Kuih Pie Tee – Is it better than grandma’s popiah?
When I was growing up, Mum was a housewife and she used to spoil our family with lots of home-cooked food. One of my favourite ‘dishes’ was Kuih Pie Tee. Stemming from the Nyonya cuisine, this snack is a fantastic hor d’oeuvre. Although Kuih Pie Tee seems relatively simple, when you put the toppings, filling and crispy case together, it makes one scrumptious morsel that has complex textures and flavours.
Good things come to those who wait, those who are patient……. Try telling that to a 5 year old! Even though the 2 step process of making Kuih Pie Tee is simple, making it from scratch takes a very long time (at least 2 hours goes to make those crispy casings that are deep-fried and made in bulk). I remember hovering around the family kitchen, waiting for these crispy baskets to be cooked and cooled, quality checking them for ‘damaged’ ones to stuff my mouth with. Then, waiting ‘patiently’ for when the time came to assemble them, only to quickly consume them, a sigh a relief and satisfaction from all the anticipation of the flavours I loved so much.
Living away from Singapore, it has been a long time since I have been able to savour Kuih Pie Tee. You can imagine my delight when Auntie A’s sister, Auntie CY brought a whole tub of 60 Kuih Pie Tee shells from Singapore! Even though I’m not quite sure how my food miles add up to, I thank modern day conveniences, and it was finally time to have a Kuih Pie Tee party in Sydney!
There were a total of 9 for our party, with 2 types of filling made available. Despite the cases being made for us, assembling the Kuih Pie Tee transported me back to my childhood impatience, anticipation and delight.
The recipe below is a variation of one of the fillings we had that day.
1 plain omelette (shredded)
Boiled shrimps (halved)
Red chillies (chopped)
Garlic chilli sauce (optional)
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tbs salted soy beans (Taucheo) (lightly mashed)
100gm firm tofu (Tauqua) cut to long strips and fried till crispy
100gm raw prawns, peeled and heads removed
250gm bamboo shoot, shredded
250gm yam bean (Bangkwang / jicama) shredded
1 tbsp light soy sauce
-Heat oil, stir fry garlic till fragrant, add soy salted soy beans, fry till fragrant
-Add firm tofu strips and raw prawn, fry till prawn is cooked.
-Put in bamboo shoot, yam bean and soy sauce.
-Stir and bring mixture to a boil.
-Cover and simmer for approximately 30 mins, adding a little water if the mixture seems to be drying out.
-Cool the cooked mixture to room temperature.
To serve, use a pair of chopsticks to fill the case with the filling, and then top with shredded omelette, prawn and coriander.
Kuih Pie Tee cases- for those keen to make the cases, Rasa Malaysia has an excellent step- by-step guide.
So tell me, what food transports you back to your childhood?
Ps: I’ve missed sharing our experiences with you all on honeyandsoy. This past year, we’ve had chickens, learnt to make sourdough bread from scratch, learnt that sourdough need not be sour, visited Singapore a couple of times, spent some time in Thailand, had to move house, gave the chickens away, lost internet connection for close to a month, had our first charcoal BBQ in 5 years and are finally getting back to a decent rhythm in life….Look forward to writing more and hearing from you all.