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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hakka Beetroot XiBan 甜菜根客家喜粄

When I saw a kuih called ki ka ku on Sonia's blog, I was totally intrigued. Then later I found that it was actually a traditional hakka steamed chewy bun called 喜粄, "Xi Ban", translated as "Dough of Joy"

I tried making this with some adaptations from Sonia's recipe

Hakka Beetroot XiBan
Recipe adapted from Sonia

250g Glutinous rice flour
300g All purpose flour
150g Caster sugar  (you may increase, if you want sweeter)
50g Shortening
1 ½ tsp Yeast
300g Beetroot infused Water (boil some peeled beetroot chunks in 350ml water for 15 mins, just use the water), use more if needed
Banana leaves (soften in hot water, cut into round shape)

1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, knead until soft and smooth.
2. Divide dough to equal portion (about 40g), shape into small round ball. Grease your hand with some cooking oil, place small round ball on the banana leaf, and flatten the dough by pressing your palm on the dough ball.
3. Cover with cling film and rest for 1hour
4. Steam over hot boiling water for 15mins or until cooked

Frankly speaking, this bun looks like a regular bun when torn, but it's chewy like a mochi. My husband didn't quite like it as it was too chewy for him, but it was fine for me. Colour wise, I was rather dissapointed when it turned into a peachy hue instead of remaining pink. And I steamed the buns in 3 batches, as my wok can only accomodate 9 at a time. And all 3 batches came out with different colours. You can see 3 out my 4 buns in the pics comes in different hues. The next day, the bun was crumbly without steaming, something like a scone. So, I'd say this bun is best eaten on the day it is made.

I did another recipe, with a much longer fermentation period, watch out for the post :)


  1. This is like a healthier version of huat kuih without coconut milk. It was introduced by my Hakka friend few years back.

  2. Little inbox,
    Errr... this is not a huat kuih, as it is chewy like a mochi.

  3. Beetroot in these Kuih are really very innovative ideas. Can't wait to see your next attempt to improve this texture...very interesting :D

  4. This is actually the 2nd xi ban post for the day I saw. Love the idea that you used natural beetroot coloring. But yah, it's always strangely fade away once cooked. I heard from a good friend how to eat these the next day. She would spread a generous amount of planta margarine over it, pan fry till golden crisp and drizzle with som condense milk... Sinfully good? Don't know I didn't get to try it out. :)

  5. I baked a chiffon cake with beet once and bread another time and both times the beautiful pink disappeared too! The first photo crumb looks so much fluffier!

  6. The glutinous rice flour probably made it chewy.
    I remember my mum made this once and I think I didn't fancy it then.

  7. This is very traditional! I think the chewy texture could be very interesting!

  8. Wendy, you can either steam it again once you kept overnight or follow to what Bee Bee told you, I heard the same thing from my friend, but I have not tried this way. Why your kuih look like ah mah face, too long resting?

  9. Zoe,
    Do stay tuned:)

    Oh it does sound pretty indulging :)
    I saw in on Lena's blog too.

    it's the same piece of bun. The first pic was just torn and the 2nd pic, I bit into the torn area to show the chewiness despite it looking fluffy. Beetroot's pretty dissapointing right? Looked so nice when raw, but sigh... when cooked... sigh

    It is due to the glutinous flour that it is chewy, it's like a mochi. Hehe, that was when u were a kid, u might like it now, who knows? kekekeke.

    Haha, it took me by surprise intially, when I bit into it.

    Yeah, but I purposely ate it unsteamed to see how it will taste like. LOL, I really laughed hard when u find my kuih like grandma face. Dunno why woh. I left them until they felt spongy lor, about 1 hour. But since I can only steam them in 3 batches, maybe the last ones were overproofed gua.

  10. i had made this 喜板few times,i use pumpkin and sweet mother and daughter like to eat 喜板.

  11. One of my niece love this hee pan but not me. To me it taste just like fatt koh.

  12. i wish i can try out different flavours of hei phan but sometimes i just dont know how to adjust the recipe..i wonder how's the taste of this beetroot hei phan?

  13. OiLai,
    Oh, next time you make some for me to try :)

    It's very chewy like mochi woh... dunno la, I've never eaten any other besides those that I make. Those overnight ones will be crumbly like fatt koh, but fresh ones are chewy

    The beetroot didn't give it much taste. Just colour.

  14. i am hakka nia. but never see this kind of hakka ban. i want to try.

  15. Voon,
    I tot Srwk hakka very traditional geh?
    But there are many types of hakka right?
    Maybe not ur type lor.


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