It’s been 2 years since I’ve made kueh pie tee! It’s a very slight hassle to make since the ingredients have to be prepared separately but it’s a very straightforward recipe. Regardless of your cooking experience, it’s almost sure to turn out a success – that’s what I really like about making my kueh pie tee! Below is my post from 2 years ago.
Kueh Pie Tee – a popular Peranakan dish where a crispy tart shell is filled with vegetables and other healthy ingredients (I mean, aren’t eggs and beancurd pretty healthy?). It’s something that everyone probably has seen before, but not something that is eaten on a regular basis. In fact, the only times I actually get to eat these yummy kueh pie tee is when they are served at international buffets or Peranakan restaurants. Half the time though, the kueh pie tee cost too much for 6 measly cups. But I have to admit that the effort required to make this dish does justify its cost. You need to spend some time grating the vegetables, plucking the beansprouts, removing the prawn shells, and the list goes on. Also, a lot of the ingredients are best cooked separately. But don’t let the long list of ingredients and preparation time scare you! This recipe is actually rather foolproof; the dish will turn out well regardless of culinary skills! I will, however, recommend you to use readymade kueh pie tee shells rather than making your own. It saves so much time! Alright, on to the recipe:
The star of kueh pie tee – jicama. To be honest, I’ve never heard of that word before making my own kueh pie tee. I believe many people, like me, think that turnip is the main ingredient used in kueh pie tee, but that’s not fully correct. What is used is actually Mexican turnip (as shown above), which is different from the white turnip with purple tones. This Mexican turnip also goes by the names of jicama (pronounced as hee-ka-ma) and ‘mang guang’ (its Teochew name). It is widely available in local supermarkets and wet markets, but I realised that NTUC supermarket labels it as ‘local turnip’. So if you’re asking a staff for help in locating it, I believe ‘turnip’ would be the least confusing term.
Main ingredients required for kueh pie tee – jicama (grated), carrot (grated), shrimps/prawns (shelled), garlic (finely chopped), shallots (finely chopped), beansprouts, eggs (which I forgot to include for my photo) and beancurd (optional, also forgot to include in my photo). I actually used frozen shrimps instead of fresh prawns because they taste good enough, and they are much less of a hassle! No need to peel off any shells!
First, blanch the shrimps and set aside.
Next, blanch the bean sprouts and set aside.
Put 3-4 eggs into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cook for about 7 minutes to get perfect hard boiled eggs with a creamy centre. You can boil for longer if you prefer, but I don’t quite like overcooked egg yolks. Once done, remove the shells and roughly chop the eggs.
I cut my large blocks of beancurd into smaller blocks and pan fry them first to get them crispy on the outside. After pan frying, dice the beancurd into small cubes. I highly recommend getting beancurd from the wet market; the ones sold at supermarkets just don’t taste as good.
Fry the garlic and shallots for a short while until fragrant.
Add the jicama and carrot strips and fry until soft but still slightly crunchy. Add some water as you fry if the vegetables are too dry. I personally like more juice in my vegetable mixture, so I added a total of about 1 cup of water throughout the cooking process. A lot of the water evaporates away actually.
It’ll take at least 10 minutes of cooking for the vegetables to achieve a soft but slightly crunchy state. After that, add seasonings like soya sauce, sugar and white pepper. The jicama, carrots and onions all contribute to a very sweet taste once cooked, so you can add morning soya sauce if you prefer.
And your main ingredient is ready!
The set up before assembling your kueh pie tee – jicama-carrot mixture, shrimps, hard boiled eggs, bean sprouts, beancurd (optional), chilli (optional) and kueh pie tee cups. How you want to assemble your kueh pie tee is really up to you, but I put the jicama-carrot mixture in first, followed by beansprouts, egg and beancurd, then top it off with a shrimp and a dab of chilli sauce.
And I have to say, preparation and cooking were relatively time-consuming, or rather, troublesome, because many ingredients had to be prepared separately. But, the final product is really good!! All the ingredients came together very well. I thought maybe the frozen taste of the shrimps and the somewhat raw taste of the beansprouts would make the dish unpalatable, but there was no hint of off taste at all.
The kueh pie tee cups were so light and crispy, and went very well with the soft but crunchy fillings!
I think this would be a great dish to have at a potluck party! It tastes great, it’s pretty healthy (except for the kueh pie tee cups), and beyond that, it’s fun to fill your own kueh pie tee cups with your desired amount of ingredients. The best part of this recipe is that if you have leftovers, you can use the ingredients to make popiah! I will update my site with the popiah recipe later.
Kueh Pie Tee
- 60 kueh pie tee cups ($16)
- 1 kg Jicama/Mexican turnip (grated) ($2.10)
- 1 large carrot (grated) ($0.126)
- 8 cloves garlic (finely chopped) ($0.224)
- 8 cloves shallots (finely chopped) ($0.065)
- 60 shrimps ($4)
- 100 g beansprouts ($0.15)
- 4 eggs ($0.80)
- 1 firm beancurd (cut into big cubes) ($0.40)
- 600 ml water
- 4 tbsp light soya sauce (to taste) ($0.126)
- ½ tsp sugar ($0.006)
- white pepper
- Blanch shrimps and set aside.
- Blanch beansprouts and set aside.
- Add eggs into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for about 7 minutes to achieve hard boiled eggs with a creamy centre. Remove eggs from water and peel off shell. Roughly chop eggs and set aside.
- Pan fry beancurd chunks until crispy on all sides. Cut into smaller cubes and set aside.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp of oil into frypan and saute garlic and shallots until fragrant.
- Add jicama and carrot and fry until soft but crunchy. Add water intermittently (total 1 cup) during the cooking process. It will take about 10 minutes for the jicama to become soft enough. Season with light soya sauce, sugar and white pepper.
- Fill kueh pie tee cups with jicama-carrot mixture, beansprouts, eggs and beancurd, then top off with a shrimp and a dab of chilli if you like. You can also add some juice from the jicama-carrot mixture into the kueh pie tee cups!