Chwee Kueh (steamed rice cake) is as Singaporean as it gets. I have not seen it anywhere else in the region. No, not really in Malaysia, other than in neighbouring Johor, which may well have imported it from Singapore. Not in Thailand, nor Indonesia.

It is interesting for being light enough as an after-meal snack, yet heavy enough to be a meal if you like. The main crave-inducing feature is the topping – fried minced preserved radish with shallot. You couldn’t eat the topping on it’s own though, it will be too salty and overpowering. Chwee Kueh, served warm, is truly the perfect pairing. The topping is very oily, and this oil is an indispensable part of the whole package, as it imparts a fragrance very much like truffle oil does.

Chwee Kueh remains one of the cheapest food item that can be found in a hawker centre, at S$0.25 per piece with a minimum purchase of 4 pieces. It is probably the most inflation-resistant food – the price hasn’t changed for more than a decade.

Bedok Chwee Kueh
Bedok Chwee Kueh Chinatown Branch

The Chwee Kueh by Bedok Chwee Kueh is one of the best. It is hard to resist having some Chwee Kueh post-meal at Smith Street Food Centre (which to me is the best Food Centre in Singapore). Have you had Chwee Kueh recently?

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