Rainbow Ang Ku Kueh

ShareFood Writer
Rainbow Ang Ku Kueh

Rainbow Ang Ku Kueh

Shaped like a red turtle, this traditional Chinese pastry is often found wearing a vibrant red as a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness. Sink your teeth into its soft and chewy skin which is made of glutinous rice flour and you’ll enjoy a flavor explosion of a sweet and silky smooth filling made of mung beans! Yummy!!

This seemingly difficult pastry may seem like an intimidating task but rest assured, only a few simple ingredients are required! It is definitely not as difficult as it seems! Instead of using traditional edible red dye, here’s the plot twist…home baker Grace Liew uses natural dyes out of mashed fruit and root vegetables to colour the ang ku kuehs! Yes, you heard it! (Or read it), no more artificial chemicals yet it still retains its vibrant colour. In fact, we’ll be sharing with you how we use a range of natural food dyes to achieve a rainbow effect so continue scrolling to find out!

Let’s start off by talking about this all-natural colouring. Our home cook leverages the amazing colours of food to achieve these natural dyes (and they do not lose out to edible food dyes!).

To yield magenta, mash 150g of dragon fruit.

Mash dragon fruit with a fork

Mash dragon fruit with a fork

To yield yellow, steam and mash 150g of pumpkin.

Steam and mash pumpkin with a fork

Steam and mash pumpkin with a fork

To yield purple, steam and mash 150g of purple sweet potato.

Steam and mash purple sweet potato with a fork

Steam and mash purple sweet potato with a fork

To yield green, replace water with 160g of pandan juice extract (Simply blend 15-18 pandan leaves with 200ml of water and measure out 160g of the liquid).

To make the luscious filling, firstly, wash the beans until the water turns clear. Soak the beans for a few hours, overnight if possible, and drain well. (Patience is a virtue here!) Steam them over high heat for 25 minutes and blend it finely.

Steam the mung beans over high heat until soft

Steam the mung beans over high heat until soft

Blend the mung beans finely

Blend the mung beans finely

Next, add in brown sugar, salt and oil and blend until smooth. All that’s left is to shape the fillings into 2cm balls and set them aside! Here’s a tip for you: You can adjust the sugar level to your preference.

Roll the filling into 2 cm balls

Roll the filling into 2 cm balls

To make the dough, combine the glutinous rice flour, mash, sugar, corn flour, oil and water in a mixing bowl.

Combine dough ingredients and mix well

Combine dough ingredients and mix well

For the pandan dough, there is no mash added! Simply swap out the 160g of water with 160g of pandan juice extract.

Replace water with pandan juice for the pandan dough

Replace water with pandan juice for the pandan dough

Knead the mixture until smooth, pliable and non-sticky. Add a little water if  the dough is too dry. Another pro tip here! Avoid making the kueh in an air-conditioned environment as the cold and wind will make the dough dryer and harder to manipulate.

Knead the dough until it is pliable and non-sticky

Knead the dough until it is pliable and non-sticky

To make the ang ku kueh, take about 3cm ball of dough, flatten it and wrap the filling inside. Roll the kueh into a ball.

Take 3cm ball of dough and flatten it

Take 3cm ball of dough and flatten it

Wrap the dough around the filling and roll into a ball

Wrap the dough around the filling and roll into a ball

Dust a little glutinous rice flour into the mould and press the kueh firmly into the mould.

Dust the mould with flour and press the kueh firmly

Dust the mould with flour and press the kueh firmly

Invert the kueh onto a piece of banana leaf that is oiled on both sides. You can lay a cloth over the countertop and place a wooden chopping board over the cloth and hit the ang ku kueh mould on the chopping board to get the kueh out without hurting your hand.

First look at the fruits of your labour!

First look at the fruits of your labour!

Do ensure that all detail cervices on the ang ku kueh mould are covered with flour so the ang ku kueh will come out easily. But brush off the excess flour or there may be a white sheen on the finished kueh!

Finally, on to the final step! Steaming the ang ku kueh! Place each kueh into the steamer and brush the surface with some oil.

Brush each kueh with a thin layer of oil

Brush each kueh with a thin layer of oil

Ang ku kueh before steaming

Ang ku kueh before steaming

Steam over medium heat for 10-12 minutes and it’s done! Do not oversteam the kuehs or they will lose their shape and the dragon fruit ang ku kueh will turn a redder colour instead of magenta. Finally, don’t forget to let it cool before serving!

Ang ku kueh after steaming

Ang ku kueh after steaming

What are you waiting for? Quickly get into your kitchen and start making this recipe now so you can enjoy them as a high tea snack!

You can grab a copy of the full recipe below.

Rainbow Ang Ku Kueh

Servings 8 pieces

Prep Time 60 minutes

Cook Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 200g split mung beanswashed and soaked overnight
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1/4tsp salt

Mash

  • 150g dragon fruitmashed
  • 150g pumpkinsteamed and mashed
  • 150g purple sweet potatosteamed and mashed

Dough (pandan)

  • 250g glutinous rice flour
  • 3tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 160g pandan juice extract

Dough

  • 250g glutinous rice flour
  • 3tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 160g water
  • 150g mash

Instructions

  1. Drain the soaked mung beans well.
  2. Steam over high heat for 25 minutes.
  3. Blend it finely.
  4. Add in brown sugar, oil and salt. Blend until smooth.
  5. Shape the filling into 2cm balls and set aside.

Prepare the extract and mash

  1. Pandan juice extract - Blend the pandan leaves with 200ml of water. Sieve out the fibres and measure out 160g of the pandan juice extract.
  2. Dragon fruit mash - Deskin the dragon fruit and mash it with a fork.
  3. Pumpkin mash and purple sweet potato mash - Steam the pumpkin and purple sweet potato over high heat for 15 minutes. - Place the pumpkin and purple sweet potato into separate bowls and mash them with a fork.

Make the dough (pandan)

  1. In a mixing bow, add glutinous rice flour, pandan juice extact, sugar, corn flour and oil.
  2. Beat the mixture until smooth.

Made the dough (dragon fruit, pumpkin, purple sweet potato)

  1. In a mixing bowl, add glutinous rice flour, mash, sugar, corn flour, oil and water.
  2. Beat the mixture until smooth, adding a little more water if the dough is too dry.

Make the ang ku kueh

  1. Take 3cm ball of dough, flatten it in your palm and wrap the filling inside. Roll the kueh into a ball.
  2. Dust a bit of glutinous rice flour into the mould, press the kueh firmly into the mould.
  3. Invert the kueh onto a piece of banana leaf. #Tip: Brush a layer of oil on the banana leaf to avoid the kueh sticking.

Steam the ang ku kueh

  1. Brush a layer of oil on the surface of each kueh and steam over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Leave to cool and serve.

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