Chai Kuih (Steamed Vegetable Dumplings) 菜粿

by Angie Liew
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (Chai Kuih)


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Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (Chai Kuih)

All-Time Favourite Steamed Chinese Snack: Steamed Vegetable Dumplings, Chai Kuih 菜粿

Steamed vegetable dumplings, locally known as Chai Kuih or Chai Kueh 菜粿, is one of many iconic Asian traditional delicacies, rumoured to be of Teochew origin. It bodies, mainly, stir-fried yam bean wrapped in a chewy crystal-like skin. These delicious vegetable dumplings are steamed to perfection! They make a light, healthy and tasty appetiser or snack!

Chai Kuih Recipe (Steamed Vegetable Dumplings)

Chai Kuih’s Signature Trait: A Soft, Chewy, Translucent Skin

The secret to making these popular steamed vegetable dumplings lies within its skin. The idea is to achieve a soft, springy and translucent pliable dough suitable for shaping the dumplings. These dumplings are deliciously good even on its own. Better, top it off with a sweet chilli sauce. They are so good, you can’t stop at 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5! It’s truly a Teochew culinary treasure for the whole family!

So ENJOY!

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (Chai Kuih 菜粿)

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (Chai Kuih 菜粿)

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Chai Kuih (Steamed Vegetable Dumplings) 菜粿
By Angie Liew of Huang Kitchen
Steamed vegetable dumplings, locally known as Chai Kuih or Chai Kueh 菜粿, is one of many iconic Asian traditional delicacies, rumoured to be of Teochew origin. It bodies, mainly, stir-fried yam bean wrapped in a chewy crystal-like skin. These delicious vegetable dumplings are steamed to perfection! They make a light, healthy and tasty appetiser or snack!
Serving For
36pieces
Prep Time
30minutes
Passive Time
10minutes
Cook Time
12minutes
Serving For
36pieces
Prep Time
30minutes
Passive Time
10minutes
Cook Time
12minutes
Ingredients
Yam Bean Filling Ingredients:
Skin Ingredients:
Change Servings?
pieces
Change Unit?
Change Servings?
pieces
Change Unit?
Instructions
Cook Filling:
  1. First, soak dried shrimps and dried shiitake mushrooms.
    First, soak dried shrimps and dried shiitake mushrooms.
    First, soak dried shrimps and dried shiitake mushrooms.
    First, soak dried shrimps and dried shiitake mushrooms.
  2. Then dice the soaked mushrooms and chop, coarsely, the dried shrimps. Next, mince garlic, shallots and shred carrot and french beans, thinly.
    Then dice the soaked mushrooms and chop, coarsely, the dried shrimps. Next, mince garlic, shallots and shred carrot and french beans, thinly.
    Then dice the soaked mushrooms and chop, coarsely, the dried shrimps. Next, mince garlic, shallots and shred carrot and french beans, thinly.
    Then dice the soaked mushrooms and chop, coarsely, the dried shrimps. Next, mince garlic, shallots and shred carrot and french beans, thinly.
  3. Using a sharp knife, peel yam bean's thick and papery skin. Then shred yam bean into long, thin strips. And we're ready to fry the filling!
    Using a sharp knife, peel yam bean's thick and papery skin. Then shred yam bean into long, thin strips. And we're ready to fry the filling!
    Using a sharp knife, peel yam bean's thick and papery skin. Then shred yam bean into long, thin strips. And we're ready to fry the filling!
    Using a sharp knife, peel yam bean's thick and papery skin. Then shred yam bean into long, thin strips. And we're ready to fry the filling!
  4. Ready by heating up oil and sauté minced garlic and shallots till fragrant. Add in chopped dried shrimps and fry further.
    Ready by heating up oil and sauté minced garlic and shallots till fragrant. Add in chopped dried shrimps and fry further.
    Ready by heating up oil and sauté minced garlic and shallots till fragrant. Add in chopped dried shrimps and fry further.
    Ready by heating up oil and sauté minced garlic and shallots till fragrant. Add in chopped dried shrimps and fry further.
  5. Then, add diced shiitake mushroom. Continue to fry.
    Then, add diced shiitake mushroom. Continue to fry.
    Then, add diced shiitake mushroom. Continue to fry.
    Then, add diced shiitake mushroom. Continue to fry.
  6. Add in yam bean and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
    Add in yam bean and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
    Add in yam bean and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
    Add in yam bean and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt, chicken stock granules and white ground pepper.
    Season with salt, chicken stock granules and white ground pepper.
    Season with salt, chicken stock granules and white ground pepper.
    Season with salt, chicken stock granules and white ground pepper.
  8. Next, stir in carrots and french bean. Simmer till vegetable softens and cooked. And we're done!
    Next, stir in carrots and french bean. Simmer till vegetable softens and cooked. And we're done!
    Next, stir in carrots and french bean. Simmer till vegetable softens and cooked. And we're done!
    Next, stir in carrots and french bean. Simmer till vegetable softens and cooked. And we're done!
  9. Remove and leave to cool while we prepare the pastry dough.
    Remove and leave to cool while we prepare the pastry dough.
    Remove and leave to cool while we prepare the pastry dough.
    Remove and leave to cool while we prepare the pastry dough.
Dumpling Pastry:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat starch, tapioca flour, salt and sugar.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat starch, tapioca flour, salt and sugar.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat starch, tapioca flour, salt and sugar.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat starch, tapioca flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
    Bring water to a boil.
    Bring water to a boil.
    Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add hot boiling water into the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a long wooden spoon until you get a translucent light dough.
