Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chee Cheong Fun

Chee Cheong Fun is one of my most favorite breakfast and it has been a mighty frustrated task for me as i could not get the right texture that i like. I liked the type that is sold for breakfast in Petaling Jaya and it is not the commercial rolled ones that is selling with fish balls etc. This is flat and has a speckle of dried shrimps and green onions. The sauce is diluted 'teem cheong' which used to be dark red but now has been replaced by a brown sweet sauce. I have been looking for the recipe for more than half of my lifetime. Recipes after recipes, my poor daugther has to eat the yurky results. Some recipes do turn out alright but the method of making them is not worth it. My conclusion is that it is not the recipe, I have been barking up the wrong tree, it is the method and of course an undesirable ingredient - Borax. It can be omitted, but it makes the sheets glozzier, more elastic, and less sticky and this is the texture that I like. The desirable method is to have the pan floating on top of boiling water and so a skillet with a tight fitting lid that can accommodate the pan and still allow room for steam to circulate is required.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket With sweet sauce, garlic oil, fried onions and sesame seeds

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket With X O Sauce, Chilly Sauce, Garlic oil, Fried onions & sesame seeds

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket With sambal Hae Bee, Garlic oil, soya sauce, fried onions and sesame seeds

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Spray pan with vegetable oil. I use 2 eight inch pans.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Heat oiled pan

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Measure 1/4 cup of batter

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Pour into pan

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Swirl and tilt pan around to level batter, cover and steam until cooked.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Remove from steamer, leave pan in cold water bath for 2 minutes. Then using a spatula, loosen the sides and roll it up

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Cheong fun is ready


3/4 cup of rice flour
1 tbsp of tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp borax powder (pangsah)
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup of cold water
1/2 cup of hot boiling water
1 tbsp of chopped spring onions
2 tbsp of chopped dried shrimps (presoak dried shrimps in hot water to soften)


Spray 2 eight inch pan with vegetable oil.

Pour water 3/4 inch deep into a skillet.

Make a cold water bath by filling a second large pan with 1 inch of cold water.

In a medium bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, borax powder and oil. Add 3/4 cup cold water and stir until smooth.

Stir in the hot boiling water and chopped spring onions.

Bring the water in the skillet to a boil, then reduce the heat so it is barely bubbling.

Float the oiled pan on the water to heat it through.

Give the batter a quick stir and ladle 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and a sprinkle of chopped dried shrimps, tilting the pan to spread the batter evenly.

Cover and steam for 3 - 4 minutes, or until the sheet has cooked through.

Transfer the pan to the cold water bath for 2 minutes.

Use a flat spatula to loosen the sheet along one edge, then roll it up loosely.

Transfer the roll to a plate.

Repeat with the remaining batter, cleaning and oiling the pan each time, and replenishing the simmering water in the skillet as necessary.

To serve, cut the roll into 1 inch slices and top with sauces of your choice.

Sweet Sauce

2 tbsp grounded teem cheong/tau cheong/mein see
2 heaped tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water

In a big microwavable bowl, combine the grounded teem cheong, peanut butter, garlic & onion powder, soya sauce and dark soya sauce. Mix them well by adding a little water at a time. Finally add in all the water.

Cook on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and add in 1/4 cup sugar, Stir well and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.

Adjust taste by adding more sugar and if the teem cheong is not so salty, a dash of salt should be added to bring out the sweetness.

Cook further for 1 minute and sauce is ready. It will taste better if you serve the sauce while it is warm as the chee cheong fun has to be at room temperature.


This chee cheong fun has to be eaten as soon as it is made.

I made a batch earlier and left them cover in the warm water that was left behind after the steaming, thinking that it will be still warm when i serve later. When i wanted to serve them, they were all cracked and not presentable at all.


My Rantings said...

Hi Lily,
I'm an ardent fan of your blog and I must say you're such a great cook!

Those chee cheong fun looks yummy! I like the old fashioned type - the chee cheong fun with sesame seeds, sweet sauce and some oil. BTW, how do you make the sweet sauce?

