I went back to my mum’s place one weekend and found that she is getting ready to steam these lovely angku kueh for me to eat! What mothers would do for their children(or grandchildren)… hehe… even I am grown-up now with kids of my own, I think I still am a little girl in their eyes… And so, what else! I took the opportunity to take pictures so that I am able to post this in my blog. Then, I sat my mum down and “interrogate” her on the recipe… So, yes, this recipe is tried and tested by my mum… and no, I have not tried it yet on my own :)

Anyhow, for the uninitiated, angku kueh is a small round oval shaped Chinese cake(normally red/pink in colour) with soft sticky skin wrapped with sweet filling(normally mung bean paste) in the center.The oval shaped of the cake is designed to resemble tortoise or turtle. The name angku kueh is actually in Hokkien and literally translates to “Red Tortoise Cake” (ang= red, ku = tortoise, kueh = cake). Chinese in Malaysia will use the Angku Kueh for ritual offering during religious events, distribute it during a child’s full moon celebration and during birthdays too.

For this recipe of my mother’s, instead of using just plain glutinous rice flour and red food coloring, she used pumpkin to get the orange colour…. And according to my mother, instead of using pumpkin, you could also replace it with sweet potato(either the purple or orange kind). And she used the mung bean paste filling here (as it is my favourite :P). Instead of the mung bean, you could also use crushed roasted peanut filling, red bean paste etc.

Before Steaming


Mung bean filling:
250gm mung beans (weight is before soaking)
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp cooking oil
**Rule of thumb: For every 100gm mung beans, use 2 tbsp cooking oil

Angku skin:
200gm sweet potato/pumpkin (weight after peeled and mashed to paste)
250gm glutinous rice flour
1.5 tbsp sugar
100ml boiling hot water
4 tbsp corn oil


Mung bean filling:

  1. Soak mung beans in water for about half an hour.
  2. Steam the mung beans until it is soft enough to mash into paste. Before steaming, make sure that there is a little water in the mung beans. If it has dried up and the mung beans are not soft, add in a little water during steaming. Not too much though… you do not want the paste to be watery :)
  3. Mash the mung beans when it is still hot and mix it with sugar and oil.
  4. Blend the paste until smooth.

Tip: If you are running short of time, you could prepare the filling one day earlier and roll them into little balls and freeze them. Defrost them the next day before you make the skin and wrap them with it.

Angku Skin:

  1. Steam and mash the sweet potato/pumpkin into a paste. (Hint: Mash it when it is hot. It is easier to mash it then)
  2. Mix the sweet potato/pumpkin paste with the glutinous rice flour and sugar.
  3. Add in hot water to form the dough
  4. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before wrapping them with filling.
  5. Flour the angku mould before using them to “print” the turtle design on the angku. It will be easier to remove them from the mould.
  6. Place the angku on banana leaf and steam them for about 10 minutes.

Tip: During steaming, open the steamer cover frequently so that the turtle design on the angku does not expand too much and will still be visible.


After Steaming

This recipe makes about 45pcs of angku size about 5cm x 4cm.

One last tip: If you can’t consume 45 pieces of angku at one time, don’t worry. You can half the recipe or just freeze the extra angkus in freezer after you wrap them and “print” them. It can keep for about 1-2 weeks. Take out, defrost and steam the quantity you required.

Oh, and if you are looking for angku moulds, please do visit my online shop. I do sell them :)