This month's MFF is Penang's turn. One of the most famous spots for good food in Malaysia.
If you ever ask me about Penang food that I can't find out of the state, this will be the first answer from me.
Famous Penang cuisine like Asam Laksa, Prawn Noodle, Char Kway Teow or Nasi Kandar is found all over Malaysia, and in almost every Malaysian restaurant overseas. But not Tee Nya Kuih.
Where did I find this? At Swatow lane. I as having some hawker fare there and I saw 2 mobile stalls selling this green and yellow thing in containers packed with a bag of palm sugar syrup. Being the curious me, I surely will buy one. One stall calls it 甜仔糕(sweet guy kuih), another stall called it 靓仔糕 (handsome guy kuih), but the English word at the stalls are all Tee Nya Kuih. LOL, whatever!
My first bite, it felt soft, and bouncy. Not sticky at all and with a wonderful alkaline aroma. The syrup was to die for! But my fav part was still the bounce, almost like eating jelly. My hubby who isn't a fan of alkaline dumplings, didn't find this kuih interesting, but it was otherwise for me, I was all ga-ga. It became the must-eat for me whenever I go to Penang and purposely make my husband drive to Swatow lane to get my fix.
I know that the tee nya kuih has an additive used in it.... that is actually a banned substance. It is stated in recipes and my neighbour uses it too for her alkaline kuih. It is commonly found in our food stuff like factory made oily moist noodles in bags, or the alkaline dumplings that doesn't stick to the bamboo leaf or super springy fishballs. If this substance is not put in, the texture of Tee Nya kuih will turn sticky, and it won't give you a clean chew.
The older generation people usually won't detest to consuming this substance, like they say , "a little bit won't die la!. If not, it won't be nice to eat.". Personally, I will try to avoid using if I can, but I won't say no if I were to be served food laced with it. To those of you who totally detest the use of borax, yes, avoid all those food that I mentioned. How much can you avoid?
Tee nya kuih is traditionally made with rice flour and borax. But I tried making tee nya kuih without borax. I imagined the texture and what type of flours should be used, since plain rice flour will make the whole thing sticky. I added tapioca starch for pliability, the mung bean starch for a clean chew... Although it is still slightly sticky, but I'm satisfied with this result. Not too bad for a borax free version.
And the good news is.. it can be chilled and won't turn floury :)
Warning: Do not eat Tee Nya Kuih on its own. It is yucky! Must be served with the syurp. Then it becomes heavenly.
Tee Nya Kuih (Borax Free)
25gm rice flour
25gm tapioca starch
25gm mung bean starch (green pea flour)
300gm water + 1/4 tsp alkaline water
1 drop yellow food colouring
1 drop green food colouring
1. Mix all the flours together. Add in water and alkaline waterand cook in a small pot until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.
2. Divide the batter into 2 and mix with the food colouring.
3. Very lightly oil 2 rice bowls and put the batter in. Level the surface.
4. Steam on medium heat for 20 minutes.
5. Leave to cool down for 4 hours (best 8 hours) at room temperature before serving. (gives a cleaner cut with long resting time)
6. Cut into cubes with a plastic knife and serve with palm sugar coconut cream syrup.
I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest Penang Month
hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies