Steamed Taro Cake (芋头糕) Annie Mok Saturday, February 16, 2013 7 Comments

Steamed taro cake aka woo-tau-koh  (芋头糕) in Cantonese is another dish that people like to make during Chinese New Year. Anything with the word "koh" 糕 (高) is auspicious during CNY. As I mentioned before, "koh" (高) means achieving great heights in all endeavors. Sounds auspicious, exotic and colorful looking kuih!

After Serene grumbled to me that she did drastic failure of her steamed pumpkin cake, I decided to get her to come to my place and I do a demo of this steamed savory steamed taro cake. I prefer taro cake than pumpkin cake by the way.

This is one of my favorite savory kuih during my childhood time. We usually had this for breakfast :)

I have my own steamed taro cake recipe last time. But I lost that paper during house moving. So, no choice. I googled around for a good steamed taro cake recipe, read a few recipe book. Finally, I decided to follow the recipe from Y3K recipe book. Simply because Y3K's version ask for five spice powder. Haha! I call this Malaysian style steamed taro cake!

(Adapted from : Y3K Recipe Book)

Ingredient (A)
  • 300g Rice Flour
  • 3 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1200g Water
Ingredient (B)
  • 450g Taro (I used Thai Taro), diced
  • 300g Water
  • 75g Fried Dried Shrimps
  • 1.5 tbsp Minced Shallot
  • 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 6 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1.5 tsp White Pepper
  • 1.5 tsp Good Quality Five Spice Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
For Garnishing
  • 1 Spring Onions, diced
  • 1 Chinese Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Red Chillies, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame
  • 50g Fried Dried Shrimps
  • 100g Fried Shallots
  • some Shallot Oil
Steamed taro cake can be simple, but can be tricky too. So, searching for the recipe that gives you the right flour and liquid ratio is very crucial.

  1. Do all the necessary cutting and chopping for spring onions, parsley, chillies, shallots, garlic and yam.
  2. Soak dried shrimps (75g + 50g) till soft, drained, and finely chopped. Some cooking oil on a heated wok, pan-fry chopped dried shrimps under medium low heat till dry and fragrant. It depends on the quality of your dried shrimps too. If your dried shrimps is at salty side, add a teaspoon of sugar during pan-frying. Once done, dish up, divide 50g out and set aside for garnishing use. 
  3. Peel shallots, washed, sliced, and fry till golden brown. Dish fried shallots up and put it on kitchen towel. Set the shallot oil aside. You need it later. 
  4. Combine Ingredient (A) together, stir well to dissolve. Strain trough a sieve to free batter from lumps, rest it for 15mins. 

  1. Prepare a square pan, about 8.5cm. Grease it with some oil.
  2. Heat up a wok with oil, add in minced shallots and garlic in, and fry till fragrant. Add in 75g pan fried dried shrimps and stir well.
  3. Toss in taro cubes, add in seasoning (pepper, five spice powder and salt), give it a toss. Add 300g water. Simmer the taro for awhile, like 2 minutes or so. 
  4. Turn fire into medium low heat, mix the rested batter into the taro. Keep on stirring batter till it turns to a thick consistency and then heat off.
  5. Pour the thick batter into the greased pan. Steam the taro cake on high heat for 45mins or till cooked. Use a satay stick to test the cake. If the stick comes out without stickiness, then, the cake is cooked. 
  6. Garnish the cake while it's hot. This is to prevent the garnishing from falling off. 
  7. Cool the cake well before slicing.
Step 4 : Turn fire into medium low heat, mix the rested batter into the taro. Keep on stirring batter till it turns to a thick consistency.

Step 5 : Pour the thick batter into the greased pan. Steam the taro cake on high heat for 45mins or till cooked.

Step 6 : Garnish the cake while it's hot. This is to prevent the garnishing from falling off.

Here's the garnishing that I've prepared. Sprinkle everything on top of the steamed taro cake except shallot oil. Drizzle some shallot oil on top of the steamed kuih when served, this is to add another level of fragrance.

Every family has different recipe. Be it the ratio of flour and liquid, or the garnishing part. It all depends on personal preference. Some people prefer to add some Chinese sausage, some recipe is without five spice powder. For peranakan version, they add pork belly in it too. But for this recipe, it taste very very close to the one I had during my childhood time.

I like my taro cake filled with chunks of taro with bite texture. But Thai taro get soften easily, and I did a mistake for dicing the taro too small. So, my taro cake end up didn't have visible taro cubes on the picture. Well, you could adjust the amount of taro cubes as you desire.

I steamed quite a big portion of taro cake actually. Serene took some home. Max had some as supper, and I keep a portion for next day breakfast. All of them gave good review on my steamed taro cake. I'm so so so glad. Max is very particular over steamed savory cake. So, if the texture is not right, he will just walk away. This is how fussy he is towards such kuih.

 If you are feeding a small family, half the recipe. If you have left-overs, keep the cake into the fridge. When you want to eat, add abit of oil and pan fry it and serve hot  :)

I hope you like it :)
by Jillur Rahman

Jillur Rahman is a Web designers. He enjoys to make blogger templates. He always try to make modern and 3D looking Templates. You can by his templates from Themeforest.

Follow him @ Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus


  1. Annie, first class lah your taro cake. This is called orr kueh in Hokkien right? I love it a lot and I must have my chilli sauce with it. Love your garnishing, so colorful!

  2. Wahahaha.. Where got first class wo? LOL! Yep! It's Orr-kueh in Hokkien. Hahaha... I also love it with lots of chilli sauce! :D

  3. Thank you for the very detailed recipe. I have tried it and it is delicious! Going to make it again today.

  4. Hi Annie, thanks for sharing your recipe. Would like to check if you use 8.5" square tin and not 8.5cm.

  5. thank you, I am going to try it.

  6. Thank you, I already tried, it'really delicious.

  7. I just tried your recipe today it was just the way i like it. thank you for sharing it.