Teochew Chwee Kueh (Steamed Water Rice Cake)

Chwee Kueh is a famous dish that almost everyone in Singapore would have tried before, or if not, would at the very least know about. Chwee Kueh, literally known as steamed water rice cake, has a very simple recipe. Just mix rice flour with water and some basic condiments such as salt and oil, then steam it to get the rice cake. This dish is always served with chye poh, a preserved radish that is both sweet and salty and stir-fried so as to give it a nice fragrance when you eat the rice cakes with it.

It is very amazing how a simple dish like this can be so delicious and tempting, although of course, we all know very well it is the oiliness that makes it so delicious. The chye poh is stir-fried with loads of oil which in turn is served with the rice cakes to give it its taste (i.e. you can’t eat the rice cakes without the chye poh). For me, there’s one more thing that cannot be missing from this dish – chilli! Not the sweet sambal kind but the oily Cantonese chilli oil! Which makes the dish all the more oily, but if you are eating this dish only once in a year like me, just go for it. You will not regret it!


  • Oil: 1/2 cup
  • Shallot: 60g, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 30g, finely chopped
  • Chye poh: 150g (salted, sweetened or a mixture of both, rinsed and dried)
  • Ground white pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar: 2 tbsp
  • Dark soy sauce: 1/2 tbsp
  • Rice flour: 150g
  • Wheat starch: 12g
  • Corn flour: 12g
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 400ml
  • Boiling water: 400ml


  1. Heat oil in wok.
  2. Add in shallots and garlic. Fry for 2min till translucent.
  3. Add in chye poh. Fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in white pepper, sugar and dark soy sauce. Cook for 5min till sugar dissolves.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Combine rice flour, wheat starch, corn flour, salt, oil and water.
  7. Gradually add in boiling water, stirring continuously.
  8. Transfer to a double boiler. Stir till thickened, about 5min.
  9. Pour mixture into greased moulds. Steam on high heat for 20min.
  10. Serve hot with chye poh and chilli oil.


  • I used the oil from frying the chye poh for greasing the moulds to give the steamed cakes an even more tempting fragrance.

8 – 10 medium rice cakes, depending on mould sizes

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