Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pak Thong Koh

This is one of the classic of chinese snacks.  It is not my favorite snack to eat but somehow the quest to make a soft and tasty one has been going on for quite awhile.  Have tried a few recipes, easy ones and tedious one but all the results went to the Culinary God.  This recipe was from Claire, a dear friend and is by far the best of all that is why i am sharing it.  Thank you Claire for typing out the recipe and sharing.


1 cup long grain rice (i wonder if jasmine fragrant rice will do)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. water
2 tsp. instant yeast


Wash the rice-8-10 times in cold water and leave in a clean tupperware container with 2 inches of water over the surface for 2 days. Change the water daily.

Mix yeast with 1/2 c.tepid water(85 f to 100 f)  and add 1/4 C. sugar. Cover and place in a warm place when you do the next step.

Liquify the soaked drained rice with 1 c. water at high speed till rice is liquified and mixture is smooth (it's going to take 10-12 minutes depending on the power of your blender.....we know it's ready when the powedery film of rice is easily scaped down with a spatula in the blender). Next add 1 1/4 c. sugar and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Add yeast mixture and blend on low for 30 seconds. STRAIN mixture and put in a warm mixing bowl, cover well with cling/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until mixture is bubbly and almost double in bulk (1.5 to 2 hours)


Bring water to high boil. 

Put the greased 8 inch cake pan and warm it for a few minutes.

Lightly stir batter and pour half the batter into  the greased pan.

Steam for 12-15 minutes.

Cool completely.

Lightly rub a little oil to give it a glossy appearance.

Repeat steaming for the other half of the batter.



TaGa_Luto said...

Hi, i can't wait to try this. I've been looking for this kind of recipe. We love "puto" this is how Filipinos call them. Wonder if mochiko (sweet rice flour) will work? Thanks for the share.

Nathan said...

Thanks for the recipe Lily, this one seems VERY VERY easy :)

faithy, the baker said...

I love pak tong koh..but i didn't realise that we have to process the rice? Can we use rice flour instead? Will try this soon..:)

lilyng said...

faithy, the baker

i did try with the thailand rice flour but it did not turn out well. it could not be the rice flour but my lack of experience that the pak thong koh was not to my liking.

PutuPiring said...

Thanks Lily, this site is like my personal cooking Bible. It brings back so many memeoris of foods that I have forgotten or lost touch with.
Does this Pak thong ko have a sourish taste??? I have a pkt of frozen Korean rice flour ( not glutinous) in my freezer , I wonder if it will work??

Beth said...

I love this snack food! I could eat a ton of it! Been looking for the recipe for a long time...thanks so much :o)

lilyng said...

putu piring

this one does not have a sourish taste. Taste the batter before steaming and if it is sourish, add a drop of 'kan sui' or a pinch of baking soda to tontra.

Sunflower said...

I like pak tong goh with a slight hind of sourness. Tried the std yeast method, did not really like the flavour a bit bland. Anyone has a good recipe using ragi (rice yeast ball)? I may experiment with that.

T said...

Hi Lily,

I was browsing another food blog that made something similar called 'Serabai', but with a Malay touch (with coconut milk added). I just find it interesting. I never had either, but I'm curious to try now.

By the way, here's the link to that blog

lilyng said...


kuih serabai does not appear in the malay stalls until the fasting period. it is very popular in kedah, melaka and sabah. Looking at the ingredients it is quite similar to the vietnamese cow cake

Pete said...

Ahhh, I remembered my late grandma and mother used to make these during Pai Tin Kong (Jade Emperor Birthday). I will tag along with my daddy to buy 'tuak', one of the ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

Thank you so much for this - I have been looking for this recipe for a long time now but have never been able to find it.

My grandmother used to make this and I specifically remember her adding Eno to it - I think that's what gives it the fizzy/sourish taste. Sadly, she hasn't made that in a long time and no longer remembers the recipe... :/

Thanks again!

(Sban boy in Sydney)

Tuty @ Scentofspice said...

I've read about Pak Thong Koh several times but the pictures did not show the the kind of texture that you have. I wonder if the freshly ground rice may have something to do with it.

