Prawn cake (蝦粿 – He Kueh)

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He Kueh

He Kueh is also literally translated into Kueh Prawn (Kueh means cake in Malay). I called it Kueh instead of cake because it sounds a bit more authentic. I have been getting complement for cooking it but this is my first attempt to make the kueh not just the prawns. It looks a bit funny because of the combination of cake and prawn but the flavours just complement each other so much. It is not the same without the cake, you can, but it is not as good as you have together and while it is hot. I used to have this so much back in my mum’s hometown, she grew up on an Island which is called Senggarang, near Tanjung Pinang, in the Kepri Province in Indonesia. According to About Bintan Island and Discover Bintan Island, the first Chinese settlement arrived in Senggarang hundred years ago. It is worth a read, what a shame to miss.

senggarang senggarang2

Alright, let’s try to make this authentic Senggarang’s recipe.


Rice Flour

Tapioca Starch




Kaffir lime leaves

Chillies (preferably dry)



Coconut milk

1. Making the lower part of the Kueh (Bottom is Pink)

  • put rice flour and water and mix them together (I have 1:7 ratio but if you are unsure, put in a small bowl and steam it to see the immediate result).
  • put a tea spoon or two of tapioca starch
  • put a bit of salt
  • mix it well and steam it

2. Making the upper part (the upper white )

  • You mix coconut milk, rice flour and tapioca starch together. ( I only put about two eating spoons of rice flour, and 1 tea spoon of tapioca starch. Again, do the bowl testing).
  • put a bit of salt
  • mix it well and add it on top of the already well cooked and steamed pinky bottom
  • steam it about 10-15 mins until the coconut milk is fully cooked

Once you have done 1 and 2, let it cool and let’s prepare the prawns

3. Making the prawns

  • Cut the prawns into very tiny pieces or you may leave the tails on as soon as you have de-shell and de-veined the prawns.
  • cleans garlics, shallots, kaffir lime leaves and chillies and blend them together using a blender or a mortal and pestle. You may not believe this, but using a mortal and pestle, it is really nicer.
  • on a hot pan, add oils and put those blender ingredients and mix them well, wait until it smells nice
  • add the prawns, mix them again
  • ready to be served

put the prawns on the kue and serve it.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do, this is one of my childhood favourite dishes.

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