Steamed Tapioca/Cassava Cake (蒸木薯糕 / Kueh Ubi Kayu): Nothing beats freshly steamed Tapioca Cake! This steamed cake is soft, moist and aromatic as it uses freshly grated tapioca and coconut.
When my eldest daughter got married, I prepared this steamed tapioca cake as a snack to welcome the bridal party of ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ as I knew they had an early start to the day and may not have had time for breakfast. The brothers and sisters loved the steamed tapioca cake so much that when they were leaving for the groom’s house, they made me promise to keep the rest of it for them until they returned for the tea ceremony
When they came back, they wasted no time at all in gobbling down all the tapioca cake, there wasn’t enough a crumb left. They told me they had never eaten such soft and moist steamed tapioca cake before. I think the difference is before this was freshly made using fresh ingredients(I woke up very early in the morning to buy the ingredients and make it) .
In the old days of no electrical appliances, it was very time consuming to prepare this steamed tapioca cake, as you would have to grate both the coconut and and the tapioca by hand. Nowadays, with freshly grated tapioca and coconut available in the wet markets, you can actually save loads of time when making this delicious snack – can it believe it only takes 30 minutes to prepare!
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The tricky thing is to find a wet market stall that actually sells freshly grated tapioca as not all wet markets sell this, and moreover those that do usually sell out very quickly! You can usually buy ready grated tapioca from those wet market stalls that also sell grated coconut. But do note that you won’t see the grated tapioca on display, as the stallholders usually grate it before hand and place it in the fridge. So you will need to ask them if they sell it!
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and please leave me a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for me!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: Cut into small pieces and sip water in between to prevent chocking, especially for smaller children.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: No modifications needed.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Vegan: No modifications needed.
- Vegetarian: No modifications needed
Nothing beats freshly made tapioca (cassava) cake! This steamed cake is soft and aromatic as it uses freshly grated tapioca and coconut.
- 1 kg Grated Tapioca/Cassava
- 200 ml Coconut Milk (Kara Brand)
- 600 ml Water
- 12 TBsp Sugar
- 5 leaves Pandan
- 1/2 tsp Red food colouring optional
- 1/2 tsp Green food colouring optional
- 1/2 kg White Grated Coconut Brown Skin of the coconut removed
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Wash the pandan leaves and bundle it together
Place the grated tapioca (cassava) into a big bowl and set aside for later use.
Meanwhile add water to the wok and bring to a boil
In a pot, add in 600 ml of water and 12 TBsp of sugar together with the pandan leaves and bring to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove the pandan leaves and discard.
Add in the coconut milk to the syrup and continue to boil for 1-2 mins until it starts to bubble but not boiling.
Pour the coconut mixture over the tapioca and quickly give it a stir until well incorporated.
Transfer the tapioca mixture into a 20cm (8") baking tin and spread it out evenly.
When the water in the wok is boiling, place the tapioca on the steaming rack and steam for 20 mins over medium high heat with cover on.
Once cooked, use a chopstick to poke through the centre of the tapioca. It the chopstick comes out clean and sticky, it is done.
Remove the tapioca and let it cool completely before cutting.
Place the white grated coconut in a plate and add in 1/4 tsp salt and mix well.
Place the grated coconut in the wok and steam for about 10-15 mins. Remove and let it cool.
Once the tapioca is cooled completely, use a plastic spatula to cut the tapioca section by section.
As the tapioca is sticky and gets stuck to the bottom of the tin, you need to use the spatula to go right under the tapioca and scrape it to lift it up.
Place the cut section of tapioca onto the plate grated coconut and coat it with the coconut.
Then cut the tapioca into either diamond or square shape and coat each piece evenly with the grated coconut.
Transfer the steamed tapioca cake to a platter. Best serve when it is chilled.
- You can buy ready grated tapioca from the wet market in the same stores that sell grated coconut. Do note that only certain markets sells grated tapioca. They usually grate it before hand and place it in the fridge, and they are sold out very quickly. You won't see it on display, so you will need to ask if they sell it.
- You will need to remove the remnant of the centre core of the grated tapioca if there is any.
- If you prefer the texture of the tapioca to be softer or harder, you can add less or more water accordingly.
- If you want to add some colour to liven up the presentation of the dish, you can divide the tapioca into 2 equal portions and place them in 2 smaller tins for steaming. Add 1/2 tsp red food colouring and 1/2 tsp green food colouring to the tapioca and mix well before steaming.
- For the grated coconut, it is important to add some salt to it and steam so that it will not turn rancid. This way, the grated coconut can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days without going bad. Make sure that the grated coconut is completely cooled before coating the tapioca kueh.
- If there is too much tapioca kueh left, you can leave in the fridge for a couple of days but preferably do not to cut or coat it with grated coconut yet. This way, you can steam the tapioca kueh again for a few minutes to soften it before cutting and coating it with the grated coconut.
- This recipe for tapioca kueh is not too sweet, which is my preference as I don't have a sweet tooth. However, the amount of sugar can be adjusted up or down according to your preference.