Click here to listen/ download the podcast of this week’s episode!
This week, our Makan Kaki is none other than MasterChef Australia 2012 finalist, MasterChef Asia Judge and current MasterChef Singapore judge, Audra Morrice. And in keeping with all the judges’ busy schedules, she’s sent me on a mission to takeaway her favourite Chwee Kueh in Singapore. Trying it for the first time, Audra assures me that I’ll be sold from the very first bite, because these folks at Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre do it so well. This is one queue Audra will join because it’s so worth it!
So why does Audra think this Chwee Kueh (special order with lots and lots of chilli) is the ultimate? First of all, these steamed rice flour cakes are so soft and tender, they simply melt in your mouth. The chye poh (preserved radish) topping, steeped in oils are such a pleasing colour, red, with such a vibrancy and depth of colour which signposts how delicious this snack is going to be. The chye poh is indeed tasty, with a briny, seafoody flavour. Audra says the hae bee (dried shrimp) gives it its natural sweetness and umami flavour. And best of all, they certainly don’t skimp on the chye poh and they are also very generous with the quality of the topping that also has sesame seeds running through, which makes it all the more delectable.
Audra also recommends having your Chwee Kueh with lots of chilli. It’s hot enough, nice and spicy for a punch of heat. And when you have it all fresh and hot from the steamer, the chwee kueh goes down like butter!
Speaking of which, these Chwee Kueh used to be made traditionally using lard, but they’ve since switched to using vegetable oil, but somehow this doesn’t compromise the taste. Audra agrees the switch makes for a healthier, lighter Chwee Kueh that is still big on flavour, but doesn’t leave you with an uncomfortable, congealed thing sitting inside your tummy after eating a few.
The folks at Jian Bo have a proud 60-year history (since 1958) of Chwee Kueh mastery and their hoards of followers who flock specially to Tiong Bahru for their fix is testament to just how right they’ve got it. Indeed, Audra hopes that the next generation doesn’t stop, because specialties like this need to carry on in Singapore!
Jian Bo Shui Kweh
#02-05 Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
30 Seng Poh Road, S(168898)
Open Daily: 6am – 10pm
Tel: +65 67537588