Hope you can let me know! Thanks! :D

Unknown said...

dancing queen

i was supposed to type the sweet sauce recipe but was called away by Alexander. i will edit and post the recipe asap

Anonymous said...

hi Lily,

Your chee cheong fun looks easy to make.. usually i came across recipe that require special tin that have holes.. it very convenient now.

Thks a lot for sharing the method!


Little Corner of Mine said...

Lily, thanks for posting the step-by-step pictures, sure looks yummy and doable! :)

My Rantings said...

Thanks Lily for the sweet sauce recipe! Once I did yong tau foo, and to make the sweet sauce, I only used the tau cheong mixed with sugar, blended them and microwave. The taste was almost there but lacked the consistency. I should try yours one of these days. Thanks again! :D

Beau Lotus 涟 said...

Lily, you always make cooking look so easy! I really miss Chee Cheong Fun, so I must try making some one of these days. Thanks for the step-by-step pics, they speak more than a thousand words.

Lee Ping said...

Thanks Lily for this recipe. Did you say we can omit the borax powder?

Unknown said...

lee ping

if borax is not used, the result will not be so elastic.

Lee Ping said...

I read that borax is a natural mineral that is used in cosmetic, it is also utilized as a detergent as well as an ingredient in bath salt.

After reading your post, I know that it has one more usage. I got a recipe to make rice sheets without the borax, on my blog. I have not try it yet as I can get fresh chee cheong fun and koay teow here in Portland. Perhaps, one day, when we are snowed in, I will try making my own rice sheet. Thanks Lily for the clear photos on how to steam the rice sheets.

erinalaw said...

lily, it's looks so great. I normally used cotton cloth wor.

Anonymous said...

hopped onto ur blog. Read about the borax ingre. Borax is toxic, esp. to children, better nt to use. Banned in US

Unknown said...


thanks for the advise.

Bern said...

This is wonderful!! I have been craving for Chee Cheong Fun for 2 years now!!!
I am so glad to have found your blog and you have such wonderful recipes!

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily, I'm a Malaysian living in Kursk, and you can only imagine my joy at stumbling upon on website.

I have tried some of your recipes, and will try more in the future. They all came out exactly like I had them back in Malaysia, to my joy of course! (Just in case you want to know, I'm a 21 year old MALE medic student...)

One thing I want to comment though, I wasn't aware what Borax meant to I searched for it over the internet, and came out with this:

Food additive
Borax is used as a food additive in some countries with the E number E285, but is banned in the United States. Its use is similar to salt, and it appears in French and Iranian caviar.

Boric acid, sodium borate, and sodium perborate are estimated to have a fatal dose from 0.1 to 0.5g/kg.[3] These substances are toxic to all cells, and have a slow excretion rate through the kidneys. Kidney toxicity is the greatest, with liver fatty degeneration, cerebral edema, and gastroenteritis.

And being a medic student, you can only imagine my horror. Is there something else I can use to substitute Borax to achieve the same success in making chee cheung fun? I plan to do some for my friends this weekend.

Unknown said...


where in the world is kursk?

i know about the toxicity of borax and since you are a medic student, perhaps you are more in the position to get a sub for it. i too do not like to use it and if you could find the sub. please do let me know

Anonymous said...

I've heard, but don't know for sure, that lye water is used to make homemade noodles more elastic and firm, would that do as a sub for borax????? I, myself, would like to know. Or is lye water toxic to a certain extent as well? Or will it just make the Chee Cheong Fun funny looking and tasting? -lance

Unknown said...


i use lye water very often for most of the nyonya kuihs and such. lye water/alkali turns yellow and makes the kuihs spongy and the borax has a different reaction to the texture. it has been used for kuih lapis(nine layer cake) to give it the umph texture.

Anonymous said...

Wow wow wow Lily,
You did it again. The fun look sooooo yummy, but I am afraid to use borax.