    Add hot boiling water into the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a long wooden spoon until you get a translucent light dough.
    Add hot boiling water into the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a long wooden spoon until you get a translucent light dough.
    Add hot boiling water into the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a long wooden spoon until you get a translucent light dough.
  4. Then, transfer to a stand mixer and knead briefly.
    Then, transfer to a stand mixer and knead briefly.
    Then, transfer to a stand mixer and knead briefly.
    Then, transfer to a stand mixer and knead briefly.
  5. Gradually add in vegetable oil and knead into a smooth dough.
    Gradually add in vegetable oil and knead into a smooth dough.
    Gradually add in vegetable oil and knead into a smooth dough.
    Gradually add in vegetable oil and knead into a smooth dough.
  6. Remove from mixer and roll the dough out.
    Remove from mixer and roll the dough out.
    Remove from mixer and roll the dough out.
    Remove from mixer and roll the dough out.
  7. Divide dough into small pieces, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Finally, we're ready to make the steamed dumplings!
    Divide dough into small pieces, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Finally, we're ready to make the steamed dumplings!
    Divide dough into small pieces, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Finally, we're ready to make the steamed dumplings!
    Divide dough into small pieces, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Finally, we're ready to make the steamed dumplings!
Make Dumplings:
  1. First, dust tabletop with tapioca flour. Then flatten and roll out dough into a thin sheet.
    First, dust tabletop with tapioca flour. Then flatten and roll out dough into a thin sheet.
    First, dust tabletop with tapioca flour. Then flatten and roll out dough into a thin sheet.
    First, dust tabletop with tapioca flour. Then flatten and roll out dough into a thin sheet.
  2. Using a round cutter, cut thinned dough into circles about 10 cm in diameter.
    Using a round cutter, cut thinned dough into circles about 10 cm in diameter.
    Using a round cutter, cut thinned dough into circles about 10 cm in diameter.
    Using a round cutter, cut thinned dough into circles about 10 cm in diameter.
  3. Repeat for the rest of pastry dough to form skin.
    Repeat for the rest of pastry dough to form skin.
    Repeat for the rest of pastry dough to form skin.
    Repeat for the rest of pastry dough to form skin.
  4. To make the dumplings, fold the skin into a semi circle, seal slightly on one end.
    To make the dumplings, fold the skin into a semi circle, seal slightly on one end.
    To make the dumplings, fold the skin into a semi circle, seal slightly on one end.
    To make the dumplings, fold the skin into a semi circle, seal slightly on one end.
  5. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into the centre of the skin.
    Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into the centre of the skin.
    Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into the centre of the skin.
    Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into the centre of the skin.
  6. Pleat the edge on one side of the skin and secure towards the other side into a half moon shape.
    Pleat the edge on one side of the skin and secure towards the other side into a half moon shape.
    Pleat the edge on one side of the skin and secure towards the other side into a half moon shape.
    Pleat the edge on one side of the skin and secure towards the other side into a half moon shape.
  7. Continue to pleat to the end, wrapping it up tightly.
    Continue to pleat to the end, wrapping it up tightly.
    Continue to pleat to the end, wrapping it up tightly.
    Continue to pleat to the end, wrapping it up tightly.
  8. Repeat the same for the rest of the cut pastry skin.
    Repeat the same for the rest of the cut pastry skin.
    Repeat the same for the rest of the cut pastry skin.
    Repeat the same for the rest of the cut pastry skin.
  9. Next, brush cooking oil on the steaming tray.
    Next, brush cooking oil on the steaming tray.
    Next, brush cooking oil on the steaming tray.
    Next, brush cooking oil on the steaming tray.
  10. Arrange dumpling on the oiled steaming tray. Make sure they do not touch one another.
    Arrange dumpling on the oiled steaming tray. Make sure they do not touch one another.
    Arrange dumpling on the oiled steaming tray. Make sure they do not touch one another.
    Arrange dumpling on the oiled steaming tray. Make sure they do not touch one another.
  11. Steam over medium heat for 12 minutes or until skin turns translucent.
    Steam over medium heat for 12 minutes or until skin turns translucent.
    Steam over medium heat for 12 minutes or until skin turns translucent.
    Steam over medium heat for 12 minutes or until skin turns translucent.
  12. Remove the steamed dumplings to cool on wire rack and brush them with some garlic oil.
    Remove the steamed dumplings to cool on wire rack and brush them with some garlic oil.
    Remove the steamed dumplings to cool on wire rack and brush them with some garlic oil.
    Remove the steamed dumplings to cool on wire rack and brush them with some garlic oil.
  13. Transfer to a serving plate when cooled slightly. Then garnish with fried garlic, shallots, spring onions and chopped red chilli. Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce and Enjoy!
    Transfer to a serving plate when cooled slightly. Then garnish with fried garlic, shallots, spring onions and chopped red chilli. Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce and Enjoy!
    Transfer to a serving plate when cooled slightly. Then garnish with fried garlic, shallots, spring onions and chopped red chilli. Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce and Enjoy!
    Transfer to a serving plate when cooled slightly. Then garnish with fried garlic, shallots, spring onions and chopped red chilli. Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce and Enjoy!
Notes