In Medan, I heard that they use tuak to make their version of PTK. They also use tuak to make Bikang Ambon Medan.

lilyng said...


the nonyas made a similar kuih and they call it Huat kuih and the raising agent is toddy - palm wine.

Sunflower said...

I think the original pak thong goh is made with fermented rice (with added rice wine yeast, ragi) without bread yeast.

I love the golden bika ambon. Never made it love to try. I think it uses tons of egg yolks to give it the golden colour.

Mat Gebu from this lovely blog has just made some serabai

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Have you ever made Pak Thong Koh with leftover rice? I remember that was how my grandma used to make it in Medan. Naturally fermented rice from left over rice, helped with round disc of yeast. I never got the exact recipe, I wonder if I can substitute your rice and water part with cooked rice pureed into a thick batter? Any input? I seem to always get leftover rice and if this recipe can use it, I'd be more than happy.

moufat said...

Hey Lily,

What is tepid water? Is that the water from the soaking of the rice?


Li Lian

lilyng said...

li lian

tepid water is slightly colder water than warm water.

lilyng said...


i have not have a recipe for pak thong koh using leftover rice but you could try adding some in the soaked rice but add a little bit more water too.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

This is my mom's favorite treat, and I've had issues with other recipes using rice flour cooked until thickened. Your looks great and rose high, so I'll try it very soon.

Ube said...

Like Taga Luto said, we Filipinos call this goodie puto which in Latinos community connotes a bad word. I believe it is the Holy Grail of our rice based goodies. I tried and failed so many times in making this. Back home, there are vendors in every wet markets and street corners in early morning selling these. When Christmas comes around the corner, it is one of the offerings they offer by vendors at the church gates and vicinities after the midnight mass. Back home, I will not even think of making this goodie as you can find vendors - competition makes the trade viable to make a special one with salted eggs or cheese on top and finish it off with fresh grated matured coconut. It goes well with arroz caldo which is like rice porridge and the soupy sotanghor or vermicelli noodles.

lilyng said...


thanks for such valuable info. wish i can visit manila one day and try out this puto.

Ravenous Couple said...

VNmese call this banh bo, and you're right it's hard to make this right and your version looks fantastic and airy..great job!

Andy said...

Dear Lily,

I have a question regarding how to strain the mixture, after I blended everything, the mixture's consistency is more less like milk. Do you use cheesecloth to strain the liquid out?

By the way I am a huge fan of yours, I have tried many your recipes and all of them have turned out excellent. Thank you for sharing all your recipes.



lilyng said...


yes, it will be thick so just pass through a sieve which is very fine. The more fine the liquid, the better the cake. Blend further if the rice is still grainy.

Veronica said...

hey lily,
I was just wondeing whether the rice you are referring to is cooked or uncooked, because at first I thought you used uncooked rice (having no experience at all) but my mom said that some recipes use cooked rice.


lilyng said...


the rice is uncooked rice (mei in cantonese)

Juju said...

How do you know it is done steaming?

lilyng said...


like any checking for doneness, use a skewer or knife and prick the middle and if no liquid oozes out then the cake is done or the skewer and knife come out clean.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily
How much of flour would one use if it is ready made flour in a packet?

lilyng said...


like i mentioned in my text, i did not have much luck making a good pak thong koh with rice flour, so i am sorry that i am unable to advice you on how much should be used.

Anonymous said...

Hi lily what does "C." mean because I want make pak thong koh

lilyng said...


C is cup

Begonia said...

Try this. 500 g rice flour. Made in Thailand, not any flour.
400g sugar. 1400 ml coconut water. 1/2 teaspoon yeast.
Dissolve sugar in some coconut water with 3 pandanus leaves. Cool. Add yeast and the rest of coconut water. Proof for minimum of 6 hours. Then steam

lily ng said...



Begonia said...

Sorry, I forgot to add the tips . Try to steam in 4 plates. I was never successful in steaming it in one big tray. Anyone can advise on the steaming part.

lily ng said...


your recipe makes quite a large cake and you will need a lot of steam, good steam to achieve nice pak thong koh. A very large tray too will be best so that the cake will not be too thick but spread out more.

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