Friday, October 23, 2009

Fried Carrot Cake - 菜头粿

Fried carrot cake, more popularly known as "Cai Tao Kueh" (菜头粿) in dialect, is one of the speciality from Singapore. There are two versions to it - Black and White. I like both versions but would definitely give the determining vote to the white version. :)

Been craving for this dish for the past couple of days. So I decided to search for the recipe online and to my dismay, there were not that many available and amongst those that I found, the recipes were quite alike but with very different quantity ratios for the ingredients to be used.

So for my first attempt, I opted for what I thought was the simplest recipe. And the result was.... disastrous! Apparently, there was too much water used in the recipe and even after cooling the steamed carrot cake overnight, it was still soft and soggy. So naturally when I tried to stubbornly fry it, the result was like mua-chee. :(

Afterwards, I even tried to 'debug' the error which I might have made during my first attempt - the wrong flour used? too much water? the wrong method? too short steaming duration?

And with whatever information and new findings I could gather, I ventured on to my second attempt. This time round, I chose a recipe which requires lesser water and the steamed carrot cake was standing on it's own after I sliced it! Bravo! However, the next step of frying it proved to be quite a challenge for me. The recipe stated that the wok must be very hot...and the fried carrot cake should be slightly browned on the outside. But as I stood frying the carrot cakes, all I got was the carrot cakes sticking to whichever side of the wok it was in contact with. And I ended up with a browned wok but white-as-snow carrot cakes. And the longer I fried it, the softer it became. So eventually, I scooped everything out and sprinkled a little chives on it before serving.

Well, it was definitely edible but it's like eating a big lump of porridge grain...probably more suitable for the toothless grannies.

Anyone out there who have a reliable, tried and tested recipe to share?

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