Cheap & Good

Fried soon kueh and png kueh at Yong Xiang Carrot Cake is worth getting up early for

A combination of soon kueh and png kueh cooked with egg and chilli.
A combination of soon kueh and png kueh cooked with egg and chilli.ST PHOTO: TAN HSUEH YUN

Fans of soon kueh - steamed pillows of stretchy rice flour and tapioca starch skin filled with shredded yam bean as well as png kueh - pink, paisley-shaped and filled with glutinous rice, know to pan-fry any leftovers for breakfast the next day.

They are great the day they are made, soft and pliant. But day-old kueh needs some jazzing up. Contact with a hot pan crisps the skin, offering a different kind of enjoyment.

Yong Xiang Carrot Cake at Bendemeer Market & Food Centre takes it one step further. Apart from the usual black or white fried chye tow kueh, it also offers a very unusual dish of fried soon kueh and png kueh.

Pick a combination you like - I go for two soon kueh and one png kueh ($4.50) - and the cook cuts them up roughly on the large pan, cracks in an egg, adds a dollop of chilli and fries it up, just like she would cubes of radish cake.

It looks like a big hot mess and it is delicious.

Unlike weak home stoves, the fierce heat under the pan blisters the kueh skin beautifully and these crisp bits contrast with the softer parts of the kueh.

  • YONG XIANG CARROT CAKE

  • 29 Bendemeer Road, Bendemeer Market & Food Centre, 01-35, open: 6am to 2pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), closed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday Rating: 4/5 stars

The glutinous rice filling from the png kueh gets crisped up too and biting into a fried peanut is a singular pleasure.

Adding to that is the egg, some parts crisp, some soft.

I never eat soon kueh with chilli or sweet soya sauces, but the chilli is spot on in this fried version.

The stall also offers fried chive kueh and I hope I get lucky next time because there are only two kueh options the day I visit the stall.

It turns out I pick the right day to go. The stall is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

I wonder if that is why it attracts a constant queue of customers, even at 7am.

Create a hunger for something unusual, limit the availability and watch the queue form.

Certainly, it is worth getting up early for.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 15, 2016, with the headline ' Big hot mess for breakfast'. Print Edition | Subscribe