Unknown said...

hi lily...i like ur blog entries very much...ur are definitely a superb cook! do u know how to make siew mai? my fiance likes it. how bout post it to ur blog? i would love to learn it from u.

Unknown said...


me to do not like to use borax but after so many attempts without it, the fun did not have that texture that i like. we will have to shy from eating cheong fun or eat the mushy soft type.

Unknown said...


the siew mai post is here

Unknown said...

Hi Lily,

Wanted to post this earlier but keep forgetting.

I remember that people replace borax in tau foo fa with gelatin or jelly powder. Do you think that will work in this case?

Have fun,
Sook Kuan

Unknown said...

sook kuan

i did not know that borax is used for tau foo fa. i make tau foo fa with gypsum and my friend makes with lactone.

Anonymous said...

Tried your recipe (without borax) and it worked great. It was definitely the method that made it work.. Thanks.. Enjoy your blog very much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, my first time commenting in your blog. Can you advise what is tau cheong? Is it fermented soy beans ('tau cheo' in Hokkien)?

Unknown said...


yes you are right. tau cheong = tau cheo. in cantonese it is called mein see.

Anonymous said...


I can't imagine a life without Chee Cheong Fun. It's unfortunate to learn that the recipe uses Borax to achieve an elastic texture.

Borax is frequently used as a rat poison, and it is stored for a very long time in the body's liver.

Maybe I will give the recipe a try and make a substitution with Accord for meats.

If Accord achieves the same results as Borax with meat products, maybe it will work here.

I wonder how the local noodles factories make their Sha Ho Fun.

Unknown said...


i really hope someone can tell us what is a good sub for borax.

i too wonder how do they achieve that elastic texture in the loh see fun and sar hor fun?

Anonymous said...

hi Lily,
love your blog . i have a question about the sweet sauce .do you use all teem cheong,tau cheong and mein see or anyone 1 of them ? i have sweet bean paste , is that same as teem cheong? thankz!

Unknown said...


it is either teem cheong, tau cheong(mein see). sweet bean paste is fine. i don't know if it is teem cheong but i am sure it is sweet tau cheong/mein see.

Anonymous said...

lily i've been looking at ur pages for ages but never commented how talented u r.. how i wish u can be my mummy and cook for me everyday haha...chee cheong fun in all ways how creative..

Anonymous said...

To all who are SO VERY and overly concerned over the use of borax - let me say that - no doubt it's toxic but you dont make and eat cheong fun everyday, do you? And there are 1001 foods that we see & eat from the shelves of supermarkets both wet or dry and restaurants, etc - they're not any better. Want to make your own great cheong fun, it's in my humble opinion to use borax - or not making it at all. Chris Wu, Australia

Anonymous said...

hi Lily ,
made your cheong fun . didn't have tapioca flour. i think i put in corn startch. it was pretty good .i need to work on the sweet sauce. i put all sweet bean paste and mein see coz i dunno what teem cheong or tau cheong are . i made the hainanese chicken B4 but not with your recipe.what kind of leaf you put in with the rice? is it pandan ? can you post a picture of it?i saw some frozen long green leaf in supermarket but dunno what it say . it was in malay. thanz diane

Unknown said...


cornflour/cornstarch is a good sub for tapioca flour. these 2 flours can be used in place of each other as they have no gluten. tapioca flour is cheaper and not so stable as cornflour.

yes, pandan leave is used for the hainanese chinese rice and if the fresh leaves are not available, it can be omitted as it is only for fragrance.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

Great to find your receiep on Chee Cheong Fun! Looking forward to giving it a 3rd try!!
Will do so without the borax, can't find it here.

I had this experience, that the batter cracks while steaming it??!! Any idea, what the problem could be?

I am so keen on perfecting the rolling of this chee cheong fun! Still no way near it...aiya!

Please help!

Unknown said...


i too had many a times experienced cracked ones and i figured that we have steamed for too long. i found that i get the cracked ones too are when i try to make them too thin. the correct amount of batter is important, not too thin and it will not dry out and crack during steaming.

kbsklink said...


