Chwee Kueh - Water Cake With Preserved Radish

4.9 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 12


  • Chwee kueh (water cake)
  • 150 gram (0.33 lb) rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon wheat starch
  • 150 ml (10 tablespoon) cold water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 500 ml (2 cup) hot water
  • Cai po (preserved radish) topping
  • 100 gram (0.22 lb.) sweet preserved radish
  • 100 gram (0.22 lb.) salted preserved radish
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole bulb (~ 50 gram) garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sugar


  • Chwee kueh (water cake)
    1. If using metal muffin pans, grease the pan. You can skip this if using silicon baking cups. (*)
    2. In a mixing bowl, stir/whisk together rice flour, wheat starch, and cold water. Then add salt and vegetable oil and mix well. Finally, add hot water and mix into a thin homogenous batter, then pour into muffin cups.
    3. Option 1 (using a steamer): Prepare a steamer over medium high heat, and once the water is boiling and steams are visible, steam the cakes for about 25-30 minutes, or until set.
    4. Option 2 (using a microwave): Cook for 1.5-2 minutes, or until the cake is set. Remember that you cannot use any metal in a microwave, so be sure to use silicon baking cups or glass/ceramic ramekins that are microwaveable if you choose to cook the cakes in a microwave.
    5. Remove the cakes from steamer/microwave and set aside to cool completely before removing the cakes from the cups.
  • Cai po (preserved radish) topping
    1. Wash the preserved radish until water runs clear. Drain and then dry completely with a kitchen towel, and chop into tiny pieces.
    2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat, fry garlic and preserved radish until fragrant and the color turns darker. Be patient, since this should take about 15 minutes of gentle frying.
    3. Add dark soy sauce and sugar. Mix and cook until sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside.
    4. Serve the chwee kueh (water cake) with preserved radish topping.


  • (*) The traditional chwee kue cups are made from tin and are smaller in size compared to a standard size muffin cup. If you want to use the traditional cups, you will need to adjust cooking time. Most likely, your steaming time will only be around 10 minutes instead of the 25-30 minutes.

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