These are called chai koi, literally translated to mean vegetable cake…

Chai koi 1

…and are sold at a makeshift stall (along with all the bread, buns, cakes and so  on) on the pavement in front of one of the very few shops along Jalan Ruby here round the corner from my house.

They certainly look miserable, don’t they? But as they say, looks can be deceiving and they’re quite nice really. The skin is soft and chewy, not hard or elastic or rubbery, and it looks kind of thick and non-translucent. From the look of it, these are homemade by some amateur who isn’t exactly an expert at it – even the sizes are not the same.

Despite the fact that he or she is not very generous with the filling…

Chai koi 2

…they are actually quite tasty and I liked them enough to go and buy a second time.

Of course, they can’t compare with the HUGE ones that my cousins once brought me from Kuching – big, with a whole lot of ingredients in the filling. If I can recall correctly, there was meat and hay bee (dried prawns)…and even salted vegetables in them. I don’t know how much those cost but these…

Chai koi 3

are only 3 for RM1.00.

Actually, in my humble opinion, sometimes when you overdo things and go overboard, it may not work out too well (like the tomyam kampua noodles) and at times, it is best to keep things simple and nice. I do wish they would make them a little bigger though and have a little bit more filling inside…and maybe sell them for 50 sen each.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

19 thoughts on “Miserable…”

  1. Uiks….rm1 for 3 is cheap. The one in pasar malam here is like 70 to 80sen each. But more inti la. There is one pretty good one. See next time if get the chance will get you some

    I bought some very nice ones at those stalls in the shopping complexes selling nyonya kuihs. Of course, they’re QUITE expensive…but they look very nice and they’re stuffed full with the filling. Can’t remember the price – I think around RM3 – 3.50 and there were 2 or 3 pieces inside one plastic pack. I used to go to another stall (at Rejang Park) that opens mid-afternoon – they had bigger and better looking ones with more filling. I dunno if they still have them or not – haven’t been there for a while….

    1. i can take 1 dozen of that at one time… pasar malam one not that nice… can eat lah… my aunt’s indo maid just put them into slowly boiled water, when terapung, means ready to be eaten…

      Ya…when you see people make, like so easy…but when try sendiri, tak jadi! Disaster! These small ones, I would need a dozen too! 😦

  2. Hhmm, these chai koi certainly look unappetising at first glance. But once I saw the filling inside and the chilli, it looks good!
    I agree with you… at times, it is best to keep things simple. Winston Churchill once said “All the great things are simple”

    They’re good…and at 3 for RM1.00, I really can’t complain. 😉

  3. i don’t think they look miserable until i see the second photo, haha!! i thot they all look the same until i get your point, miserable in terms of the amount of fillings!! well and RM1 for 3 pieces is so cheap!! i used to buy from a stall in Petaling Street, RM4 for 6, means double the price..

    I’m sure yours are bigger, twice the size at least and with a lot more filling. But this is ok, since it is so cheap….and I do appreciate the fact that there are people making good use of their time to honestly earn a bit of money to make ends meet. With the rising prices these days, I guess whatever extra income they can get would come in handy…

  4. Not so miserable Le…
    Both me n my wife love to eat chai koi….
    Over here is cost abt rm0.80/pcs…
    Then we got put some fried chopped garlic n some parsley n spring onions on top of it..

    Ya…I don’t mind paying a bit more for something bigger with a lot more filling. That would be nice… 😉

  5. This was my mom’s most most favourite kuih ever. When I was living in Tampin, there’s a road side stall every evening on the main street and I think it’s one of the best that I’ve tasted. Since Tampin was so boring, I used to drive down to Melaka after work just to tah-pau for my mom. This was 13-14 years ago. However, my mom punya version pun sedap jugak. I must make this kuih soon…rindu!!!

    Haiyar…I dunno how to make, my missus doesn’t know how to make…Shereen can make, is going to make but I’m so far away. Tsk! Tsk! Actually it’s my mum’s favourite too! But no good ones here…so anybody coming from Kuching, sometimes she will pesan…ask them to tapao a few pieces. Can get very nice ones in Kuching…

  6. i’m curious about the cake, what is it made of? 🙂

    Search me! Rice flour, maybe… The filling would be turnip, cabbage, carrot…and the better (more expensive – not available here) ones would have meat and prawns but definitely not these cheap ones.

  7. One of my favourite kuih. 3 for only RM1.00, so can’t expect much. In Kuching, almost same size as above, would sell at RM0.70- 0.80 per piece and the filling is mengkuang with a bit of hay bee and meat, can’t hardly see and taste though.

    Oh? But I’ve had very nice ones from Kuching though – not the giant ones though. I prefer the normal ones, not too sure where they got them from…but so nice. Dunno how much also… Never actually went to buy myself.

  8. Ahh we call this as ‘ham kok chai’ back in my hometown but I guess the fillings could be a bit different. The ones you had looked good! In fact, I like that they’re not of the same size because it just means that whatever/whoever made it was just human, and every piece is unique! 🙂

    Ya…you’re right. Obviously, she did not use a mold…or some machine. I don’t know what they’re called in Cantonese…but you can get these at the nyonya kuih stalls at places like Mid Valley. I bought once from a stall like that at Sg Wang:

  9. Hi.. 3 pieces for RM1.00 so cheap and the skin texture look good too. So no complain, LOL
    Over here 80 cent and the filling so pathetic.

    Have a nice week ahead.

    Oh? I haven’t had any of those, so I wouldn’t know. So far, I only had those at the nyonya kuih stalls at the shopping complexes in KL – equally small but looked a lot nicer and a lot more filling inside…and of course, a lot more expensive. 😦

    You too, have a good week.

  10. I love these “chai kui” too and my mom used to make them tastes very good with chilli!

    Lucky you! My mum loves eating these but she can’t make them herself. Will have to buy…and we can only get really ones from Kuching. The ones here pale in comparison, not really great. At least, these aren’t too bad – most are hardly edible! 😦

  11. oh..this one i like, sometime i had it for my breakfast. I can get it from the morning market, i think it’s 70 or 80 cents per pcs. Expensive lei?

    Cheap here but not so nice – just nice enough to get me buying and eating – not jumping for joy! LOL!!!

  12. This is not something to my liking, perhaps what I have tried before wasn’t good. The siew loong pau is also something I can’t get round to liking. I am sure I am missing out on something here…

    I don’t like xiao loong pao either – don’t like the gingery soup…but these I like! Nyonya kuih, how mot to like. Yummmm!!!!!

  13. I’ve made sure I’m not hungry when I click on your link. hahahaha..

    I can’t find delicious chai koi in kuching.. those with haybee i cannot eat.. allergy.. huhuhu.

    You can’t? I wonder where my relatives bought theirs. So nice! But I think they all have hay bee – a little bit, I don’t mind. I don’t like the smell to overpower the taste.

  14. hey, Rm1 for 3 wor….what to expect… here it is at least 80 each!

    So 3 of these would be equal to 1 of yours, eh? Not so bad then… Hehehehehe!!! 😉

  15. love chai kueh! its something that strangely only dad and i love in the family. its like our secret food:D hehehe

    Oh? Everyone in the family loves it…except maybe my daughter. Not too sure whether she likes that or not, not the sticky skin perhaps.

  16. Both my mum and me love this chai kueh. Both skin and fillings very important, both must be done well to taste good.

    Yes, that’s true. Not underdone, not overdone either. I tried giant ones from Kuching, a bit carried away with the filling – sometimes too much of a good thing is not the best. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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