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Jiu Ceng Gao (九层糕)| Kueh Lapis Sagu

In Recipes, Singaporean on November 7, 2010 at 11:03 am

1. There are foods that taste great.
2. There are foods that are so pretty that they taste great even before they touch the tongue.
3. There are foods that taste great simply because you grew up with them.

And there are foods that fit all 3 categories:

I’d peel them layer….by layer….by layer…4, 5, 6th…… 7, 8th…and with brief hesitation, I’d nibble through the 9th and final of the rainbow-coloured soft n chewy layers, mm by mm by mm… mmmmm 🙂 Happy food.

Of course, being a poor student with limited cash and limited space on the shelf, stocking up on all those colours is not economically nor logistically sensible.  Too bad that nyonya kueh doesn’t keep long (starch retrogrades and coconut milk goes rancid) and getting some from home on mama’s tab wouldn’t work. Surprise surprise, poorskinnychef makes her own, but with less colours in the equation:

The verdict: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


Jiu Ceng Gao | Kueh Lapis Sagu Recipe modified from IndoLists

Ingredients:

  • 200g tapioca / sago starch
  • 100g rice flour
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 300ml water
  • 240g sugar
  • essence and colouring (I used pandan paste for green and rose paste for pink)

[use more tapioca starch for chewier texture, more coconut milk for stronger coconut flavour – this recipe yielded the same texture as the ones I have at home! soft yet springy!]

Method:

  1. Dissolve sugar in hot water to make a syrup and pour in coconut milk.
  2. Mix in starches with a hand whisk.
  3. Divide mixture into 3 portions (~350ml each)
  4. Grease a smooth-based tin (about 10” diameter or square tin would be even better for cutting later!) and heat in the steamer.
  5. Pour in 1/3 of white layer (~110-120ml) and steam for 3-4 min on high heat.
  6. Alternate with colours and steam each layer 3-4 min until 9 layers have been created!
  7. Cool, oil surfaces, unmould and cut into pieces with greased knife.
  8. Wrap pieces with greased plastic to prevent sticking!

Breakfast #1: Chee Cheong Fun | çŒªè‚ ç²‰

In Eats, Recipes, Singaporean, Singaporean on July 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

One question that I’ve constantly been asked by my classmates is that IF I don’t eat bread or muesli for breakfast, then what is it that I eat?? Well, I can’t possibly expect people who have been eating bread for centuries and muesli for decades to make any sense of tau sar pau, roti prata, char kway, tau hway, chwee kueh, png kueh, you tiao, hum chee peng, chut bee png, can I? Explaining myself is always synonymous to ramming my head against a wall. Each time, it is a look of polite confusion or mock disgust at how I could eat sweet / salty / hot / spicy / funny coloured stuff for my breakfast. So most of the time, I just say I eat ‘rice, sticky rice and soy products’ or if I’m in a lazy or not-too-good mood, I say ‘I eat bread, cheese and spreads like you do, and a lot of other things too‘… and most often people are satisfied with the first half of my comment.

After my first long night of jetlagged sleeplessness, it was wonderful to wake up to one of my favourite breakfast foods that mom had bought from the supermarket (SGD$2.30/1.20 euro for 4 rolls – serving size 1-2 rolls). Chee Cheong Fun (dialect) or zhu chang fen (mandarin) literally means pig intestines noodles. It’s actually rice noodle rolls made of rice flour, water and a little oil that is steamed in thin sheets and rolled up in such a way that it resembles pig intestines. Most of the time it has little bits of mushrooms / shrimp / chicken / pork rolled in between the sheets, but mine was with a little bit of spring onions. It has the texture of very smooth rice noodle sheets, eaten warm with a generous scoop of sweet soya sauce and chilli sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Great way to start the day!

I’ve also just found out that it’s possible to make it in a microwave too!

Here’s an easy Chee Cheong Fun recipe from notquitenigella:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Method:

  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. Pour a thin layer (about 1-2mm) into a microwave-safe flat container.
  3. Microwave on high for 2 min until just set.
  4. Sprinkle your desired chopped up filling and roll up.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you’ve used up all the batter.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of soya sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil!

Disclaimer: I have not tried this recipe myself, but it does sound quite fool-proof. I’ll give it a shot when I’m once again 9987km away from NTUC fairprice / Bukit Timah Market! 🙂

Update: Upon meeting another foodie Singaporean, K, here in Wageningen, we decided to put Chee Cheong Fun to action after raving about how much we miss it when we’re away from home 🙂 Hereby delighted to declare that this recipe is awesomely SIMPLE and DELICIOUS.

Because it tastes so good when it’s warm, we could barely resist gobbling it before the proper photos were taken!