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If you live in Southeast Asia, you probably grew up eating local cakes like this Kueh Ubi Kayu, a type of steamed tapioca kueh or cassava cake. This mildly sweet local snack is full of the aromatic coconut milk flavours, steamed very soft and springy, coated with fresh grated coconut and makes a delicious afternoon snack with tea or coffee.
This delicious kueh is naturally beige or light yellowish in colour, add pandan juice to make it green, beetroot juice to make it red, boiled purple sweet potato water to make it purplish. The kueh ubi kayu or steamed tapioca kueh is made without any diary or egg, and since it’s made from freshly grated tapioca, there is no gluten, making it the perfect snack for health-conscious folks, as well as vegans too!
I usually make a small batch and my family will finish it in one go with Chinese Jasmine tea. This is the best way to enjoy it, while it’s soft and fresh. Fresh grated coconut doesn’t keep well for more than a day or two, you will have to store it in the fridge which will then make the kueh stiffer the next day.
You might also have heard of a name that is very similar to kueh ubi kayu. And that is the kueh bingka ubi kayu, a baked tapioca cake instead of the steamed version. The texture is denser and is typically not coated with fresh grated coconut.
If you are into local kuehs, do check out these recipes, many of these are gluten-free, eggs-free and made with Monk fruit or Stevia sweetener, making them a healthier snack version from the original recipe:
- Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh with Purple Sweet Potato Filling 紫薯馅金瓜红龟粿
- Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake 红龟粿)
- Ang Ku Kueh with Mung Bean Paste Filling (Red Tortoise Cake 绿豆蓉红龟粿)
- Pandan Coconut Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake 香兰椰丝红龟粿)
- Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh with Chestnut Paste Filling 甘栗馅金瓜红龟粿
- Dadar Gulung (Kueh Dadar 香兰椰丝卷)
- Ondeh Ondeh
- Sweet Potato Kueh 甜番薯椰丝糕
- Kaya Puff Pastry (Kaya Kok / 咖椰角)
- Sesame Ball (Air Fryer Chinese Jian Dui 气炸锅煎堆)
- Soon Kueh 笋粿 (Bamboo Shoots Dumplings)
How to store the Kueh Ubi Kayu
Store the steamed kueh in an airtight container and chill in the fridge, best to consume within the next 1-2 days. If it turns hard, steam the kueh for about 3-5 minutes until softened to enjoy.
Watch how to make Kueh Ubi Kayu / Steamed Tapioca Kueh on YouTube
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Kueh Ubi Kayu 蒸木薯糕 (Steamed Tapioca Kueh / Steamed Cassava Cake)
- Cut the tapioca by trimming off both ends. Cut a slit lengthwise across the tapioca and use the knife to cut off the hard skin.500 g tapioca
- Rinse off the dirt or any residue hard bits from the skin. Cut the tapioca into smaller pieces. Trim off the tough fibre in the middle, it's slightly off-whitish in colour.
- Grate the tapioca using a food processor with a grating blade or grate manually.
- Squeeze the juice out from the grated tapioca as much as possible.
- Add coconut milk, monk fruit sweetener, fine salt to the grated tapioca. Use a whisk to mix well.220 ml coconut milk, 30 g Monk fruit sweetener, 1/8 tsp fine salt
- Transfer the batter into a lined steamer plate. Use a spatula to level the batter.
- Add cut pandan leaves on top of the batter.4-8 fresh pandan leaves
- Boil water in a steamer. Steam the tapioca kueh, covered, for 20-30 minutes over medium heat.
- Once steamed, remove the pandan leaves. Let the kueh cool over 2-3 hours.
- Place grated fresh coconut, fine salt and 3-4 knotted pandan leaves into a heat-proof dish. Boil water in a steamer and steam the fresh coconut on medium heat for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat, remove the pandan leaves. let the coconut cool completely and set aside.75 g grated fresh coconut, 1/8 tsp fine salt, 4-8 fresh pandan leaves
- Run a knife or spatula along the sides of the steamer plate and unmould the tapioca kueh and transfer into a plate.
- Cut the kueh into squares.
- Generously coat with steamed grated coconut.
- Serve and enjoy.