Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake) – The Ultimate Traditional Recipe!

CategoryCooking MethodTags, DifficultyIntermediate
Yields10 Servings
Yields10 Servings

Also known as the Red Tortoise Cake in direct translation – these little tortoises are perfect with an afternoon tea. Ang Ku Kueh is a traditional Chinese snack with its origin from Fujian, China. These little kuehs are shaped to look like tortoise shells with the Chinese character “shou” or “longevity” imprinted in the centre, especially because tortoises are a Chinese symbol long associated with long life. Think about it – tortoises live for rather long, don’t they! They are often used as temple offerings particularly during Hungry Ghost and Ching Ming Festivals. It is also presented as an auspicious gift during a baby’s full month celebration.

A good kueh is soft and pleasantly chewy, with a smooth, slightly oiled, delicate skin made of glutinous rice flour. Fillings you can find inside range from traditional sweet mung bean – which is what we’re making today – to peanut, yam and coconut! Making the mung bean filling is easy this time round, because of the Kenwood Handblender, a nifty little device that can help you mix the paste.

Ingredients

Skin
 200 g sweet potato, peeled, cut into big chunks
 250 g glutinous rice flour
 150 ml coconut milk
 2 tbsp caster sugar
 1 tsp salt
 1 tbsp oil
 1 tsp Red food colouring, add more if required
 100 ml water, add more if required
Mung bean filling
 300 g mung bean, soaked in water for 1 hr
 4 Pandan leave, knotted
 135 g caster sugar
 1 tsp salt
 3 tbsp shallot oil
 3 tbsp water
Miscellaneous
 1 packet of banana leaves. Cut into small pieces that fits the size of the kueh, brush with oil

Instructions

Preparation of mung bean and sweet potato
1

In a steaming bowl with mung beans, place the knotted pandan leave on it. Place mung beans and sweet potato on the steaming rack, steam at high heat. 15 mins later, remove from heat.

2

Remove pandan leave from the mung bean. Blend mung bean with 5 tbsp water, sugar and salt.

3

Mash sweet potato in a large mixing bowl.

4

In a pan on medium heat, add in 3 tbsp of oil. Pour in the blended mung bean and fry until it is aromatic and dries up slightly. Transfer back into the bowl. Set aside and let cool.

Preparation of the dough
5

In the large bowl with mashed sweet potato, add in oil, coconut milk, salt and sugar. Blend it into a thick watery texture.

6

Pour in 250g flour, knead with clean hands. Adjust the consistency of the dough with small portions of water and/or flour till the dough does not sticks to hand and the side of the bowl.

7

Add in red colouring, fold till the colour spreads evenly with the dough.

Assemble the kueh
8

Divide the dough and mung bean into 30g balls. Flatten the dough into a disc and place a ball of mung bean in the middle. Wrap carefully and ensure that the mung bean is fully sealed within the dough. Repeat the steps for the remaining dough and filling.

9

Dust the surface of the wrapped dough with a very thin layer of glutinous rice flour. Place it into the mould, press gently to flatten. Knock the sides of the mould to release the kueh and placed it on a piece of greased banana leaf.

Steaming the Ang Ku Kueh
10

Place the Ang Ku Kuehs in the steamer and steam at high heat for 3 minutes.

11

Brush the steamed Ang ku kuehs with a thin layer of oil and let it cool down slightly before serving.

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This recipe uses Hand Blenders