Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kuih Pie Tee aka "Top Hats"

If you are not familiar with this snack, you'll probably wondering what is Kuih Pie Tee or "Top Hat". It is a very popular Malaysian Nyonya snack dish, particularly so in Malacca (a state in Malaysia which is famous for it's Nyonya cuisine). It consist of a crispy tart-like shell which has a vegetable/seafood filing. The shell itself looks like an inverted top hat, thus earning it's nickname of "Top Hat".

I have read from Bee of Rasa Malaysia that making this delicious snack was no easy feat. I guess I was not convinced and dived head-on into making some kuih pie tee over the weekend. I was already forwarned that frying the casings would take a long time. And after attempting this recipe, I can attest to having a sore back and tired legs. My initial frying resulted in about a dozen spoilt casings due the oil being too hot or not hot enough, I released the cases too early from its mould, the batter coating was too thin or the cases stuck completely to the mould.

Later on I sort of got a hang of things and the cases came out pretty nicely. But after about three plus hours of frying the cases, I finally threw in the towel and made do with what I already had made. The kuih pie tees were delicious though but I told my hubby that "never again will I do this". I'd rather pay for pre-made ones even though they are expensive. I guess the saying of "no pain, no gain" really rings through with this recipe.

Pie tee 4

Pie tee 1

Pie tee 2

Pie tee 3

Kuih Pie Tee aka "Top Hats"

Ingredients for the Pie Tee Cases:

180gm rice flour
50gm corn flour
50gm plain flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
400ml water

Ingredients for the Filling:

1 1/2 cup turnip or jicama (sengkuang), julienned
1/2 cup carrot, julienned
1/3 cup thinly sliced shitake mushroom
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried shrimp, slightly pounded
5 medium fresh prawns, shelled, deveined and chopped
1 Tbsp of oyster sauce
Salt, light soy sauce and white pepper powder to taste

For Garnishing:

Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Shallot crisp (optional)
Bottled chilli garlic sauce

Method for the Cases:

1) Mix all ingredients a bowl until all flour is incorporated, whisk the batter until smooth. Sieve the batter and leave it to stand for one hour.

2) Heat oil in a wok or a small saucepan. Once the oil is hot, lower the fire.

3) Place the pie tee mould into the oil to get it hot. This is to ensure that the batter will stick to the mould easily. Do not overheat the mould.

3) Dip the oiled mould to about 90% of its height into the batter. Ensure that it is evenly coated. Shake the mould slightly to drip off excess batter.

4) Place the mould with batter into the oil and hold on to it for a few seconds. Make sure that the oil does not sizzle or your batter will puff up.

5) Once the batter is semi set release the case from the mould by jiggling the mould up and down or use a fork to loosen the edges. Hold on the casing with the mould for a while to make sure that the casing hardens up enough to retain its shape. If you release it too early from the mould, the case will collapse and flatten out.

6) Once released, allow the case to deep fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and allow to cool completely. Store in air-tight container. The cases should be consumed within a day or two. If the casing has soften slight, you can pop them into the oven to crisp them up.

7) Dip the empty mould back into the oil to heat up again before starting on the next casing.

8) Fry as many cases as you want. The balance batter can be refrigerated (store in air-tight container) and used the next day.

Pie tee 5

Pie tee 8

Method for the Filing:

1) Add some oil into a wok and fry the dried shrimp until fragrant. Careful not to burn it. Remove from wok.

2) Add a bit more oil and fry the chopped garlic until light brown. Add in the vegetables, the fried dried shrimp and fresh chopped shrimp. Add in the oyster sauce and 1/4 cup of water to the vegetables and cook until soften. Season to taste.

3) To serve, fill the cases with the filling, top with garnishing and serve with chili sauce.

Pie tee 7

Pie tee 6


Angie's Recipes said...

How cool! Love the gadget. Would love to try them!

ICook4Fun said...

I brought one of the pie tee mould home with me hoping to make this too but have yet to do it. Since you said it is not that easy to make I am having second thoughts :)

Barbara Bakes said...

It's too bad they were so much work because they really are an impressive, tasty looking snack!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

Awww. I know the feeling. I made homemade udon noodles and I will never do that again. That was many hours of hard labour I can never get back. The store bought stuff is better anyways. Good on you for trying!

tigerfish said...

It must have taken a lot of time and patience to make that "hat". You did an excellent job!

I love Kuih Pie Tee :)

noobcook said...

They are really pretty! love the fillings. you're making me really hungry at this hour (past midnight) hehe

cuppy said...

Oh, yum! Those look awesome!

El said...

It definitely does not look easy but you did a great job!

Anonymous said...

These are very neat! Sounds like they are definitely worth all the work, yum!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Jo, you've made pai tee!! Yours look so professionally made! Well, it ain't bad to deep-fry once in a while. But when the picture of a big wok filled with oodles of cooking oil, I faint ... Partly due to the health factor, it's also such an investment! I need to buy more oil for that! Ouch!

So, I wouldn't mind having yours. Hahaha ...! We gotta have a Malaysian-Singaporean bloggers potluck someday!

P.S. Have been very busy lately. I'll try to visit you over here whenever possible though. :) Keep it up!

Jo said...

Hi Angie, Barbara, Tigerfish, Wiffy, Cuppy, El, Natasha, thanks for dropping by. Kuih Pie Tee is really a delicious treat or appertizer but such a "pain" to make. I take my "hat (get it, haha) to anyone who makes this over and over again.

ICook4Fun, since you already bought the mould, go ahead and give it a try .. maybe yours may turn out easier than mine. You never no until you try.

Hi Amy, haha! I know exactly what you mean.

Hi Pei-Lin, hehe. I too faint from the smell of oil "frying". BTW blogger potluck meet-up sounds good to me.

kium said...

I made once ( using another recipe)and the batter got stuck to the mould and I had a hard time scraping it out. I still do not know my mistakes. I am tempted to try your recipe but please give me the final advise. Tks.....

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