Adding oil to the skin dough prevents the dough from sticking onto your hand and gives the skin a smoother texture. It also prevents the skin from breaking easily.

You can vary the thickness of the dumpling skin according to personal preference but it should not be too thin so you can enjoy the chewy bite.

Be sure to cut FINELY all the ingredients for the filling. Otherwise it may cause the skin to break while wrapping.

Only remove steamed dumplings from the steaming tray when it is slightly cold. Otherwise, the skin of dumplings will tear.

Do not use high heat for steaming as the dumplings will expand too much and break.

Frying of the yam bean filling can be done ahead of time. Keep refrigerated / frozen until needed.

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Leave a Comment

4 comments

sally May 15, 2020 - 1:24 pm

Thank you for your recipes. I wuld like to know whether you can freeze Chai Kuih (before steaming or after steaming)? TThanks. My email is: [email protected]

Reply
Angie Liew May 15, 2020 - 11:13 pm

Hi, freeze after steaming.Let cool before you freeze. This will retain the flavour of the Chai Kuih until needed.Thanks for viewing.

Reply
Kevin April 29, 2020 - 11:22 pm

Hi Angie, Thanks for a very detailed and beautifully illustrated recipe for making Chia kuih. Under “Cook the filling” at line 7 you mentioned ” Season with salt, chicken stock granules and white ground pepper.”
However chicken stock granules was not mentioned in your ingredients list. So how much Chicken stock granulesis used?
Also after frying the frying the sengkuang you added the carrots and french bean and allow to simmer. Do you need to add any water at this stage for the vege to simmer?

Reply
Angie Liew April 30, 2020 - 11:44 pm

Hi, thanks for pointing out. You can just add 1 tsp chicken stock granules for 500g yam bean. Otherwise can just leave that out. Just to add more flavour to the yam bean filling. Do not add water when you simmer as the yam bean will release fluid when simmered. Just make sure to continuously fry to make sure its not burnt and the vegetables softened. Hope this helps to clarify and happy cooking.

Reply

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