Taiwan Grandma’s Kueh Traditions by Siang Khau Lu Cultural Kitchen
23 Sep (Sat) I 12pm
$200 for onsite participants.
$190 for zoom participants WITH food. Discount code ZOOM5.
$180 for zoom participants WITHOUT food. Discount code ZOOM10.
Taiwan is an agriculture-based country, and rice has been the most important staple since the Han people settled on the island. Indica long-grain rice, which the Japanese called "Zai-Lai-Mi" was the staple of our grandparents, and they used it to make all kinds of kueh. However, over time it was rivalled by "Pong-Lai-Mi" Japonica round-grain rice, which the Japanese successfully cultivated at Yangmingshan mountain in Taipei after they colonised Taiwan.
This class will teach you to discover and appreciate the different textures and aromas of Taiwan's Zai-Lai-Mi, plus all the tips and techniques to make three traditional Zai-Lai-Mi-based kuehs which are dear to Taiwanese people: rice noodle, radish daikon rice kueh, and Taiwan Kueh Lapis. Learn everything from rice grinding and squeezing, starting absolutely from scratch.
1. An introduction to Taiwan’s long-grain rice varieties
A tasting and exploration session of four types of long-grain rice specially brought in from Taiwan: Tainong No.14, Tainan No.18, Taichung No.17, and Taichung No.10., showcasing their differences in texture and aroma.
2. Bi Thai Bak (米筛目,hand-pressed rice noodles)
Bí-thai-ba̍k, where "bí" refers to rice in Taiwanese, "thai" to the sieve, and "ba̍k" to the holes of the sieve. In the old days in Taiwan, rice harvesting required a significant number of people. Bí-thai-ba̍k enabled farmers to replenish the physical strength they expended on intensive work in the fields. To make them, women would grind rice into a slurry, and then rake the slurry by hand across a bí-thai-ba̍k sieve placed over a large vessel of water boiling on the stove. The rice slurry would drop like rain into the boiling water, setting into bí-thai-ba̍k, which are also known as "rat tail" noodles. Nowadays, they can be enjoyed in sweet icy soup desserts, or as a lovely and savoury main dish. We will use Tainong No.14 rice to make them from scratch with the sieve, and also cook a savory dish with pork, shallot, garlic chive, dried shrimp, and Taiwan shiitake mushrooms.
2. Chai-Thau-Kueh (萝卜糕,radish daikon rice kueh)
After the winter harvest of the year’s second crop of rice, Taiwan’s farmers sow radish seeds. With a short growth period, the radishes are ready for harvest before the lunar new year, and we use them to make Chai Bao (radish rice bao) or Chai Tau Kueh to celebrate. In this class, we will grind Tainan No.18 rice into rice slurry, mix it with radish, and then steam it – the same way our grandparents made this kueh! You will experience the wonderful pure aromas of rice and radish in the pan-fried kueh, which we will serve for tasting with soy sauce also brought in from Taiwan.
3. Gao-Ting-Kueh (九层粿,Taiwan Kueh Lapis)
Layer by layer, white and brown; a pinch of salt in the savory white rice batter and demerara sugar in the sweet brown batter. This is the Taiwanese version of steamed Kueh Lapis – soft, tender, and slightly chewy, thanks to the unique water- absorbing properties of Taichung No.17 rice. Simply fascinating to compare with SE Asian styles of kueh lapis.
Hands-on with demonstration with videos and photos snippets sent via WhatApp. Recipes will be emailed ahead for ZOOM participants.
Take Home Items
Onsite participants will taste or bring home a set of food samples. ZOOM participants WITHOUT food samples.
Chou Pei-Yi from Siang Kháu Lū Cultural Kitchen.