Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ban Guan Kueh / Soon Kueh

Ah yes, I have finally decided to blog about this Kueh recipe. There has been so many requests for it and because of so many reasons (shan't go there), I held back. Anyway, today's the day I share with all my readers my all time favorite kueh...Ban Guan Kueh...or Soon Kueh?
Frankly speaking, up till now, I am still a little puzzled over the name of this delicious savory kueh. So is it Ban Guan Kueh or is it Soon Kueh? Technically speaking, Ban Guan is jicama in Hokkien. And in this recipe, I used only jicama and no bamboo shoot which is "Soon" in Hokkien. In Chinese, known as "竹笋".So if you ask me...I really don't know haha! Perhaps someone that is reading this, whom also is a kueh "expert" for that matter, can enlighten me on this matter. ;) 

In all else, let's just get to the juicy part shall we? The recipe of course! I have tried so many different recipe and I finally come to one that I can say it works perfectly. All thanks to Anges Chang's book "Anges Chang's Hawker's Delight" which I believe Singapore bookshops have already stopped selling this book. *bummer right* One of her vegetable dumpling recipe uses this kueh skin which looks pretty close to a soon kueh skin. I tried, it turned out great and the rest is history! Anyway, I did minor changes to it and so here is my version:

Ban Guan / Soon kueh (makes about 20-23 kuehs)
Kueh Filling:
800-1kg jicama, peeled and shredded
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked till soften, sliced to thin strips
4 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water till soften, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves, minced
5 shallots, chopped small

3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water (thickening agent)

Kueh Skin:
300g wheat starch (蒸面粉)
200g starch flour (aka Tapioca flour)
100g rice flour
1 tsp salt
825ml boiling water
4 tbsp shortening (those white vegetable shortening, can get in NTUC bakery section)

Some cooking oil and brush to coat the kuehs before and after cooking it
  • First we prep the filling: In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium low fire. Add in the minced garlic and chopped shallots, cook till fragrant.
  • Add the chopped dried shrimp and sliced shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for a good 3-5 minutes till the mixture is aromatic and slightly brown.
  • Add in the shredded jicama and seasoning, stir fry to mix well. Cover and cook till the jicama is soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Lastly mix the corn starch and water together and add into the jicama mixture. This will thicken the whole filling.
  • Scoop out the filling and let cool completely before use.
  • Next you make the skin: In a large mixing bowl, add in all three flours and salt. Next you carefully add in the boiling water.
  • Gently but work rather quickly, stir the whole mixture together (you can use the mixer) till it is all combined.
  • Add in the shortening and again mix well. Let mixture cool down before working with it.
  • Prepare the steamer before you start working on wrapping the kuehs. 
  • If you prefer, you can weigh out the skin portion by portion of about 70g each. Or you can
    just eye balled it. Because once you wrap, you will need to trim the sides to make it neater.
  • Roll out that skin dough portion into a flat round, then scoop about a heaping tablespoon of the filling on top, fold the skin and seal the sides. Give the kueh a good brush of cooking oil to prevent it from sticking.
  • Next is just repetitive work, roll, scoop, wrap ...repeat till all the filling or skin dough is used up. 
  • Steam in the steamer at medium fire for a good 10 minutes. Remove and brush with some cooking oil. Repeat till all have been steamed.
  • Enjoy the kueh while still warm with lots of sweet dark sauce and chilli! Yum :9

This is just one of those comfort meals that I think I will never ever get tired of. Brings back the good memories and nostalgic feelings. :)
So when was the last time you have a warm Soon Kueh? Been awhile? I guess it is time for you to get to work and make some for yourself and love ones! :D

Have a great day ahead all and Happy cooking!


Chef and Sommelier said...

Hello Bee Bee! How's things?! I have not been doing blog hopping for a while although I still "see you" around in FB and IG!

My new year resolution is to gain back some momentum for my blog! See you around! Cheers!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Alvin! Glad we both are making effort to blog haha! May the best and power be with you, Jia you :D

Angie's Recipes said...

I haven't had soon kueh in AGES!! These look droolworthy!

PH said...

Aiya...I know this as Chai Kueh. Is this more confusing? hee..hee.. whatever the name, this is a delicious kueh which I did not like when I was a kid. But now, I can easily eat a few with lots of chilli sauce!

Jayanthy Kumaran said... this..

Francesca Parise- In my sweet kitchen said...

Hello I'm Francesca and I am Italian. I was looking for recipes from the world and I came across your blog. I like very much, there are many recipes from which I can take inspiration. I joined your supporters, if you want a challenge, too. Thank You.

mui mui said...

Hi HB,
This is one of my fav. Me too, only know this as Cai kueh or Ban Guan kueh. Yours looks so inviting. Yum yum!

V said...


It's called Soon Kueh because traditionally it used to be really filled with bamboo shoots (竹笋). But as time went by, it got replaced by ban guang (turnip) because bamboo shoots are too expensive. That's why we have what we eat today. Hope this helps! =)

I'm no expert, but I watched documentaries/shows on this before, unless my memory fails me. Hee.

Anyway, you're awesome! You make cooking look so easy!

Happy CNY in advance!

Lilyn said...

Hi Honey Bee
The soon kueh look delicious n would like to try making it.
Can use Glade parchment paper to line the Tefel steamer n apply extra light olive oil each time before n after steaming the soon kueh?
Can use sweet potato flour instead of tapioca flour?
The ingredients can roughly make how many soon kueh?
Lastly, can brush the soon kueh with extra light olive oil to prevent from drying?
Thanks s lot…

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Lyn,

I guess the parchment paper part you can give it a try, but I don't really know why you need the parchment paper for.

I think it is best to stick to the recipe and use tapioca flour, Im afraid I don't know what will be the result like if you change it to sweet potato flour.
Olive oil has a rather distinct smell. if you do not mind that on your kueh, i guess it is ok.

jansetmefreenis said...

I prefer the soft skin instead of slightly chewy skin. I tried a few recipes but all not to my liking. Is the skin of your kueh soft or the chewy kind ?