Recipe: Chinese Vegetable Dumpling aka Chai Kuey/ Chai Pau


Remember the tortoise cake (ang ku kuih) recipe I posted some time ago? Those purple chewy textured skin is suitable in making Chinese steamed vegetable dumplings as well. These dumplings are also known as chai pau as well. That previous post has no recipe in it, so I decided to include the recipe in this post.
The love for this purple colour in food is inevitable especially when the colour is usually really deep and pretty.




To begin with, prepare the fillings first. The fillings can use to be improvised into snacks like fried spring roll, when wrapped with poh piah skin.


Ingredients :
500 g Jicama (Chinese turnip)
50 g French beans
1 piece bean curd
Half carrot (optional)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Some oil
2 cloves garlic + 2 onions (minced with pestle)


1. Julienne turnip, French beans, carrot and bean curd. (Use a shredder for turnip and carrot)




2. First, fry bean curd in oil till lightly brown and drain the oil.




3. Fry the blended garlic and onion in oil for the fragrant, then stir in the julienned French beans.




5. Next, stir fried the turnip and cover wok lid to soften the turnip for about 5 minutes. Add water after turnip is cooked with the heat at low fire to further soften the texture (If you like crunchy texture of turnip, add water earlier and use water to boil to cook instead of cooking with slow heat in the wok. This way, the texture would be crunchy on the outside). Put in carrots and let it cook to desired texture. Put salt, sugar, and pepper to taste and mix in the earlier bean curd and French beans and set this aside.




Moving to the skin, we can use the same skin for sweet or savoury bites depending on what’s in for the filling (I recommend coconut, or read bean paste for sweet bites). Read about tortoise cake here


Ingredients :
250 g Glutinous rice flour
50 g purple sweet potato (steamed and mashed)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons hot water


1. Mix hot water to flour and cooking oil and add mashed sweet potato




2. Knead till it becomes dough (at this point adjust texture with flour or water –if too hard, add water and if too soft, sprinkle in some flour)




3. Pinch and divide the dough in smaller portions and start wrapping it with the vegetables prepared earlier (dip fingers with some oil to prevent dough from sticking to fingers when shaping the dumplings).




4. Placed the dumpling on clean banana leaf and steam these glutinous pau for 5 minutes.




When cooked, the colour is superbly beautiful. Eat this with chili sauce and a cup of teh-c. Wrap in any shape desirable and the remaining fillings (if any, can be served as a dish to go with white rice or using it as normal pau filling)




This dumpling is great if you have guests coming over. Happy cooking!


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12 Responses to “Recipe: Chinese Vegetable Dumpling aka Chai Kuey/ Chai Pau”
  1. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your
    blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you
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  2. Joanne LKL says:

    Fantastic photos! And the color of the dumpling skin is so gorgeous, seemed like a bit of potato mash goes a long way!


  3. thanks for showing the entire process of making this. it really shows what care and thought and effort were put into making this. and the result looks deeeeelicious! 😀


    • sycookies says:

      Thanks. These traditional recipe will slowly disappear if we don’t remember them. No one would take the trouble to make them anymore. People usually buy them..


  4. The Yum List says:

    Ooh, I love the colour of the skin.


  5. Ken says:

    I’d like to add in some dried cuttlefish to make it like “Jiu Hoo Char”/ Nyonya Stir Fried Jicama for the extra aroma :p


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