Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Taro Ku

When i was growing up, the only 'ku' i know was colored red or orange with a sweet filling.  Nowadays, 'ku' comes in all sorts of colors and shapes with either sweet or savory fillings.  Thank you to enthusiastic cooks who come up with new ideas which kick up a few knotches to the traditional this kuih.  Btw - 'ku' is in hokkien meaning Tortoise and Tortoise symbolizes longevity. When the 'ku'  kuih is shaped like a tortoise shell, it creates a high symbolic and ritual value, very appropriate for ritual offerings during religious events.  These 'ku' , it must be red in color and that is why it is called 'Angku' - 'Ang' means red in hokkien, is an important gift when a child is born (one month old) or during birthdays.  Outside the ritual or gift context, it is also a very popular snack, eaten at all times of the day, be it for breakfast or tea=time.    Have you ever tried pan-frying leftover/overnight 'Angku'? - they are delicious.

Below is a recipe with a new twist - Taro is added to the dough which gives the 'ku' a purplish hue and a fragrance which taro lovers will recognizeThe filling can be sweet or savoury and a spicy one will be met with satisfaction.

For the Dough:

150 g taro slices - steamed and mashed(keep warm)
150 g glutinious rice flour
50 ml water(use only if the dough is too dry)
50 ml thick coconut milk
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
Purple food coloring/taro paste
Extra glutionious rice flour for dusting
Pre-cooked cooking oil for glazing
Banana leaves - cut into rounds and brushed with oil

Filling of your choice or follow this sweet filling recipe


Sieve glutinious flour with salt.

Add oil and purple food coloring/taro paste to the thick coconut milk and microwave it for 30 seconds.

Add warm mashed taro to the glutinious flour and add in the coconut milk and oil a little at a time, knead until a dough forms.  Water is to be added only if the dough is too dry. Knead dough well until it is shiny. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.

Scale dough according to the size of your mould. 

Flatten dough and roll into a circle.  Put in some filling and wrap dough up.

Dust mould with glutinious flour and knock out all excess flour.

Press filled dough firmly into mould, knock and dislodge from mould.  Place on oiled banana leaf and into steamer rack.

Continue process with the rest of the dough pieces.

Turn on the tap on low and place steamer under the running water to remove excess glutinious flour from the surface of the moulded kuih.

Steam kuih over low heat for 10 minutes.  At 5 minutes, uncover the steamer to lower the temperature of the steam  cos the pattern will be lost if too high heat is used for steaming.  Cover and continue to steam until cooked.

Remove from heat and glaze surface with the precooked oil.



elra said...

Hi Lily,
just found your blog, and I am so happy that you posted so many asian recipes. I used to have this (we called it kue ku also) when I was growing up in Indonesia, and only had one color which was red. Maybe it changes now. Anyway, I'll comeback to look at your other recipes.

Gertrude said...

I actually love eating it pan-fried than the steam ones. My grandmother used to do that for us when we have leftover ku kueh. What an innovative idea by using taro. Thanks Lily for sharing the idea with us.

Pete said...

Good idea to add taro, better than using colouring. LOL!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

i also learnt ku kuih recently, but yours by adding Taro, is new to me, must try one day.

frankie said...

Hi Lily,
I really like your site. I absolutely adore the dim sum recipes you have! I would like to ask you to participate in an Asian recipe project that I am putting together. Do you have an email that I can contact you at? If you could email me that would be great! My email is - I hope to hear from you soon :)

MaryMoh said...

Wow...looks very fined and beautiful. I agree that there are so many different types of ku these days.....can't catch up with them! Bet there are mango ku, durian ku, etc.

Mary said...

These are beautiful and I'm positively envious of those wonderful molds. Your food is always beautiful, Lily. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary.

WizzyTheStick said...

Amazing recipe. Is there an online source for the molds you used to make these?

My Asian Kitchen said...

Aunty lily great idea using taro!! You really have amazing idea to use taro for the skin.. I rather have ang ku make from sweet potato or wt taro than regular flour..Anyway I like your pineapple mould ,so cute..I guess you bought from Msia ,right?

Elin said...

Wow...taro is great to eat but this is the first time I heard of taru ku. Very creative indeed ! Thanks for sharing :)

lilyng said...

my asian kitchen

It is peach and this shape is maked when a girl is borned. There is a long shape which is made for prayers/offerings in this same mould. This mould is older than me, i think, they don't make these moulds nowadays. The new ones are ok but look for the ones that are deep as they represent the tortoise better

Emily said...

Lovely moulds you got there Lily! and love the Taro too!

Emily said...

Lovely moulds Lily! and love the Taro too!

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