Soon kueh, loosely translated to English as bamboo shoot dumplings, is a traditional Teochew dish that can be eaten as a snack, or if you’re like some fanatics — as a full meal on its own.
The pillowy dumpling is filled with a mixture of julienned jicama, bamboo shoots and dried shrimps, which is then delicately wrapped in a smooth rice-tapioca flour skin. Soon kueh is generally had during breakfast or tea time here in Singapore, together with an assortment of other dishes like the peng kueh (glutinous rice dumplings).
Yet, not all soon kuehs are made equal. The best ones make sure that the filling is aromatic and slightly crunchy to the bite — lightly stir-fried with hints of pepper, dried shrimps and mushrooms for a beautiful umami-flavour. Its wrapper also has to be both chewy and thin for the perfect skin to filling ratio.
Hankering for a bite? Read on for the list of stalls in Singapore that are serving the best soon kuehs in town.
Poh Cheu Homemade Soon Kway Ang Ku Kueh
Family-run Poh Cheu has been serving diners for decades, and their handmade kuehs are a testament to the longevity of the stall. The beautiful wrappers are almost transparent — one can spot the carrots and black fungus bits in the filling without even having to tear it apart. Each Soon Kueh is packed with tons of umami-goodness, and the aromatic onion-scent that perfumes through the ingredients is truly an enticing experience that keeps customers coming back for more.
Poh Cheu Homemade Soon Kway Ang Ku Kueh, Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-230 Singapore 150127
Fatt Soon Kueh
The 21-year old stall is co-founded by Madam Lim, who has had 30 years of experience in the home-made kueh business before she co-founded Fatt Soon Kueh. The crystal-like translucent skin is slightly chewy, and each bite is filled with bountiful flavours from the jicama, dried shrimp and shallot oil. For an extra tasty mouthful, they’ve added some black fungus as well. Drizzle a little sweet sauce or chilli sauce to taste and you’ll be set for the day.
Fatt Soon Kueh, Blk 208B New Upper Changi Road #01-18 Singapore 460208
Yong’s Teochew Kueh
Ask any self-respecting Teochew in Singapore for a dependable Soon Kueh spot and they’ll direct you to Yong’s Teochew Kueh. Here, find snaking queues that gather for a bite of their traditional treats, which include the soon kueh and the cabbage kueh. The pillowy soft skin has a beautiful rice-like fragrance, and it breaks apart easily once you bite into it. Service here is curt and snippy, but that’s just a small trade-off for quality, mouthwatering kuehs like theirs.
Yong’s Teochew Kueh, 1022 Upper Serangoon Road Singapore 534760
Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh
Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh is for those who love the traditional Soon Kueh’s with a slightly bolder flavour. Here, find the chewy dumplings overstuffed with jicama, carrots and winter bamboo shoots, as well as a hearty mix of minced shiitake mushrooms and fried dried shrimp for a saltier, brinier experience. Aromatic shallot oil then sprayed over the dumpling for a glossy finish and a savoury bite unlike any other.
Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh, 124 Tembeling Rd Singapore 423623
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.
(Main and featured image: ahyeessoonkueh/Instagram)