Friday, July 6, 2007

Asian Carrot Cake aka Chai Tow Kueh!

If you mentioned 'carrot cake' to a Singaporean or Malaysian, chances are that we'd think immediately of the savoury version with lots of egg and oil instead of the sweet nutty version so loved by Americans.

After making it today, i wondered how it was first invented. It never fazes me how complicated/ time consuming Asian cooking is!! First, you've got to grate the carrot (raddish, but in Mandarin, it's called 'white carrot'), then you've got to fry it til tender, mix it into a rice flour water mixture, steam for an hour, cool for 1.5 hours and then leave it in the fridge for at least 8 hours! And that is only half the job...then you've still got to stir fry it in a copious amount of oil and egg for around 10 more minutes and in the process, infuse your home with oily fumes. (I really do feel sorry for my housemates sometimes!)

Ok! No more whinning! The result is relatively authentic i think...though I'd follow the recipe more closely the next time (if there is a next time! I only cooked chai tow kueh today cos I had half a daikon i had to finish before leaving for placement tomorrow!) and stir fry it for at least 8 minutes..I was impatient and remembering the hawkers back home, I thought that it can be cooked in a jiffy! (Most probably, the hawkers have already stir-fried the carrot cake once through, that's why they take a much shorter time! Thanks Peter for the tip!)
Most pieces came out a tad too chewy but on the whole, was still acceptable! Oh...and I think it is not advisable to cut back on the oil....otherwise, it won't be crispy or fragrant enough....Eat this only occasionally ok!!

Got the recipe from Epicurious.

PS: Actually I like the 'white' carrot cake much better...if you've got a good recipe for that, please share with me!! Thanks!

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