Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Chai Kuih (Crystal Vegetable Dumpling)

Chai kuih or Choi Pau means vegetable cake. Basically, its stir fried vegetables(usually turnip) wrapped in crystal like dough skin Sometimes there is a pork or chicken filling in it. The skin is slightly sticky but has a very nice chewy texture. The vegetables inside are crunchy and delicious. Below's the recipe to make your very own chai kuih at home. They don't cost very much but for those who are overseas or always wanted to make their own, here's the recipe. This is clearly one of my favourite snacks and since it's steamed, it's quite a healthy treat!


Crystal dough:
  • 180g wheat starch flour (tang meen fun)
  • 90g tapioca flour
  • 375ml boiling hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp shortening or corn oil

  • 300g yam bean (sengkuang), peeled and shredded
  • 200g carrots, finely shredded
  • 25g dried shrimps, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chicken stock granules

    Sift wheat starch flour and tapioca flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre. Melt salt in the boiling hot water. Stir boiling water into the flour and mix into a lumpy dough. Add shortening and knead dough until smooth. Form a cylindrical roll. Cut into 25 equal pieces.

    Lightly grease a cleaver and flatten each piece of the cut dough into thin circles using the flat side of the cleaver. Place a tablespoon of cooked filling in the centre of the dough. Fold it into half and gather the outer edge of the circle to form pleats, then pinch the edges together. Do the same for the rest of the dough pieces.

    Place dumplings in a greased bamboo basket. Steam over rapid boiling water for six to seven minutes. Glaze with garlic oil after steaming.

    To make the filling: Heat oil, saute garlic and add dried prawns. Stir-fry until aromatic. Mix in yam bean and carrots and stir-fry well. Add seasoning and cook until vegetables turn soft and liquid thickens. Dish out filling to cool and drain off gravy before using as a filling for the dough.

  • NOTE: Tang meen fun is actually the normal wheat flour which has all its gluten (protein part) removed.


    1. Been looking for this recipe everywhere and tried a fair few of them too. Your's seemed to work the best!! Thanks so much, stumbled upon your blog by accident. M so gonna try out your other recipes as well.


    2. good ah !! make me hungry now ..juz feel tat 2day wanna make chai kuih eat only can lor!

    3. Anonymous5:07 PM

      hi, do you encounter when you are wrapping up, the flattened dough breaks and you end up can't wrap properly? May i know what's wrong with mine? i follow the recipe correctly.


    4. Found your blog through another blogger's link. You've great recipes in here! And you are a GUY...that's so cool! Will like to try out some of your recipes one of these days. Keep are doing great!