August 28, 2006

Little-Chicken-Biscuits

Or better known as "Kai Chai Peang" by the Chinese community in Malaysia. It's been one of my favorite traditional snack foods from my younger days back in Ipoh (The city where I was born). These tiny round biscuits originate from a small town not too far away; called Kampar. We often bought them from specialty stores which delivered truckloads of these "lil chicken biscuits" all the way from Kampar and my sister and I were always picky with the brands and types we bought. Never did I imagine making these biscuits at home on my own! Haha...*shrug* Ipoh is filled with the best hawkers and food stalls! Who needs to make their own "kai-chai-peang" when you have the best ones in air tight bags for a couple dollars each! *laughs at my disgusting display of lazy-ness*
Now that I'm all the way here in Sydney; it's a different story all together. Authentic Malaysian delicacies are almost impossible to find and What better way to satisfy my cravings than to D-I-Y some chicken-cookies in my own cosy kitchen!
I almost forgot to mention; this is an event submission from me for the Merdeka Virtual open house for Malaysia's 49th National Day. by Babe in the City KL
The theme for the event is Malaysian Recipes Long Forgotten and I thought it would be appropriate to share the recipe of my favorite "Malaysian" cookie which most of us take for granted. It's easy to run out for a convenient vacuum sealed pack of "kai chai peang" if you live close to the northern States of West Malaysia; but for those studying abroad, away from home, or just plain adventurous, TRY this recipe!! It's absolutely delicious! I was amused myself! *laughs* Half way through the recipe and ingredients hunting...I got a little skeptical; The ingredients list is strange and sounds almost revolting for a cookie; but follow through...it's definitely worth the frustrating hunt for ingredients, torturous mixing of tough dough and smelly bottle of "nam yee". *wink*I made mine in shapes of tiny circles and little chickens just to make them look a little more interesting. For those who have never had these before : They aren't made with any form of chicken meat, "Why Chicken Biscuit then?" I personally don't have a clue myself Haha.
Would be great if someone could enlighten me. I don't know much about their origins...but I know they taste damn good!
INGRED. A
300gm plain flour 1tsp double action baking powder 110gm icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2tsp five spice powder
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
80gm sesame seeds
100gm candied winter melon strips (tong tung kwah)
1/4 tsp ammonia (optional)

INGRED.B
1egg
1tbsp maltose(mak ngah tong)
2 pieces nam yee-mashed (red fermented beancurd) -* smelly red bottle *laughs*
2 drops dark soy sauce
100 ml. oil

1. Mix ingred. B in a large bowl.
2. Chop finely candied winter melon strips. Gradually add in ingred. A. Mix well.
3.Add in ingred.B AND GIVE IT ANOTHER GOOD MIX.
4.Remove dough.Rest it for 10 minutes
5. Pinch small rounds of dough (about 1 1/2 tsp full). Shape them into balls and place them in between plastic wrap. Flatten it with your palm to prefered thickness. Thinner if you would like them crunchy. I personally love the chewy middle ones...so I have mine thick. Unwrap and place them on a baking tray allowing for space to rise.
6.BAKE IN A PREHEATED OVEN AT110 C FOR 15-20 MIN.
7.Cool then gently remove.
*recipe from my Mommy dearest back in IPoh! Thanks mom for taking the time to type this out for me! The cookies were great!!

15 comments:

Alma Elizabeth said...

wow. my grandma used to make these for my family when i was little. How about more recipes that showcase Malaysian and Singapore cakes? I've always wanted to know how to make ondeh-ondeh and assam laksa. Got a recipe?

Su-Yin said...

hey alma
lol...I dont do many malaysian cakes cause our household is "coconut milk+cream" free. Haha; i'm not allowed to cook with santan..so sweet malay treats can be quite limited. I made an exception the last grocery shopping round though. I bought a can of coconut milk >.< havnt used it yet. Planning to make Curry Mee.
Ondeh-ondeh is on my "must -try" list too...just havnt found a place with freshly grated young coconut for sale.

Angie said...

Su-yin, your chick-shaped cookies look so cute. I made these Kai Zhai Beng using anyother recipe some time back, and they really taste authentic.

Su-Yin said...

angie: Hey angie..yea..I love how I can create the thickness I want as I bake them...LOL I'm a fan of the chewy center kai chai peangs ;)

babe_kl said...

whoa those chicken shaped ones are so cute, dun think i will have the heart to eat them hahaha

thanks su yin for participating. look out for the round up on Merdeka Day.

Juanita So said...

Hey. Jason sent me this site, and my jaws just dropped because I'm a baking fan as well.

Just a few questions to help me baking in Sydney. See if you can help me.

1/ Where can I get cake flour and bread flour (not bread mix) in Sydney, or near to UNSW?
2/ Where do you get your food dyes?

I've been inspirated to start up my own baking blog from yours. Stay tuned!

Su-Yin said...

BabeKl: hehe :) thanks...i certainly will
Juanita: hey, hmm...bread flour is a tricky one as most of the ones at the supermarket are already pre-mixed. I'm not too good with bread so I wouldnt exactly know in which direction to point! heh....white wings is my favourite brand for cake flour.
Most of my food dyes are from Wilton; ive purchased them in batches from speciality cake stores and sugar crafting stores. The nearest one to us would probably be in Westfield Bondi Junction on the forth floor in the new wing. The stuff there is pretty expensive; so I tend to collect colours/mix them on my own. I've bought a couple of other paste brands/shimmers from other shops West of sydney as well. Try the Sydney pinkpages directory ;).
Liquid colouring from supermarkets arent too bad for washy/pastel colours. :)

boo_licious said...

Yum! Home made kai chai peng sounds great. I never knew recreating it at home is so easy. Love the chicky shapes too.

tabehodai said...

Hi,
it's the first time I'm visiting your blog and I'm drooling just looking at pics of food I haven't had for a while.

I baked these biscuits some time ago too, using a recipe from http://thelazychef.wordpress.com/2006/06/03/kai-chai-pang/
I never knew that they could be easily made at home. I used to buy them whenever I go to Malaysia.

Keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

Hi su-yin,
I would to thank you for sharing the recipe was a great success, everyone in my family love it. Once again thank you!

Jessie

Violet said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. Would yourmom happen to have a recipe for heong peng (香餅)?

Violet said...

I'm an adventurous baker. Got all the ingredients, everything was good until I opened the nam yee, a different type of fermented bean curd than I am used to. I made one batch of cookies. The flavor is quite interesting but the nam yee is too much for my taste. Definitely an acquired taste.

Anonymous said...

Hi SuYin
I second Violet's quest for the heong peng recipe. Love those bickies and will request a few packs of the famous Ipoh ones whenever I have family visiting from Msia (I'm in Melbourne). If you come across the recipe (or better still, your mum has it), please do share. I've never been able to find it on the web. Thanks so much.

selena

Anonymous said...

hi su yin
im in sydney too and was wondering what section of the chinese supermarket you go to for candied melon. ive been looking for it for a while now because i can never adequately explain what it is to the people who own the store =(

also, can you make these chicken biscuits crispy by jsut making them thinner?
they look so awesome and im thinking about making them for my grandfathers birthday!
cheers
jacinta

Linni said...

Hi Suyin,
I am from NZ and would dearly love to thank you for sharing your chicken biscuits recipe.
I have tried these rather exotic and unusual kind of biscuits whenever I do visit Malaysia.
We don't get them here so after seeing your recipe, this appeals to me too, as I am also a keen home baker.
If I have to leave the ammonia out of the recipe, which I don't really know what it is, will it affect the texture or taste of the biscuits?

Many Thanks
Linni