Ang Ku Kueh is a small red oval-shaped Chinese snack which soft sticky skin is often wrapped with sweet filling in the centre. The oval-shaped of the cake is designed to resemble tortoise or turtle. The name of the snack comes from a literal Hokkien translation – Red Tortoise or Turtle Cake. A simple snack but it comes with a symbolic and ritual value for the Chinese; we use this for a variety of reasons: celebration of a child’s birth, an elderly birthday or for offering during key religious events.
I usually find making of Chinese desserts and snacks very challenging for they often contain ingredients that are rather difficult to source in Geneva or put it plainly, there are too many steps for this lazy person to follow. ;p So when I saw S’s photo of the Ang Ku Kueh that she made on Facebook one day, I was tres impressed! Better yet, I was invited to her place to learn how to make this.
Just as I guessed, it wasn’t easy to make Ang Ku Kueh at home. I’ll take the easy way out and pay for these when I’m back in Singapore or just rely on the Man’s grandmother who also makes these at home. But when you are overseas and there’s a craving for these snacks, I guess you just have to make it from scratch. After about 2 odd hours of ‘roughing’ it out in the kitchen, we were greeted with a sea of delicious red Ang Ku Kueh snacks filled with green beans and peanuts.
Ang Ku Kueh [紅龜粿] Recipe
Green Beans Filling
- 300g Split Green Bean (Washed and soaked for 6 hours)
- 200g Fine Sugar
- 4Tbsp Oil
- Steam green bean over boiling water for 30-40 minutes till soft.
- Blend or mashed green bean till become a paste.
- In a wok, combine green bean paste, sugar and oil. Stir on low medium heat till thick and do not stick to your hands.
- Cool it and shaped into 30 balls of about 20g. ( The size of filling will depend on the size of your mould).
To make the skin of the Ang Ku Kueh
- 1/8 tsp Wilton orange coloring or Red powdered colouring
- 200g Wheat starch ( Tung Mein Fun)
- 150g Water
- 500g Boiling Water
- 4Tbsp Sugar
- 500g Glutinous Rice Flour
- 100g Mashed Orange Color Sweet Potato
- 250g Water
- 120g oil
- Mix coloring, wheat starch and water. Stir till blended.
- Add in boiling water and mix till smooth and become translucent.
- Add in sugar, glutinous rice flour, sweet potatoes and water gradually. Knead till combined.
- Slowly add in oil and keep on kneading till smooth and do not stick onto your hands.
To assemble the Ang Ku Kueh:
- Prepare 1 banana leaf, cut into rectangular shapes so as to fit the Ang Ku mould
- Prepare 3 Tbsp of oil in a small bowl. Lightly grease the cut banana leaves with oil.
- Divide skin dough into 30 pieces. Flatten each dough into 1/4 inch thick and wrap the filling inside. Roll into a ball.
- Lightly dust the Ang Ku mould with glutinous rice flour. Press the dough ball into the mould and lightly knock it out.
- Place Ang Ku on the banana leaf.
- Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Brush the surface of the cooked Ang Ku Kueh with oil to give it a glossy look.
Sounds complicated? It sure is! But these snacks made with our very bare hands tasted so good for they are precious and really hard to come by here in Geneva. I know for sure that the Man was very happy today for he got to sink his teeth in one of his favourite snacks. I hope he doesn’t ask me to make more of these here.. I rather stick to making macarons for now. Hehe