Monday, January 10, 2011

Story behind "blossom" Fa Kueh

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Recently, I saw fa kueh appear in The Kitchen 70’s and Simply Hanushi blogs. I’m so envy seeing those “blossom” fa kueh. The ingredients are very simple, but I can’t get it right >.<  Since CNY is coming, I really want to make some for praying during my visit to mother-in-law house. Therefore I target myself to master the skill of steaming fa kueh!

At last, all the hard work payoff. Now I’m proud to present my “blossom” fa kueh :D Thanks to Hanushi and The Kitchen 70’s for their advice and recipes.

Below are the journey before getting the nice fa kueh.

In my 1st attempt, I choose Hanushi steamed rice cake . I failed. This may due to opening the lid (for refill water) during the steaming process. The fa kueh is not rise and not edible.

2nd attempt, I try again and make sure the water level is enough for the entire steaming period. Result is better but not “blossom” enough and edible. Initially I want to try on different baking cups. But the batter is not enough, as you can see only half way for the 2nd cup.

Therefore, I choose The Kitchen 70’s brown sugar fa kueh  in my 3rd attempt. I understand the recipe only require baking soda as rising agent. I reduce the BS to 1/4tsp and adding ½ tsp of double action baking powder for safety precaution :P This time I steam with pot instead of wok in different moulds. I make sure the water level is enough for the entire steaming process. I’m so happy when seeing those fa kueh “blossom” inside the pot! And worry at the same time as those fa kueh touching the pot lid!!! >o< The fa kueh rise properly and has soft texture as I wanted. The only defect is some wet spot on the fa kueh.

At the same day, I make another batch as my 4th attempt. Since I run out of coconut milk, I replace those liquid with water. I used the leftover cocoa mixture from my bread making for the topping. It seems terrible dark >.< This time I use wok. In order to ensure the pressure is high enough, I top up the water level as close as to the steamer. Another disaster happen…one of the baking paper collapse : ( I should place in aluminium mould instead) However the rest of the fa kueh rise pretty well.


From the failure, I learn that to make “blossom” fa kueh, few keys need to be noticed:
1. Steam at high heat. Do not open the lid during the steaming period. So make sure the water level is enough for the entire process. Do leave enough room for the fa kueh to rise (distance between lid and fa kueh mould).
2. Choose the right mould. Make sure is firm enough to hold the batter and the heat. Topping of the mould can’t open too wide. This will prevent the fa kueh from “smile”.
3. Using low protein flour will produce more soft and fluffy texture. It feels more like cake instead of traditional rice flour fa kueh. Adding coconut milk, milk and other flavouring is another bonus to this kueh.

This success really make me happy :D


  1. your determination really awe me!! so many attempts! congrats on your successfully smiling huat koh! great job!

  2. Congrats, Vivian!! I am happy to hear and see that you have successfully make pretty smiling huat kueh... :D

  3. Your determination is indeed very heartwarming.
    Glad you could make it after a few attempts!!

  4. great job Vivian! Congratulations for making successful smiling huat kueh!

  5. Thanks to all your nice comments. Wish my story able to help someone who have the same problem as me. :)

  6. thanks for sharing these useful tips for making huat kueh. appreciate that!

  7. Hi Vivian,
    You have very nice fatt koh & thanks for sharing, is low protein flour ~ Cake Flour (All Purpose Flour + Corn Flour? Kindly advise.

  8. Delphine,
    Low protein flour or cake flour is low in gluten. Which make it produce fine texture in cake. It is available in any bakery supply shop.

    The cake flour is not combination of all purpose flour + corn flour. As all purpose flour has a slightly higher gluten content.


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