white.  The black one is fried with dark soy sauce, while the white one is fried only with beaten eggs to form a crispy crust.

Here is a recipe if you want to make it at home:

Yield: 6 (main course) servings

Cooking Time: 35 min

Total Time: 11 1/2 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound daikon (also called Chinese radish or luo bo)
  • 7 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups finely ground rice flour (not sweet; an Asian brand such as Erawan)
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup ketjap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or thick soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sambal oelek or Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce) plus additional for serving
  • 3 scallions, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed sprigs fresh cilantro

Special equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok with lid

Preparation:

Make and steam cake:

Oil bottom and side of a 9-inch round cake pan.

Peel daikon, then shred in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk.  Reserve any liquid.

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly.  Pour 3 tablespoons oil down side of wok, then tilt wok to swirl, coating side.  When oil begins to smoke, add daikon with any liquid, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir-fry 3 minutes.  Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring and breaking up daikon occasionally, until daikon is very tender, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together rice flour and water in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in daikon (mixture will be lumpy) and pour into cake pan.

Set a steamer rack inside cleaned wok and fill wok with water (not above steamer rack), then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to moderate and steam cake in pan on rack, covered, 1 hour (replenish water as necessary).  Wearing oven mitts, transfer pan to a cooling rack and cool about 1 1/2 hours.  Wrap pan tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours.

Make stir-fry:

Run a knife along edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a cutting board, rapping on bottom of pan until cake is released.  Blot with paper towels.  Cut cake into 1/2-inch cubes.

Beat together eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.

Heat dried wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly.  Pour remaining 4 tablespoons oil down side of wok, then tilt wok to swirl, coating side.  When oil begins to smoke, add cake cubes, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir-fry, letting cake rest on bottom and sides of wok about 10 seconds between stirs, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  (Cubes will soften and may stick to wok. Scrape brown bits from bottom of wok and continue stir-frying.)  Add eggs to wok and stir-fry until eggs are just set, about 1 minute.  Stir in ketjap manis, sambal oelek, and scallions, then transfer to a serving dish and scatter cilantro on top.  Serve with additional sambal oelek.

Recipe courtesy: Epicurious

 

 

Kaya Toast and Soft-boiled Eggs

Singapore Soft-eggs Kaya toast

Singapore Soft-eggs Kaya toast
Image Source: seriouseats.com

If you are in Singapore and having cereal for breakfast, you are doing it all wrong.  Experiencing a country traditional food is like experiencing its culture, and when it comes to breakfast, we have you covered.  Try the Singaporean Kaya Toast and Soft-boiled Eggs.

The kaya toast is a feast in itself! It is a traditional rectangular white loaf, toasted on a grill with coconut or egg kaya.  A thick slice of butter is then added to slowly melt within two slices of warm bread.

The eggs are a running lot, poured out in a plate with your hands.  You must do that, and as per tradition put the shells in a separate plate provided.

Here is a recipe you can follow if you want to treat yourself at home:

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min

Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 40 min

Yield: 1 serving
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 slices dense white bread, such as pain de mie or pullman, toasted on 1 side
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shaved salted butter
  • 1 soft boiled egg, peeled or 1 soft fried egg “sunny side up”
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • Dash ground white pepper

 

Directions

In a small saucepot, mix together the coconut milk and 1/2 cup sugar.  Stir in the pandan leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat, keeping the pandan submerged in the milk as the leaves cook and soften.  When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.

Remove the pandan leaves from the milk, squeezing any excess liquid from the leaves into the milk.  Discard the leaves.

In a medium stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Whisk in the coconut milk mixture to form a custard base.

Place the stainless steel bowl over a medium pot of lightly simmering water.  Gently cook the custard, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.  The final texture should have a thick custard consistency (a trail of the spatula should remain on the surface of the custard for more than 10 seconds). Immediately remove from the heat and strain into a medium bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water.  Stir until the custard cools, then cover and refrigerate until needed.  This makes about 2 cups coconut jam, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe.  The jam will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.

Spread 2 tablespoons coconut jam evenly over both slices of the bread on the untoasted side.  Then place a layer of shaved butter over the jam.  Place one slice of bread over the other to form a sandwich. Halve the sandwich, and then cut each half into thirds to form 6 even wedges.

To soft boil the egg, add the egg to boiling water.  Cook for 6 minutes, remove and ice.  Pour the dark soy sauce over the egg and dash with the pepper.  Serve the egg alongside the sandwich wedges.

Recipe courtesy: www.foodnetwork.com

And here’s a video on how to make Kaya:

Bak Kut Teh (Meat Bone Tea/Pork Ribs Soup)

Bak Kut Teh iBak Kut Tehs a simple, yet delicious dish eaten in Singapore.  The humble origins are accredited to a commonly known folklore in the country.

A beggar once stopped by a pork noodle stall to beg for food.  The stall owner, not very rich himself, wanted to help him.  He boiled the pork he had left over from the day’s sale in water and added some spices, including pepper and star anise, which to this day remain the popular ingredients.  The spices also gave the soup a tea-like color to which the name Meat Bone Tea is attributed.

The soup is served in two styles: Teochew and Klang.  The Teochew version features clear peppery soup, while the Klang style has a thick, cloudy soup with a herbal taste.  In Singapore the Teochew version is popular.

Bak Kut is eaten at any time of the day.  It is particularly preferred on a rainy day, and known as “soup for the soul”.

Here‘s a post that I found on another site that walks you step by step through a recipe! Enjoy! 🙂

Image Source: thebestsingapore.com