Last Updated: May 16, 2021
With our slew of Simple Stay-home recipes, I’m sure you are a whiz in the kitchen now. From our Homemade Kimchi to Stir-Fried Beef Kway Teow to the ever delicious Kueh Bakar, we have quite an impressive number of recipes under our belt.
While I won’t say no to decadent chocolate cakes or a gorgeous meringue pie, there is something to be said about our local desserts. One of my favourites has to be the incomparable kueh salat. The kueh salat is pretty underrated in the realm of local kuehs, with ondeh ondeh or kueh lapis usually taking centre stage.
The kueh salat, for the uninitiated, features a creamy, fragrant custard tier atop a sticky glutinous rice layer. You’ll want your custard layer to be smooth, light and velvety, while your rice layer set nicely and not too tightly packed together. This recipe might seem a little tedious but once you’ve mastered it, everyone will be asking for seconds.
Glutinous rice layer
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes one portion kueh salat in a 17 cm cake tin
Step 1: Measure out your glutinous rice and cover with boiling water.
Step 2: You can leave the rice for a minimum of an hour or overnight. The longer you leave the rice, the less starchy it’s going to be.
Step 3: After the allotted time, pour away the water and rinse the glutinous rice.
Step 4: If you using a cake tin, line the bottom of the cake tin with baking paper or better yet, a banana leaf.
Step 5: Next, steam the rice for 10 minutes. Make small indents with your finger so the rice will steam evenly.
Step 6: In the meantime, combine your coconut milk, salt and sugar in a separate bowl.
Step 7: After 10 minutes, pour the coconut over the rice and steam for another 10 minutes.
Step 8: Using a whisk, beat the eggs together until well combined.
Step 9:In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, salt and pandan leaves. Simmer the coconut milk until the leaves are wilted.
Step 10: Remove the leaves and gently stir in your coconut milk with your eggs. Ensure that your coconut milk has cooled down sufficiently, lest your eggs curdle.
Step 11: Using kitchen scissors, cut up the other set of pandan leaves. Then, add your pandan leaves, fennel, flour and a tablespoon of coconut milk and water into a blender.
Step 12: Blend until smooth and you don’t see any large bits.
Step 13: Run the liquid through a strainer and add it to your coconut egg mixture.
Give it a good mix so that everything is well-combined.
Step 14: Set up a double boiler and place the coconut-egg mixture over it. Gently cook the mixture until it thickens slightly. This will take about 5 minutes
Step 15: If your rice has cooled down, place in the steamer for 5 minutes. The rice has to be hot for the coconut mixture to stick.
Step 16: Then, pour your mixture over your rice. Knock your dish on the countertop to loosen any air bubbles.
Step 17: Lastly, place in the steamer for 40 minutes. If you are steaming on your stovetop, wrap the top of your lid with a cloth. This will ensure the condensation on the cover from the steam will not drip down on your kueh salat. This way, your kueh salat will be smooth and velvety.
I used my built-in steamer, so, unfortunately, there were some large rather unsightly drops of water that dimpled my kueh salat.
Despite the mild aesthetic flaws, the kueh salat came out quite beautifully. The top layer was smooth, fragrant and rich while the bottom glutinous layer was sticky and full of coconutty notes. A moreish bite, if I do say so myself.
Expected Damage: S$3 – S$4 per portion