After googeling for the Chee Cheong Fan recipe stumbled into your page.
I had a recipe long time ago which was good and was one that used the microwave oven to get the delicious dish done. But sadly, I've misplaced it.
Was wondering if you would have one......Would be very grateful if you could give it to me. Thanks,

Unknown said...

mrs sundram

i have tried making it in the microwave and it took too long for me.

you can try this recipe and i find that it is not the recipe but the correct thickness of the noodle. so, the amount of batter to the tray would have to be determined by trying the first piece

Anonymous said...

tried recipe but failed :( The underside of my CCF was soggy and once rolled up it was a big fat lump of cooked flour as opposed to the nice layers that you normally see. ANy thoughts or suggestions?

Unknown said...


i think that water has seeped in thus making it soggy. use as little water just enough to create steam

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Will try again when feel brave enough :)

CheaYee said...

I finally found borax at the asian store in Sunnybanks (2 hours away from my place!) lol...

now i can start making chee-cheong-fun..! lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lilly,
I read your blog and loved it.
I must say you are very talented in are culinary area.

I have a question on teem cheong.
I thought that was the read color sweet sauce on chee cheong fun.
Can you advise what is ground teem cheong and possible post a picture of the packaging so I can find it in the markets.

Thanks so much.

Unknown said...


i don't know why teem cheong has not appeared in the supermarket shelfs even in malaysia.
There is ground mein see or hoisin sauce but no teem cheong which is red in color like 'lam yee' - fermented beancurd.

Vito Corleone said...

Thanks for the chee cheong fun recipe. Can you publish the pictures to your instructions?

Thank you.

Unknown said...


the step by step instruction in picture is in this post

Vito Corleone said...

Hello Lily

Thank you for your response. I'm new to this blogging stuff. But I cannot find any links to the pictures of your instructions on making chee cheon fun.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you for your help in advance


Unknown said...


there is no link, the pictures are in the same page with the recipe

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily,

What is "teem cheong/tau cheong/mein see" mean? Where can I find it?


Unknown said...


like i have said before, i could not even get teem cheong in petaling jaya, malaysia, so, i don't think i can get it in the states.

For mien see/tau cheong - cook ground mien see/tau cheong with garlic and shallots with water and sugar.

Anonymous said...

I use Chee Hou sauce and I think it taste almost like what I used to eat in KL. I just a little bit of hot water thin it out a bit.

Unknown said...


thank you, in fact i saw it at the store today and now i regreted that i did not pick it up. will do it the next time i go to the store.

Anonymous said...

I was horrified when I read that one of the ingredients is BORAX! Do you know if Borax is used in everyone's production of rice sheets? I'm just concerned that all the dim sum I've been consuming has Borax in it. I'm from Canada, so I really don't know if this stuff has been banned, but I'm sure people have their sources of getting it.

Great site though. You have many recipes I would try out in the near future.

Anonymous said...

thanks lily for sharing your recipes, I enjoyed this site very much, by the way i try the chee cheong fun and the hum cheem paeng recipes it turns out successful.The step by step instruction in picture helps alot.Thanks agan

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and absolutely love it! Your recipes give me a taste of home now that I've moved out on my own.

I've been working with this recipe and if you increase the amount of tapioca flour to 1/2 or 3/4 cup, you will get a very elastic cheong fun without using borax.

Unknown said...


thanks for the tips,will try out 3/4 cup the next time.

in fact i am still tweaking ccf recipes to the type that i used to like and am also using the crepe pan method.

Anonymous said...

Lily, I am so sorry to bother you. I am not of Asian decent, but I love cooking Asian and other International foods. I have a hard time finding certain ingredient cause of the language barrier. Will you please tell me what grounded teem cheong/tau cheong/mein see is and how can I find it?

Thank you so much. I am a HUGE fan!

Unknown said...


ingredients are difficult to buy by name for me too cos the asian stores here are mostly vietnamese or korean run. i will stalk the airle and buy them by recognizing them.

teem cheong/tau cheong/mein see is fermented soya beans and you can sub with hoisin sauce

Palidor said...

