28 February 2013

Steamed Vegetables Dumplings: baby boab tubers (Chai Kueh II)

I'm here in Melbourne for nearly 1.5 month now, my mind still couldn't stop craving for the Malaysia and Singapore street food.  This round is steamed vegetables dumplings or chai kueh. I try my best to look for jicama whenever I go market but I couldn't spot it anywhere, then I realised jicama is not a common food here. Even in the Asian Grocery Shop, is unusual for them to sell jicama!! Huh! another surprise for me!

One day, I purposely drove to Springvale market, it is far from where I live. I found something look like jicama in the market but the skin of the vegetable tell me it is not, I asked around what type of vegetable is that, but the sale girl at the shop didn't know what type of vegetable it is too. They place it together with purple beetroot. I want to try my luck, I bought a big one home.

The smell of this vegetable is a bit different from jicama when it is raw, but after shredded and cooked no one can tell the different. I google the name of this vegetable from Internet and found that it is called baby boab tubers, a good replacement of jicama.

I made 50 bite size pieces from this round of Chai Kueh making :) The dumpling skin as usual is easy to handle and the result is crystal clear soft dumpling skin.

Recipe for filling from Ah Tze's Kitchen Play

600g baby boab tubers, shredded
200g dried prawns, soaked and chopped
1 big carrot, shredded
4 tbsps sugar
2 tsp salt
2 medium bowl of water
cooking oil
80g chopped garlic
6 stalks of mushroom, chopped
some corriander, washed and chopped

1. Heat the oil in wok, stir-fry garlic until fragrant.
2. Add in dried prawns and fry until fragrant.
3. Add in jicama, carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry for 5 mins, add in water. Let it simmer until the vegetable is soft and cooked. Add corriander. Add in sugar and salt to taste. If you like me, prefer my vegetable to taste sweet to cover the raw smell of the boab tubers, you may add in more sugar. Let it cool for later use.

Recipe for dumpling skin adapted from Hot Favourites Kuehs and Pastries cookbook, with minor changes


300g wheat starch flour
300g tapioca flour
500 ml hot boiling water 
2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cooking oil

1. Place wheat starch flour, tapioca flour, and salt in a bowl. Make a hole in the centre and pour in hot water. (the water must be boiling hot) Mix well with a pair of chopstick, mix to form a dough. 
2. Add oil and knead to form a smooth dough. (make sure to knead well so to produce soft dumpling skin) Cover with wrapping film, set a side to rest for 30 mins.
3.Flatten the dough to a thin layer, use the ring cutter to cut out the individual dumpling skin. Roll dough to form a thin circle.
4. Wrap 1 tbsp of filling with each dough. Fold into semicircle and seal the opening by pressing the edges together.
5. Line steamer with non stick baking paper or a piece of banana leaves. Place the chai kueh on top and steam for 10~15 mins or until the dumpling skin turns translucent.
6. Remove the chai kueh and brush the surface with some oil. Serve hot.

Dumplings in the steamer ready for steaming


  1. Hi Ah Tse,

    Welcome to Melbourne! I hope that you are settling down well. You are living near Springvale? We are quite far away from Springvale and sad to say that we never been to Springvale and its market before :p


  2. That looks very well made Ah Tze, so transparent and soft looking!

  3. I can see through it and spot the filling :D Nice !

    1. Haha..lot of hard work put into it to roll the dough as thin as possible :D

  4. Hi, Ah Tze, I live in Sydney. I'm able to find Jicama here from the Asian grocery shops when they are in season. If you want something, do check on the Asian grocery shop becoz the price is cheaper too. If the next season comes, I'll let you know & you can try your luck in your local Asian grocery shop. They are quite expensive like aud$15 or even more per kg. I haven't seen them for a few months. Besides, there are also fresh lotus root, 牛蒡 and 淮山 but again, I haven't seen them for a few months now.

    1. Jessie, how come there is season for jicama over here? If I'm not mistaken we can have it all year long in Singapore or Malaysia. yes, if the season comes please keep me inform.

    2. Yeah, good question, let me go to check this weekend & let you know. How much are you paying for your pandan leave? If I go to Sri Lanka shop, it's like $2 for 6 leaves(used to be 8 leaves) but if I go to the angmo lang fruit shop, it's like $2 for 2-3 leaves. Very rarely the chinese shops will sell it but recently I found 1 & the only 1 chinese shop is selling them but I'm not sure how much. The shop is in my parents-in-law suburb.

    3. Jess, i bought 3 pandan leaves for $1 from Bushy park farm market which is far from my place. Really difficult to get pandan leaves here.

  5. Tze,I'm always craving for Asian food...that is why I still make lots of kuih muih and Asian cooking even though my husband sometimes don't appreciate my food... Haha.... I don't care...as long as I enjoy them!

    Your dumpling looks so good... Yummy!

    1. Li Shuan, yes you remind me about all the kuihs :) and pandan leave is another expensive stuff :( where can I get the pandan which got root on? I want to plant it myself :DDD

  6. Ah Tze,

    I google seach and find some news below, is that what you looking for ?





    1. Hi Low,

      Thank you for your information!! It is really exciting to learn that I can propagating the plant through water from the forum. I bought a few fresh pandan leaves this afternoon and will try it out. Thanks for your links.

  7. Ah Tze, this is my favorite and I would love to make this at home sometime. Will KIV this recipe and try soon. I am not to worry about cooking the fillings but wrapping them with my two thumbs, I wonder if mine will come out as nice as yours. Will keep you posted when I get to it.

    1. Verons, you will be fine with the wrapping. Just need to knead well the dough. Looking forward to your beautiful outcome.

  8. i've been to springvale market..and if i remember well, there are also many vietnamese staying there, am i right? I hv not heard of babu boabs but glad that you are able to get it to replace jicama. Your dumplings look perfect! maybe you can consider planting some jicamas..

  9. you are right Lena! I was there for the first time and properly the last time :) I heard that it is not a very safe place.


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