Food - Drink
Singapore's Fried Carrot Cake Is Far Different From What You Likely Expect
BY HOPE NGO
While Americans know carrot cake as a sweet dessert, Singaporean carrot cake is a savory dish served at all hours of the day — and they aren't even made with carrots. Called "chai tow kway," these fried cakes made of radish or daikon, often paired with egg, have roots in Singapore's Teochew community starting in the 1950s.
Early versions of chai tow kway were rather plain and contained no radish or eggs, but Singaporean hawkers have spiced the dish up quite a bit. Today, these "carrot cakes" can be served "black," seasoned with dark soy sauce, or "white" without soy sauce; either way, the cakes are pan-fried until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Making this carrot cake involves grating daikon or white radish, steaming it, extracting the liquid, stirring the cooked veggie mash into rice flour, then steaming that. Cut the cake into small cubes and pan-fry, set aside, then scramble stir-fried veggies and eggs together before adding the carrot cake, plus soy sauce, kecap manis, and salt.