It is interesting that I have another recipe of Teochew Png kuih since I already have one recipe in this post: Rice Cake In A Peach Form？… Png Tao (饭桃， 米包米， 饭粿， 潮州红桃粿） issued on July 2014. There is nothing wrong with the recipe but that recipes suits busy house chefs and using short cut methods..
Just to tell readers very frankly, tentatively, I have accepted one local Chinese TV station’s invitation to share my png kuih recipe but thinking of the old recipe worries me. I am visualizing there are a lot of Teochew ah ma sitting in front of the television and scrutinizing me how I prepare their traditional, respected and favourite festival kuih… I am sure they will laugh and cannot accept my short cut method of preparation since they are all experts in preparing such kuih for many years.
I knew the traditional method, I issued my first recipe is to facilitate the new house chefs that are busy housewives. When I thought that since I am going to appear in TV, as a respect to traditional cuisines, I must show the audience the proper, traditional way of preparing this kuih.. I cannot take any short cut and I must use the most traditional recipe and that is why i have decided to issue this recipe.
This recipe using cooked dough method which most ah ma used. Cooked dough method is more troublesome if you are preparing in a small quantity but it will yield a dough that is easier to wrap and a softer kuih. In effect, the theory is using heat to cook the dough, improve its elasticity and hence a softer kuih.
I am preparing two sessions of this kuih today. One session on my own and another session is with the presence of a representative from the TV station so that she can understand the process. In addition, she is supposed to judge the kuih if it is acceptable. Of course the kuih is not 100% perfect like what is sold in the stores as no body will be able to understand the trade secret of dough recipe.
For home cooked purposes, I am of the opinion that this kuih is considered as acceptable except the peanuts is a bit crunchy. I told her that it is up to individual taste buds. If we want a softer peanut, we can increase the timing of soaking or timing of cooking the peanut. Personally I prefer this texture and I don’t rule out others may like it softer. For commercial preparation, the peanut was braised or cooked in advance separately but that will be too troublesome for audience or readers who will prepare a small quantity for a recipe..
I would say this recipe have a much better texture than the first recipe because of the cooked dough and for those who are preparing more, you should use this recipe. If you are preparing only a few kuih, my advise is to revert back to the first recipe to save time and energy.
This set of picture is non pretentious .. Frankly speaking, I do not have the energy and mood to take a set of beautiful pictures.. Ha-ha. If you are interested to watch the video of shaping , you can refer to the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBKT9M2vrV0 or clicking the picture above.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- 150 grams of glutinous rice (washed and soaked for at least one hour)
- 50 grams of peanuts (washed and soaked for at least 2 hours, best to salt overnight)
- 170 grams or ml of water
- 5 dried mushrooms (soaked and sliced thinly)
- 3 cloves of shallots (sliced thinly)
- 2 sprigs of spring onion portion (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons of baby shrimps or dry shrimps (soaked)
- 1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder
- 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce or light soya sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil or lard
- 250 grams of glutinous rice flour
- 250 grams of rice flour
- 550 grams of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese peach colouring
- 30 grams of lard or other cooking oil
- Pinches of salt to taste
** Note that you can also use 150 grams of glutinous rice flour to 350 grams of rice flour for better shaping but slightly harder texture. If you prefer a bit springiness, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of tapioca flour.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Soak the glutinous rice for at least one hour and peanut for at least 2 hours. If you want to have softer texture, it is best to soak overnight. While buying peanuts from the shops, you can also enquired if there is any type that can cook faster .
- Steam the glutinous rice and peanut under high heat for at least 1/2 hour. Sprinkle water occasionally and steam until soft. Alternatively, you can cook the peanut and glutinous rice in a rice cooker if the rice cooker have a sticky rice/glutinous rice function. For rice cooker function, you need to add the 170ml of water.
- In a wok, put the oil and sauté the sliced shallots until aromatic and almost brown. Add in the sliced mushrooms, dried shrimps and white pepper. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until the dried shrimps are aromatic. Add the glutinous rice and peanut, followed by chicken stock and fish sauce. Stir fry until well mixed. Off the heat and add the chopped spring onion . Stir until well mixed. Set aside.
- Mixed all the flours (glutinous rice flour and rice flour) and divided into two bowls of equal portion.
- In a pot, put the water followed by peach red colouring. Bring the water to boil. Once it boils, turn to lowest heat, add one portion of mixed flour, use something (rolling pin) to stir until it form a paste. Cooked for 1 minute under lowest heat and off the heat.
- While the cooked dough is still hot, quickly transfer the cooked dough to a mixing bowl. GRADUALLY ADD THE REMAINING FLOUR and knead the dough until it forms a pliable dough. If you can’t take the heat, you can use a spatula or a stand mixer to do the job initially. Add in the cooking oil or lard and knead until it become a smooth dough
- You may or may not use up all the flour. Every batch of flour will have different water absorbing properties. As long as it forms a pliable dough, it is acceptable. If you can handle sticky dough in the shaping, avoid adding more flour, the more flour you added, the harder will be your crust.
- Pat your hand with flour, pinch a dough, shape round, press it and make it flat. Put a teaspoon of the fillings into the centre of flat dough. Seal the edges such that it looks like a samosa triangular shaped dough. Press down the dough follow the shape of the mould.
- Knock the mould to get the dough out and put in a steamer tray. For steamer tray, see the notes below.
- Bring the steamer to boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium. Steam the rice cake for about 13-15 minutes.
- Best served with some chilli sambal or sweet soya sauce. It will turn hard rather easily if you left it overnight, therefore, store in an airtight container is important once it cooled down. It is also common that the rice cake be pan fried on the next day to get a crispy outer skin.
- You must greased the steaming tray adequately with cooking oil or put a piece of WET CLOTH on the steaming tray. Another alternative is to grease a piece of banana leaves which will help to detach the kuih.
- You must take the cake out of the steamer while it is hot, otherwise, it will stick to the cloth or steamer tray.
- It is a general rule that for kuih steaming, it shall be steamed under low to medium heat until cooked. As all stoves are different, therefore close observation is required. We usually avoid advising using high heat it will blur the imprint easily.
For those who are serious into kuih making, this is a very good recipe especially the dough. I have never share this type of cooked dough recipe for my traditional kuih, but this is the method that granny are using.
If you Google png kuih recipe in the internet, most recipe have different flour mixes. Just remember: traditional recipe used rice flour but 100% rice flour make kuih hardened very fast just like rice. Recipe added tapioca flour to make it a bit springy but it will turn hard rather easily too. Personally, I prefer to add glutinous rice flour which will make it soft and elastic. You can always play with different proportion of these three flours to get one dough that you like.
In my humblest opinion, soft dough will produce kuih that are less attractive but yields a softer kuih. The more beautiful is the imprint, the harder is the dough and hence the harder is the kuih. Feel free to dispute this observation. Ha-ha
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