Kueh Pie Tee (Top Hat Pastry)
Kueh Pie Tee is a filled pastry cup. The fillings can be strictly vegetables or with some meat and seafood.
The main ingredients for the filling are turnips and carrots, you can add bamboo shoots (which is omitted here). Sometimes, I add boiled pork belly strips and fried firm beancurd (taukwa) strips into this vegetable filling for variation.
Serve with some chilli sauce and sweet flour sauce (tee cheo) if available, it will make a huge difference in taste and top of with a sliced prawn and a leaf of chopped coriander. Fill the cup as you eat. This is a D.I.Y. assembly meal that will surely break the ice and liven up dinner conversations. In fact, these were eaten at my neighbourhood pub where we enjoyed with some beer.
Ingredients for Fillings:
1 kg Turnip (bangkuang), peeled and cut into julienne strips.
500g Carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips.
300g Bamboo Shoots, cut into julienne strips (optional).
200g Pork Belly or Chicken Breast (optional).
300g Prawn meat, dice into small cubes (optional).
1-2 squares of firm beancurd (taukwa), cut into julienne strips (optional).
5 cloves Garlic, pound into a paste.
1½ tablespoons Fermented Soy Bean Paste (taucheo), pounded till fine. (These are sold in bottles and they have whole beans and mashed, buy the mashed if using. Add more up to 3 tablespoons if you like the taste). If you can’t get this, use 2 tablespoons Light Soy Sauce.
8-10 cups Water.
1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce.
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce.
1 tablespoon Sugar.
Salt to taste.
White Pepper Powder to taste (optional).
1kg Small Prawns (keep *heads and shells for step 3).
Steamed Crab Meat, optional.
Hard-boiled Eggs or Omelet Strips.
A few sprigs of Coriander (we only use the Leafy part, keep the stalks and roots for other dishes, like curry).
Sweet Flour Sauce (Tee Cheo).
1. Boil pork or chicken meat in 5 cups water (from the 8-10 cups water) and boil the meat for 20-30 minutes till they are cooked. Cool and cut into julienne strips. Strain and set aside the broth for use later. (Skip this step if not using meat).
2. In a wok, heat enough oil to deep-fry the beancurd (taukwa) strips. Put in the taukwa when oil is hot and keep stirring while cooking to prevent them from sticking to each other. Fry till freckled with golden spots but not crispy. Remove with a perforated ladle and set aside for use later. (Skip this step if not using taukwa).
3. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a clean wok and stir-fry 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and prawn *heads and shells till very fragrant over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add in 3 cups water and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes to extract prawn stock. Add more water if necessary during simmering. Strain the stock and set aside for use later. Note: If you cannot find prawns with shells intact, skip this step and just boil the prawns whole, then slice half lengthwise when cool enough to handle.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and fry the remaining garlic and when garlic turns opaque, add in the fermented mashed soya bean (tau cheo). Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till fragrant on low heat.
5. Add pork strips and diced prawn meat, if using, and fry till a couple of minutes. Add bamboo shoots and both the strained pork and prawn stock. Stir well and let simmer for 30 minutes. (If not using bamboo, continue at step 6).
6. Bring the stock to a fast boil and add the turnips and carrots. Season and lower heat. Simmer till the vegetables are soft and almost dry – this may take up to an hour. Stir occasionally. The vegetables should be limp and have lost its crunch. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Variation: You can also wrap this filling with spring roll wrappers and deep-fry them. Make sure the filling is dry so do not add as much water. And you don’t have to simmer at all. Just stir-fry till vegetables are cooked. Spring Rolls should have crunchy fillings.
Ingredients for Pie Tee Pastry Cup:
2 cups (200g) All Purpose Flour.
¼ cup (40g) Rice Flour.
2 small Eggs (50g egg size).
Pinch of Salt.
Pinch of Sugar.
1¾ cups (540ml) Water.
1. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Whisk in the eggs and water till a smooth batter forms.
2. Heat a large pot of oil on medium high heat. Dip the special pastry mould into the oil and let it heat up about 10 minutes. Next, dip the heated mould into the batter to coat the mould and put it into the hot oil. Fry till the pastry cups becomes golden and can be easily removed from the mould with a satay stick/toothpick/skewer. Drain on paper towels. Reapeat till all the batter’s gone. Store in air tight container when completely cooled and use when needed.
Tip: Fill the pastry cups with any fruits, nuts, mousse, pate, whatever fillings you can imagine…
Note: Don’t worry if the first few pastry cups stick to the mould or are not forming well. After a few rounds, the mould would have “seasoned” and the cups will turn out well. The more you use the mould, the more seasoned it becomes. The colour will also change to almost black with time and use.
Happy cooking and bonding 🙂