Thursday, October 13, 2005

Woon Chai Koh

Fond memories of childhood days when a vendor would come to our home doorsteps with a full basket of bowls. She would use a bamboo stick(lidi), scrape the side and bottom to loosen the koh, then divides it, overturns it onto our plate and then tops with sweet or savory toppings of our choice. It marveled me to see how efficient she was with the stick as she had a group of eager children wanting to be served first.

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140 g rice flour
1 heaped tbsp sago/tapioca flour
565 ml water
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp alkaline water (for further info -


6 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, lightly bashed
115 g chopped, preserved slated radish
1/4 cup water


1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil


Fried chopped garlic
Chilly sauce

Topping (2)

Garlic oil
soya sauce
Golden/maple/pancake syrup
Chopped fried garlic


Mix ingredients (A) and blend into a batter. Strain into a large glass bowl.

Microwave on high, 1/2 min at a time until mixture thickens but still runny.

Place lightly greased bowls in a steamer to heat them up.

Fill with the batter and steam over rapidly boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes(depends on how much batter) or until cooked.

Cool the rice cakes well, then remove from cups and scatter topping ingredients over.

Garnish and serve with chilli sauce.

For the topping(1):

Heat oil and saute garlic until fragrant. Add radish and stir-fry, add water and cook over low heat for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add seasoning and blend well.

Dish out and use as a topping.

For the topping(2)

No cooking is needed, unless you have to make chopped fried garlic


In the third picture which has the savory topping, this is not the radish topping that is in the recipe. I had leftover Mui choy with Pork and since i made half recipe, i was lazy to make the radish topping. In fact, i prefer to eat mine sweet.



fooDcrazEE said...

Hmm... that will bring us back to our childhood days. I still caneat like of those anytime...with radish toppings and sweet sauce.

fooDcrazEE said...

Lily, dont forget the meme. I've tagged u.

SANG said...

Can I check with you if there is no alkaline water what shld I replace it with?

lilyng said...


i don't know if a diluted teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda will work. try if you must.

vivian said...

everytime i make woon chai koh, i got the taste of the rice flour.

How do i get rid of it ?

I did not use alkaline water. What it is actually for ?

lilyng said...


the alkali gives the koh is crunchy texture.

the salt and oil added to the batter should take away the rice flour taste and the alkali helps too

Char Hling said...

i love ur blog, thanks for having it to ease my homesick, yaa, i am malaysian too who live in US now.

regarding the alkaline water, i found this link , which say it also call lye water...hope it helps to answer those who ask about it here...

lilyng said...

char hling

thanks for the link - it will help me alot in explaining what alkaline water is.

Sally said...


Is alkaline water same as Koon Chun-Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-Carbonate Solution??? Can I use that solution?? Please help...thank you very much.


lilyng said...


yes, it is the same alkaline water/Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-Carbonate Solution/lye water

Rebecca said...

Hi Lily,

When I return to Penang next next, if I have the time I will make the woon chai koh but the Hakka style ! We serve it with a sauce. Fry chopped garlic with some oil, when golden, remove the garlic add in some sugar fry well then add in bit of water then add in some soya sauce. Ha ! The sauce should be thick, add the fried garlic back to the sauce when served. I have not eaten that for more than 35 years as I was married to a Penang gay, until last month when I visited Seremban, I bought 4 pieces. Wow, still thinking of it.

Shirley said...

Hi Aunty Lily,

Do you have the sweet version of this Bahn Beo a.k.a. 'Put Chai Koh'? I am looking high and low for as I am craving for it somehow ie. red bean and screwpine flavor. Thank you :)

lilyng said...


this recipe is very traditional and if you wish to have red bean or pandan flavor, just add them to this recipe.

Add pounded pandan leave juice or pandan paste to the mixture. Put pandan juice in the measuring cup than top up to the required amount.

For the red beans, you would have to cooked until soft, Strain to remove as much liquid as possible, then add to the recipe.

lilyng said...


oops forgot about adding sugar - 1/2 cup, cook with the water.

i think the kuih lompang recipe will be a better one for sweet version

greenhorn said...

Dear Lily,

Thank U for sharing yr recipe. It was gd except I replaced alkaline with cream of tartar (same amt) Texture was a little bit soft no crunch to it. But my problem is, it takes me 30-40 mins to cook the batter. Is it becoz I used ramekins (3.5")instead of small bowl? I only filled up 1/2 the ramekin! Thickness of batter - something like "CNY nein koh". Pls advise ... thanks

crystal said...

Hi Lily,

I do not have microwave at home. So is there any alternative to this?


lilyng said...


Put the strained batter into a pot and cook on medium low on the stovetop. Stirring constantly until it thickens but still runny. By cooking the batter half way, it shortens the steaming time.

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