Chai Tow Kueh Fried Carrot Cake Recipe

Last Revised: Saturday, November 30, 2013


Carrot Cake! Fried not baked? Recipe calls for rice flour, radish and egg but no orange carrot ? Huh?

If you ever lived in the South-east Asian countries, particularly in Singapore or Malaysia,  you would probably know what kind of carrot cake I am talking about. Yes! the one we had for our breakfast.

Fried cake here is very different from the awesome birthday cake you had during your celebrations.
So why do we call it carrot cake when it's not baked and it does not contain any carrot?
Carrot Cake Fried not baked

Hey! don't call me names

Well~ "Carrot Cake" is actually the literal translation of the Chinese  萝卜糕 (Luóbo gāo).
In Chinese,  萝卜(Luóbo) can either mean carrot or radish (in Japanese they would call it daikon).
And we normally only use the white radish for carrot cake.
糕 (gāo) or sometimes we call it 粿 (guo/kueh) is translated as cake. These so called "cakes" are usually made from steaming a rice flour batter.

Interestingly this dish has got quite a few different names- Carrot Cake, Chao luo bo gao, Chai Tow Kueh (teochew dialect), char kway (hokkien dialect). One dish so many names~

Black or white

What I like about carrot cake is the 2 contrasting flavours that it offers. If you ever visit a Chai Tow Kueh stall they'll always ask you the same question. Do you want it white or black? For those who love savoury snacks and crispy texture of a pan-fried egg would go for the white.  While those with sweet tooth would normally go for the black carrot cake.
So which one do you prefer black or white?

Personally, I prefer the white. But! just for you~ I will be cooking two versions today ~

So let's start by making the steamed rice carrot cake.

Ingredients for the steamed cake:

1 tablespoon oil
1-2 teaspoons Salt (my mum would use Bouillon cube)
500g raddish or Japanese daikon (julienned or shredded)
1 bowl of water (part of it was used for soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms)
5 soaked and diced Dried shiitake mushrooms
1-2 tablespoons of soaked and chopped Dried Shrimps

Flour mixture:
1 1/4 cups rice flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 3/4 small bowls of water

  1. Dissolve your salt into the bowl of water
  2. Mix your flour mixture in a steam pan
  3. Heat up the oil
    Throw in!your shiitake and dried shrimps, sauté till fragrant
  4. Introduce your julienned raddish to the fragrant shiitake & shrimps
  5. Continue to stir-fry,  add in your bowl of water together with the mushroom water
  6. Bring the raddish mixture to a boil
  7. When the radish becomes translucent and soft, immediately pour the boiled mixture into the flour mixture and start mixing.  
  8. Steam the mixture for an hour. After that set it aside for cooling. Best is to cool it in a fridge.

    Steamed carrot cake
    Steamed cake

    Your rice flour cake should not be mushy and if your cake is set properly you don't have to oil the pan prior to steaming.

Time to fry the white carrot cake~

1 tablespoon oil
Fish sauce & Pepper to taste
1 beaten egg
Cube your cake into bite size pieces
1 clove of garlic
Small amount of rinsed and dried Chye Poh (preserved radish) And small amount of green onions or Coriander (keke im using chinese celery :P)

Since I don't have a non stick pan to fry the Chai Tow Kueh.. I shall therefore use my trusty Chinese wok instead. Yeah my Chinese wok is very seasoned!

Method for frying a savoury white carrot cake:

  1. Lightly sauté the preserved radish and garlic 
  2. Add in the carrot cake cubes and continue your frying
  3. Fish sauce and pepper is added in
  4. Add in the beaten egg when the surface of the carrot cake turns crisp and brown
  5. Make sure all the cubes are covered by the egg 
  6. Once the egg is cooked flip it over to the other side. 
  7. Divide the white carrot cake into quarters and serve it with green onions or Coriander.
Fried Carrot Cake
Cook time: 15 Minutes

Time for us to venture into the dark side Muahahaha~ Ingredients for dark carrot cake is quite similar to the white  Only with a few minor changes... bye bye ~ Fish sauce & Pepper~ Hello sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
sweet soy sauce (Amount. You decide. I am not a sweet person.. )
1 beaten eggCube your cake into bite size pieces
1 clove of garlic
Small amount of rinsed and dried Chye Poh (preserved radish) And small amount of green onions or Coriander

Method for frying a sweet carrot cake:
  1. Lightly sauté the preserved radish and garlic 
  2. Pour in your carrot cake cubes 
  3. Continue frying till your carrot cake turns brown then add in your beaten egg 
  4. After that a good amount of sweet soy sauce and continue to your frying  
  5. Do not over cook the sweet soy sauce as it will cause the sugar to thermal decompose and turn bitter...
  6. Plate and serve with green onions or Coriander.
Dark Carrot cake
Dark Carrot cake 

This is a blog response to Breakfast project that was initated by Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia Google + Community

Do check out the Community if you are interested in cooking South-east Asian cuisine or
Check out these wonderful local breakfast recipes that we have in South-east Asia. Nasi Lemak  by Delishar
Chwee Kueh by Lilycancook
Steamed Yam and Pumpkin Cake by Guaishushu
Yam Balls in Coconut Sugar Sauce by Karinsactivity
Unleavened Indian bread with Potato Curry by Malaysiandelicacies
Durian Opened by Simon Ooh

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