Ang Ku Kuih 紅龜粿

Even though I bake a lot of western style pastry, I still love those traditional kuih that are available in Malaysia/ Singapore, like steamed tapioca cake, kuih talam etc, just to name a few. But my favourite will have to be ang ku kuih with green bean paste! I still remember back in those days (and also back in Malaysia) when friends or relatives used to distribute boxes of goodies to celebrate their babies' full month and when such goodies box was received, I would always go for the ang ku kuih first, which is one of the items from the box, apart from the others like hard boiled eggs with the shells dyed with red colouring, chicken curry and turmeric rice. I always enjoyed the ang ku kuih with a cup of kopi-O (i.e. black coffee) on those lazy afternoons.

Fast forward to the new millennium, more and more parents give out cakes, or more often than not, vouchers from bakeries instead of goodies boxes to celebrate the joy of having a new member in their household. We still can get ang ku kuihs from hawker centers or pastry shops but I find that it is hard to get good quality ones nowadays. The skin is either too thick and not stretchy enough, or the filling is simply tasteless. So I've decided to conquer the world of ang ku kuih making and bought a mold from Penang one and a half year ago (Yes, you got it right, it was that long ago!). The procrastinator in me has been putting it off until just a week before I left for Saudi. The mold is one of the items that I chose to leave at home, since I reckoned it would be harder to get Asian ingredients in Saudi (Note: True enough, I can't get ingredients like yam, tapioca flour, fresh shredded coconut etc here), and it is better to try my hand on ang ku kuih while the ingredients are readily available.

However, I did not realise that I also need a blender to grind the cooked green bean until I was done with gathering of the ingredients like glutinous rice flour, skinned green bean and banana leaves. Since my blender has been shipped, I decided to go ahead and used a metal sieve instead. It was proven to be a crazy decision, as I spent close to 2 hours just to press the cooked green bean through the sieve! After that was done, I went on to make the skin, but unfortunately, I couldn't get the texture of the dough right, and it was rather crumbly even after I had added more water. I did not know what went wrong, but I had a bad feeling that the skin would not turn out right. Apart from that, I had a hard time trying to knock the ang ku kuih out from the floured mold as well. I did it on a thick stack of newspaper placed on the floor, and I certainly hope that my neighbour downstairs would not complain of the sound of knocking on their ceiling over that period of one hour.

After steaming was done, I tried a piece of the ang ku kuih and as expected, the skin turned out to be quite hard, and the colour was pink instead of the usual red colour. I was disappointed but hey, there's always a second... or third attempt, right? ;-)


Y said…
Too bad they didn't turn out the way you wanted them to, as it looks great, from the photo. My mom loves these kuihs. I'm not too much of a fan, but I do appreciate the work involved.
Stardust said…
What an adventure!! Your kuih is in a good shape though... I believe that you will conquer it one day. =))

AKK with green bean paste is my favourite among other AKK! True enough in these days, I wonder where to get those with fragrant bean paste wrapped in stretchy and soft skin. There may be some tricky feat behind making of AKK, and sadly, failed to be passed down to makers of nowadays.
I am sure your neighbour will put up with whatever "noise" if she/he sees food coming down all the time later on. hahah...
btw, i love your mould leh. so many design on one block.
didally said…
I love the pink hue. I like mine with peanut fillings. Try again!
daphne said…
The pink looks great too! I brought a mooncake mould over and would u believe it...

The SG customs thought it was a weapon (and didnt know what it was) and the Aus side spotted it and immediately identified with it!

I wonder if i could use the same mould to make ang ku kueh..hmm
ioyces said…
the kueh looks v pretty...pity that it didn't turn out as well as u hoped! btw....can u get dried/ desiccated coconut in saudi? i find that they make a good substitute for fresh grated coconut...just need to add some water to revive them..!
hope u r settling in well! said…
I absolutely love your article and the gorgeous picture! What a taste, the colors, the composition. Where could I find such a beautiful kuih mold?
Nate-n-Annie said…
Wah, two hours to make the green bean paste! That is DEDICATION, man.

At least it looks good. Good luck on your future attempts!
Christine Tham said…
The kuih looks lovely even though it did not turn out well as you expected. Never mind, keep trying.
oh wow. i've always only bought these from kueh shops. i can't make oriental desserts from scratch to save my life which is such a shame. thanks for puttin this on the blogosphere. i hope one day to make it! :) x
Keropok Man said…
the moulds look almost similar to the mooncake ones ya?

talking about the noise, i used to help mum make her mooncakes. we love helping her bang out the stuff inside. yes, many a times, it falls to the ground and 'aiya wasted'. :-)
Rasa Malaysia said…
Hey, I like the pink ang ku, it's really cute! :)
Anonymous said…
I actually prefer your lovely pink kueh to the traditional red! :)

One tip: After kneading the dough, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for a while. The flour will absorb the moisture and the dough can relax and become more pliable. If this doesn't work, maybe the dough needs more water. Hope this will work for you!

Btw, love your traditional wooden mold. I can't find this in SG anymore, all I see are the horrible plastic ones. :(
Piggy said…
Hi Y,

Thanks. :-)

Hi Stardust,

Heehee... both of us like the AKK with green bean paste.. ;-)

Hi Edith,

Aiyah, too bad that my AKK cannot make it, nothing for the neighbour downstairs. Heehee... I love my mold too.

Hi Didally,

The pink hue looks nice actually, just that I want to make it looks like the traditional ones. :-)

Hi Daphne,

OMG, you mean our SG custom do not know what a mooncake mold is? what a shame...

But mooncake mold might be too high for AKK, just a thought. but I think it'll be yummy with lots of filling!

Hi ioyces,

after reading your comment, I went to look for dessicated coconut and I found it! Thanks for your tip, I'll try it out. :-)

Hi fxcuisine,

Thanks for your compliment!

I got the mold from Malaysia, not sure if you can get the same thing in Europe though.

Hi nate-n-annie,

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Hi Christine,

Yup, I'll try it out again when I'm back in SG.

Hi Diva,

Ya, I usually buy such kuih from the shops too, but then it's fun to try it out once in a while. :-)

Hi Keropokman,

The mold looks similar to the mooncake ones, but the height is not as high. Hope you get what i mean, heehee..

It's fun to knock the stuff out, isn't it? ;-)

Hi Bee,

Thanks. :-)

Hi Julia,

Thanks for the tip. I'll try it out next time.

Ya, the molds in SG are made of plastic, that's why I bought it from malaysia mah. :-)
Daniel Ong said…
Where to locate the mould manufacturer? Thanks Daniel from
yanru said…
Hi Piggy,

We are doing on a project on Chinese culture and we found that your photoshoot for the Ang Ku Kueh picture is very professional and beautiful, therefore, we are keen to use it for our project material to bring out the culture.

Can we seek your permission to use the picture? We seek your understanding.

Thank you.

Piggy said…
Hi Angeline,

Could you please send an email to me at I would like to understand more about your event. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
Hi Piggy, where I can buy a mold that have multiple design/size?
Piggy said…
Anonymous @ 11 June 2013 - Hello! I got my mold from Malaysia.