Steamed Red Bean Rice Cake (Poot Jei Gou)

Heidi also made a dessert which is Steamed Red Bean Rice Cake. It is normally known as ‘Poot Jai Gou’ in Cantonese which simply means ‘dessert in a little bowl’. This is because the rice cake is steamed in small bowls. You can use bowl made in clay, porcelain, aluminum, etc. It does not matter, you just need bowls or else you cannot call this ‘Poot Jai Gou’. 🙂


The Steamed Red Bean Rice Cake is very easy to make but requires a lot of time in preparing the red bean. The red bean has to be soaked in water at least two hours (preferably overnight) and steamed for at least 40 minutes. This is to make sure they are softened but not mushy. To sweeten the red bean, add 1 oz of granulated sugar after it is softened. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of red bean.


Steamed Rice Cake is a popular snack Malaysia, found commonly in open air markets. However, those found on Malaysian market they are salty types and with topping made from salted radish. Anyone has a recipe for this?

Heidi made the sweet version of the rice cake. She made two different flavours — which is coconut milk and cane sugar flavour. The photo below is the cane sugar version.



  • 320g rice flour
  • 300g cane sugar (slab sugar) or 300g of granulated sugar for the coconut milk flavour version
  • 960g (4 1/2 cups) water
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon wheat starch
  • 1 packet of instant coconut cream powder (50g) for the coconut milk flavour version only



_MG_3946_edited-1Sift the rice flour, tapioca starch and wheat starch into a large bowl.
_MG_3952_edited-1Add one cup of warm water to the dry ingredients and knead until a dough is formed.
_MG_3953_edited-1Let the dough sit for 10 minutes. The kneading and letting the dough sit will gives a chewier texture to the rice cake. If you prefer a more softer texture, skip the kneading and dough forming part and go straight to the step below.
_MG_3964_edited-1After the dough has rested, add 1 1/2 cups of cold water and mix well. For the coconut milk flavour, add in the instant coconut cream powder at this stage.
_MG_3970_edited-1Bring two cups of water and the slab sugar (or granulated sugar for the coconut milk flavour version) to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
_MG_3974_edited-1For the slab sugar version, you need to strain the syrup as there might be some impurities in it. Pour the hot syrup into the rice flour mixtures while whisking vigorously to partially cook the flour mixtures.
_MG_3971_edited-1Meanwhile, prepare a big steamer and place the little bowls in it to warm up them up.
_MG_3981_edited-1Pour the mixtures into the little bowls and remember to stir your mixtures often to prevent the flour from sinking to the bottom. If you are using a gas stove with high flames, skip the following step.

  • Cover the steamer and steam for a minute or two to let the rice cake set a little.
_MG_3988_edited-1Add in a tablespoon of the red bean onto the rice cake which has set a little. This will prevent the red bean from sinking to the bottom of the bowl.
_MG_3972_edited-1Cover the steamer and steam for another 18 minutes. To prevent water from dripping onto the rice cake, wrap the cover with a cloth to absorb any water condensation. Let the rice cake to cool down before you take it out from the bowl. The rice cake will be firmer when it cools.

Heidi, thank you so much for sharing the recipes. The Steamed Red Bean Rice Cake certainly brings back lots of memory of the street food from Malaysia.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    It seems like such a process but looks delicious. I still haven’t found the exact Puto recipe I have been looking for (the one that looks like the Pad Thong Koh you featured). I’m a bit scared to venture there too. lol.

  2. Chubbypanda

    I’ve never seen this dish before. It looks so good! I love red beans.

  3. DiZzy_eLi

    d other type of rice cake wif salted raddish is made by using 1:2 1/2|rice flour:water. n it’s not kneeded, nor is it added wif sugar. add tapioca starch&wheat starch of 1 tbsp. if u like, u can add shredded white radish/yam into it before u pour it for steaming. den u pour into bowls. most of them only put the salted radish in after steamed but i prefer them to be put on top of the cream before steamed. hehe..

  4. Lisa


    This is one of my favorite street food in Hong Kong. I am trying this, 1 tablespoon of wheat starch, and 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch! Is that correct it seems a lot for some much rice flour…

  5. Alex8

    Since I live in Scotland, I’ve not had these in a long, long time. Although there is a Chinatown nearby, they rarely sell them and not the best quality compared to the ones in HK.

    I was going to try this recipe but used another one instead as they are pretty similar recipes. But thanks for the cooling down tip once they are done. I made the mistake of trying to get them out of the bowl too quickly and it looked mushy and under cooked at the side of the cakes. However, for my second attempt, I let them cool down for a few hours and they came out a treat :). So happy with the results and tastes great.

    The other point is that I find I need to steam for about 25 minutes on high heat. I watched a video of a professional and traditional HK chef doing it and they know then it is perfectly cooked by looking at them. If you think they are done, look at the centre of the cakes as there should be a bit of sinking in the middle. According to the chef, if too little then it is under cooked and if too much then it is over cooked and the cake is probably harder texture. (Better to be over cooked than under cooked as you could get sick :() Here is the Youtube link:

  6. Greg

    I am gluten intolerance, can I skip the wheat flour or substitute with some other flour?

  7. cancergal

    With this recipe, I made the rice cake this afternoon. I made a few alternations, skipped the coconut milk & powder, I also substituted the wheat starch ( I don’t have) to sticky flour which some recipes included online. I’ve no idea how much was the 300g sugar, so I put 3 & half slab sugar it’s too way sweet. Other than that it turned out great, it tastes exactly what I’ve in Hong Kong. I’ll definitely make it next time.

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