Poh Cheu's Handmade Ang Ku Kueh & other Traditional Chinese Kuehs
Is it just my imagination or does the Outram and Bukit Merah area seem to have quite a few famous Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿 stores?
Located in a coffeeshop close to Alexandra Village Food Centre and Alexandra Hospital, the stall sells a wide array of traditional Chinese kuehs and snacks. Their offering is extensive with 2 types of Soon Kueh, Glutinous Rice, Abacus Beads, Rice Kueh, Koo Chye Kueh, Yam Kueh and various flavours for their Ang Ku Kuehs.
Rice Kueh 饭粿 @ S$ 0.90
Rice Kueh 饭粿 was one of my favourite breakfast items as a child. However, in recent years I have stopped eating it as often because the Rice Kuehs sold at most places are factory-made, thus they had exceedingly thick and stodgy skins which were a pain to chew on and were difficult to digest.
The peach-shaped steamed rice cake was dyed pink to resemble a Chinese Peach, a traditional symbol of longevity. The skin was not too thick but it was steamed for a little too long and not given any time to cool down before packing because the skin tore and was mushy. The savoury glutinous rice filling was generously flavoured with ingredients such as dried mushrooms, dried shrimp and peanut. I wished the rice had a little more bite but in any case, what it lost in texture, it gained in flavour over the Rice Kuehs that I had from a popular chain.
Soon Kueh 笋粿 @ S$0.70 (turnip ) & S$ 0.90 (bamboo shoot)
Soon Kueh 笋粿 is also one of my favourite traditional Chinese snacks. Poh Cheu sells a few varieties of this kueh. I bought one piece of Soon Kueh with traditional bamboo shoot filling (leftmost piece) and four pieces of turnip-filled ones.
From left: Bamboo Shoot Soon Kueh, Turnip Soon Kueh & Rice Kueh
The white crescent-shaped Soon Kueh was named after its bamboo shoot filling as "Soon 笋" refers to Bamboo Shoot in Teochew while "Kueh" means "cake". The bamboo shoot version is not easily available as the cost of making it is quite high and also because I think it's quite difficult to find good quality bamboo shoots in Singapore. Soon Kueh is more commonly sold with a cheaper but no less crunchy turnip filling.
The skin was soft, thin and slightly chewy. Between the two types of Soon Kueh filling, I preferred the one with turnip because it was sweet, crunchy and juicy. The bamboo shoot filling had a very strong odour which reminds me of canned bamboo shoots that had not been washed and sauteed well to remove the "canned" taste. The Turnip Soon Kueh here is a Must-Try.
Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿 @ S$0.70 each
Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿 is the Hokkien name for a steamed glutinous rice flour cake stuffed with a sweet filling. The name is derived from the traditional method of making red tortoise shell-shaped cakes as a symbol of longevity and good fortune. Auspicious words are usually carved into Ang Ku Kueh moulds so that they are imprinted on top of the kueh, when they are knocked out of the mould. The words on these kuehs read “寿 shou” which means “longevity”. The kuehs are brushed with oil after steaming for an attractive sheen.
Ang Ku Kuehs are often eaten for breakfast or as a snack and depending on where you buy them from, are available in a wide variety of flavours and colours, although the most commonly available flavours are Peanut and Green Bean. The Ang Ku Kuehs here are slightly rounder (resembling a large egg) than the usual ones.
I love Ang Ku Kueh stuffed with ground peanuts. The soft and sticky skin of the glutinous rice cake yielded to a sweet, fragrant and slightly crunchy peanut paste when bitten into. It was like eating a red Japanese mochi (glutinous rice ball) stuffed with a crunchy, caramelized ground peanut paste and that had been brushed with oil instead of being dusted with sugar and kinako (soy flour). The Red Peanut Ang Ku Kueh here is a Must-Try!
Poh Cheu Handmade Ang Ku Kueh and Soon Kuehs
Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1,
Phone: +65 6276-2287
Mondays to Saturdays: 8 am to 6 pm