Ang Ku Kueh




  • 160 g skinless split mung beans
  • 115 g sugar
  • 80 ml peanut oil

  • 60 g young, light green pandan leaves
  • wash and chop roughly
  • 60 g undiluted fresh coconut milk
  • 2¼ tsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 medium-sized yellow sweet potato (aka yam in the US, I  think)
  • wash and peel; slice 110 g ½ cm thick
  • 150 g glutinous rice flour
  • mix evenly with 125 ml water; refrigerate overnight, covered
  • banana leaf
  • scald in hot water; drain and blot totally dry; cut into 21 pieces each slightly bigger than your AKK
  • rice flour, for dusting
  • peanut oil, for glazing


  • To make filling, soak mung beans in 480 ml water till expanded, about 1 hour (in tropical weather). Drain, rinse and drain again. Cook in 180 ml water, uncovered, till soft and dry, about 20 minutes. Mash beans roughly with spatula. Add sugar. Mash till dissolved and evenly mixed. Add oil. Mix till combined. Blend mixture till silky smooth. Fry in a wok over maximum heat possible, stirring constantly, till thick enough to hold its shape. Leave till cool. Divide and roll into balls weighing 20 g each (adjust to suit size of your mould if necessary; mine is 6 x 5 x 2 cm).
  • To make dough, blend pandan leaves with coconut milk till finely minced. Squeeze to yield 60 g green milk. Place milk in a small pot. Add rice flour, oil and sugar. Mix till smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring, to make a smooth paste. Leave till cool.
  • Cook 110 g sliced sweet potato in 120 ml water till soft and dry, about 15 minutes, to yield 100 g. Mash roughly. Add green coconut paste. Continue mashing till paste is smooth. Add wet glutinous rice flour made earlier. Knead thoroughly till evenly mixed. Divide and roll into balls weighing 20 g each (adjust if necessary to equal weight of filling).
  • To assemble, lightly dust AKK mould with rice flour. Flatten ball  of dough, to about 6 cm wide. Place 1 piece of filling in the middle. Cupping top of kueh with corner of right thumb and forefinger (for right-handers), nudge and press dough to seal filling. Roll gently between palms till round, dusting lightly with rice flour if too damp. Place in mould. Press to flatten and level top. Turn over mould and whack hard against worktop so that kueh falls out, onto shiny side of banana leaf.
  • To steam, bring steamer to a rolling boil. Place kueh in steamer, on a perforated tray. Cover and reduce heat to very low so that water barely simmers. Steam till kueh is slightly expanded, about 6 minutes. Remove kueh to a plate. Brush lightly with oil. Leave till cool. Trim excess leaf around kueh.
  • To serve, wait till there’s a birthday celebration . . . . Just kidding. AKK is good any day of the year but if you have a red one on your birthday, you’ll live as long as a tortoise. And when your baby is one month old, you absolutely must give your friends and relatives some “red tortoise cakes” as a celebration. The red colour brings good luck and the tortoise shape symbolizes longevity.