Steamed vegetable dumpling or known as “chai kueh” is one of my favourite nyonya food. Nyonya is the term for women descendants of the Malay-Chinese.
This dish is a simple dish with just few ingredients, i.e. chinese turnips or mooli as it labelled in Tesco, carrots, dried shrimps available in most of Chinese supermarkets in London, wheat starch and tapioca flour, boiling water and oil. I referred to my favourite blog of a Bee, Malaysian Nyonya food website:
I like to eat the dumplings with fried garlic and chili sauce.
400 g mooli or Chinese Turnip (available at Tesco or Chinese supermarkets), julienne
100 g carrots, julienne
2-3 stalks of spring onions, julienne
1 bulb of garlic, chopped
2-3 tbsp dried shrimps, wash and soak for 10-15 mins (available at most Chinese supermarkets)
salt and pepper
165 g wheat starch flour (or “tang min fun” 澄麵粉)
85 g tapioca flour (or 樹薯粉)
420 ml boiling water
5 tbsp oil
1. Heat up 4-5 Tbsp oil and stir in half of the chopped garlic till fragrant. Add in dried prawns and fry till fragrant.
2. Add in carrots and Stir fry for about 5 minutes or till fragrant. Then add mooli and spring onion stir for another 4-5 mins till cooked. Add in salt, oyster sauce and pepper to taste. Season slightly more considering the skin is bland.
3. Leave it to cool.
4. In the meantime, prepare the steamer and if you are not going to use the Chinese simmer but 3 tier vegetable steamer, I used the steaming bowl/ containers to put the dumplings. Oil the containers so that the dumplings won’t stick on it later on.
5. Moving on to the skin, first sift the flours and mix it. Then add a third of the boiling water and stir the flours and water with a wooden spoon. Add another third once the flour is mixed and finally the final third and mix it till a soft dough formed.
6. You need to knead the dough, but not immediately as it is too hot now. So let it rest for about 5-10 mins or at least when it is not too hot to handle.
7. Before kneading the dough, add tbsp of oil to the dough and knead. Continue to add oil if you can still see lumps in the dough. Knead till it is smooth looking.
8. Then roll it and divide into 30 pieces or so. Roll out a piece till about the size of your palm and put the fillings in the middle. Fold it and “pleat” the edge.
9. Put the finished dumpling in a container/ steamer/ steaming bowl and continue with the rest. Once it is all filled up, steam for 15-20 mins or when the dumpling is translucent.
10. Fried the chopped garlic so that you can sprinkle on top of the dumplings and don’t forget the chili sauce.