Hi Lily, your blog is so cool! I always thought cheong fun was too complicated to make at home, but you make it look so easy with your step-by-step pictures. I am going to try it this weekend for my mom. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

May I know if we use 3/4cup tapioca flour/cornstarch: Should we reduce,increase or maintain the same amt of rice flour in the recipe?Are you using the metric cup for measurement (ie 1cup=250ml)?Many tks & keep up the fantastic work.

Best regards,

Unknown said...


you can change the amount of tapioca starch without changing the amount of liquid.

i am still tweaking and have not found one with the texture and thickness that i like best.

you would have to try to find out for yourself

Cat Kibbles said...

I just stumbled into this website when I searched for 'borax recipe'.
It sure looks great and I sure miss eating the stuff.
I haven't tried to make it yet but I'm just wondering if using sticky glutenous rice flour instead of rice flour (or substitute part of it) be able to offset the need to use borax?

Unknown said...


you can omit borax from the recipe but you can't replace glutinious rice flour for rice flour.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great recipe! This is also one of my favourite foods. I have yet to find the same sweet red sauce I used to love as a kid. Some people have told me that red dates used to be added to add redness to the base bean sauce. The best I have been able to come up with is to mix hoisin sauce with the red marinating liquid you get in nam yue (南乳) jars.

I am also quite shocked to see borax in your recipe, reminds me of the borax poisoining deaths that happened when I was a kid.

Makes sense now, since loh see fun also has a similar consistency. Far be it for me to tell you not to use it, I just hope everyone will be extra careful having this chemical in the kitchen.

Keep up the good work, I love the attention to detail in your recipes!

昕倩 said...

wowo..your blogs is fantasic..
I love chee cheong fun..exp
Ipoh style..

Thanks for shairng

Unknown said...

I can't find tapioca flour...only tapioca that okay?? thanks

Unknown said...


tapioca starch is tapioca flour.

Anonymous said...


Can the batter be refrigerated and used the next day if not all of it can be used at once?

Thanks for all the great recipes!


Unknown said...


sure, the batter should be kept in the fridge and can used the next day

kitchengirl said...

hi.. i really want to try it..but the problem is i dont have wheat flour..where live in south america suriname, i search for wheat flour, they don't sell it,, i only found rice flour and cornstarch will that? a friend said that she use only rice flour and egg and water is that good?
ps. can you reply it to my email: cuz i don't have a google account so using my brother account, only have hotmail please email it to my hotmail adress..thank you..hope to hear from u soon so that i can ttry it!!

Unknown said...


i will write to you through your email and tell you how to make wheat starch if you cannot get it.

you do not need to have a google account to leave a comment, just sign in as anonymous

Unknown said...


i wrote to you through your email but it got returned

shin said...

You really need to remove Borax from your ingredient. It could mislead inexperience user. Seriously, it's really dangerous chemical.
It's not even considered food products.

Good blog content by the way

Anonymous said...

hello lily...
my name Badri.I am malay and selling nasi lemak every night in my home town in Ipoh.From what I se in Ipoh so few malay eating Che Cheong Fun.I dont know why. May be cause of the chinese name i guest but what i am very interested is....I like to learn making Chee Cheong Fun. I want my friend to know and to eat Chee Cheong Fun cause I like to eat it.So can you help me.Just contack my no. 0165136260 and i want to talk to you abut it.

Unknown said...


i am glad that you would like to introduce chee cheong fun to your country man. I don't know how i can help you. The recipe is here and you can see that it is made with rice flour.

Don said...

Hi all,

Anyone know where i can find borax in Malaysia? Cant seem to find it in the supermarkets. Thanks in advance :)

Unknown said...


go to the chinese medicine shop and ask for 'phang sar'

Don said...

Thanks for the info Lily. Will try that, hopefully can find it around Petaling Street area Chinese med shop. I've searched for the pronounciation in google too :)

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