Kai Chai Paeng or 'Little chicken biscuit' was one of my father's favourite item to take away whenever we stopped by Bidor, a small town south of Ipoh on the way to Kuala Lumpur, long ago before the North-South Highway came into existence. Those days, Bidor's famous restaurant, Pun Chun,was like a half-way house whereby travellers would stop by for their signature 'Ngap thui meen' or duck thigh noodles.
Pun Chun restaurant is right in the middle of town along the main road and has been in operation for 70 years and their Kai Chai Paeng were of the thick, doughy type made with lard and some pork but now they also have the thin and crispy version.
Another small town, known as Kampar which is nearer to Ipoh is also famous for their thin and crispy version of Kai Chai Paeng. However, I'm not too sure which town is the originator of these 'chickenless', unique but absolutely aromatic 'Little chicken biscuit'.
From top - candied melon finely chopped, bak kwa~dried sweet meat also finely diced and white sesame seeds.
These 'Little chicken biscuits' are savoury, sweetish, a wee bit chewy but the authentic fragrance and taste are truly one of its own.
Recipe for Kai Chai Paeng (Yield 58 pieces)
(A) 300 gm plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp pepper
(B) 30 gm nam yue (fermented beancurd)
30 gm maltose
30 gm icing sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 Tbsp pounded or pressed garlic
1/2 tsp seasalt
1 tsp sesame oil
85 ml cooking oil
(C) 100 gm candied melon, (tung toong kwa) finely chopped
60 gm sesame seeds
50 gm bak kwa/dried sweetmeat, diced finely (optional)
- Mix (B) in a large bowl with a spatula till salt has dissolved.
- Add in (C) and mix well.
- Sift (A) and mix into mixture. Mix to form a soft non-sticky dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 mins. (You may need to add a bit more oil if the dough is too dry to be incorporated).
- Divide dough into lime size. Place in between 2 plastic sheets and lightly flatten with a rolling pin to the desired thickness. Place these on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 15 to 20 mins. till golden brown.
- Let cool in pan and then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, keep in an air-tight container.
I'm submitting this entry to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday. Do check it out 'Here'.