How to Make Soon Kueh aka Chai Kueh

Since when was Soon Kueh meant to be blue-coloured, I hear you ask. Well, since my friend Alexx of sent me some blue butterfly flower (bunga telang) powder, a highly sought-after ingredient among serious Malaysian cooks who live outside of Southeast Asia. Thanks to Alexx’s efforts, you can now buy pure blue flower powder and have it delivered anywhere around the world – just visit (it’s also listed on my online shop if that makes it easier).

I realise the addition of blue flower extract is somewhat unusual, so the recipe below omits it. FYI down in my part of Malaysia and in Singapore, this dumpling is called Soon Kueh; up north in Penang it’s called Chai Kueh.


Soon Kueh

(Recipe adapted from Famous Street Food of Penang)

Edit: I need to point out that I found the skin for this recipe a bit rubbery; I had put it down to oversteaming but I’ve since had someone else have the same experience. I’ll report back once I’ve tweaked this further; it was my first time using this particular ratio of flours for the Soon Kueh skin; I can’t recall what I used to use – it was awhile ago when I last made this.


Edit 2 – Here’s my updated post for this dish, using a different pastry recipe –


Pastry –
250g wheat starch
200g tapioca starch
150g glutinous rice flour
60ml cooking oil
500ml boiling water

Filling –
2 Tbsps cooking oil
2 Tbsps garlic, minced
2 Tbsps dried prawns, soaked and minced
500g yam bean (aka jicama/sarkot/sengkuang) – grated
50g carrot, grated
200ml water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsps chicken powder
½ tsp white pepper

Garlic oil –
150ml oil
4 Tbsps garlic, minced


  1. Make garlic oil by frying minced garlic until lightly browned and aromatic. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsps oil, then add garlic and saute until lightly browned.
  3. Add all other ingredients and simmer until mixture is almost dry and yam bean reaches a translucent appearance. Allow to cool.
  4. Combine all the flours, then add oil. Gradually pour in boiling water and mix with chopsticks.
  5. Knead into a soft dough, then divide into 4 portions, and roll into a cylinder. Cut into equal portions and roll out to a thin pastry about 4 inches in diameter.
  6. Fill with one tablespoon of yam bean mixture, then pleat and/or pinch to seal.
  7. Steam on high heat for 7 minutes or until the pastry is translucent.
  8. Drizzle with garlic oil, and serve with chilli sauce.

Chilli sauce recipe can be found here >>



Rode Mic

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