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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chwee Kueh Mobile Stall in Johor Bahru, Taman Sri Terbrau 水粿

I have seen this popular mobile chwee kueh 水粿 stall for some time outside the Sri Terbrau market in the morning. There is always a crowd of customers standing and waiting to take away small packets of chwee kueh. Many are "drive thru" customers waiting in their cars or motorbikes.

Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿

Today, this chwee kueh stall was the first stop of our Johor Bahru food trail :D

Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿

Chwee kueh 水粿 is a simple Teochew staple food common in Johor and Singapore, mainly eaten during breakfast.

Traditionally, chwee kueh is made with broken rice and chipped grains which are not suitable for normal serving. These are ground or milled into a milky flour with water and steamed in little clay or aluminium cups to make small rice cakes.

To make the rice cakes palatable, chwee kueh is eaten with a savoury relish (cai poh). Diced preserved radish (or turnip) is used instead of meat as it can provide a savoury flavour just like meat but at much lower cost. The diced radish is stewed in lard over low fire for that extra layered savouriness.

Though people's lives have generally improved much since the early days, chwee kueh continues to be a popular comfort food, especially with the older generation.

Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿

Sam is a very cheerful and friendly stall holder.

Here Sam was scooping the small white rice cakes onto pieces of wax paper for customers to take away.

Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿

Sam then added preserved radish (kept warm with low fire) to the rice cakes before wrapping up the little packet.

I asked Sam the customary question, "How long have you been in this business?" 

Before Sam could utter a single word, one of his loyal lady customers answered on his behalf "他从十几就在这里到现在  He has been working here since his teens till now."

Chwee-Kueh-Mobile-Stall-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sri-Terbrau-水粿

Sam's chwee kueh is tender with some firmness and felt slightly grainy in the mouth. We can taste the flavour of rice in Sam's chwee kueh. Slight graininess and rice flavour are signs that Sam's chwee kueh are make the old way with ground rice.

Commercial "chwee kueh" have other starch added as fillers making it smoother, bouncier, has a glossy sheen but lacks rice flavour.

Sam's savoury radish relish was not overly salty nor too oily. Overall, it's a nice, simple, affordable breakfast.

Sam also sells other breakfast items like chee cheong fun and yam cake.

Taman-Sri-Tebrau-Hawker-Centre-Johor-Bahru

Restaurant name: No name mobile Chwee Kueh stall. Motorbike number JAM1315.
Address: Outside Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/E0X3Q
GPS: 1.487056,103.768063
Hours: 7:00am to 10:00am (Closed on Monday)
Non Halal

Date visited: 17 Sep 2014

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