This is a recipe for making Ang Ku Kui at home from scratch. Ang Ku kuih means tortoise kuih is actually originated from southern China Fujian. Also known as Angkoo it is eaten in many countries in South East Asia like Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Classically it is bright red in color and the shape of an oval tortoiseshell. Tortoise in Chinese culture resembles Longevity, power, and tenacity. Although this sweet steamed pastry (kuih) is eaten during festive seasons like Chinese New Year and Ching Ming it is eaten any time of the year.
This is a relatively healthy snack as it contains not much fat and goodness from mung beans.
Source ingredients to make Ang ku kuih
It is also normally served under a bed of banana leaves. It is not an issue if there is none. I didn’t use any as it would mean going out unnecessarily due to lockdown times. I seem to find this time to stay at home and cook a lot as well. When I wanted to make this Ang Ku kuih I just try to source as much as I can online. I bought the wooden mold online from Sous chef. Delivery times are not bad for standard delivery in a lockdown time. They also sell wheat starch and glutinous rice flour as well. I did choose a classic oval shape mold but got a leaf one instead. But it still has 寿 (Shòu) means longevity written on it.
Split Mung Bean is also known as yellow mung dal which is easily bought from major supermarkets. Of course, there is ready-made mung bean paste that can be bought from Asian grocers but they are definitely not the same. Homemade is far much better and one can control its sweetness content. Any excess filling can be kept in the fridge and made into mooncake filling. the classic filling is mung bean but do feel free to use any other type of filling like red bean, coconut, and even sesame paste.
Natural food coloring
Nowadays I tend to stay away from artificial colouring if it is possible. I found some purple sweet potato lying around in freezer and decided to use them But do feel free to use orange sweet potato instead.
Ang Ku kuih
- Stick soup blender it will help to blend the beans in pot
Mung bean paste
- 300 grams Split mung beans Also known as yellow mung dal
- 4 tbsp caster or granulated sugar
- 1-2 cups water
Ang Ku pastry
- 200 grams wheat starch (tung mein) flour
- 375 mls boiling water
- 200 grams glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 200 grams purple sweet potato
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
Prepare the mung bean filling
- Soak the mung beans till it starts to soften about 1-2 hours. Then cook in a bain-marie over hob til it starts to soften. Then finally cook in a pot with some water. It is possible to cook the beans in a pot over boiling water. But it might take longer as the water needs to be cook right down in order to achieve a dry-like paste. The beans will start to soften. Depending on how would one like to use a soup blending stick to blend the rest of the beans for a smooth texture. this is rather than leaving it to be more coarse texture. The thicker the paste the fewer chances of the Ang Ku collapsing/ flatten effect. Add caster sugar. Leave to cool once it becomes a really thick paste.
Ang ku pastry
- In a separate bowl measure out the wheat starch flour add the boiling water. Mix well then add the rest of the ingredients. If the pastry is still wet add some more glutinous rice flour till a nice easy to use dough is achieved.
Make the Ang ku Kuih
- /the mould I got is rather small. I use about 25 grams of pastry and about 10 grams of mung bean filling. Make a small round well and add the filling in the middle. Then press it out in the mold. Kick it out on the worktop. Once it is done steam it over in low heat. It will take about 10-15 minutes till the dough start to become transparent due to wheat starch content. Let it cool right down otherwise the Ang ku is still sticking and will come apart.