Chwee kueh is a pretty well-known breakfast item in Singapore, but how much do you know about it?
A traditional Teochew dish translated as ‘water cake’, chwee kueh is as its name suggests – a steamed cake made of water and milled rice, then topped with chye poh, a preserved radish and served with chilli sauce. While traditionally made with pork lard, many stalls have replaced it with healthier alternatives such as vegetable oil.
Which chwee kueh stalls in Singapore are a must-try? Make your way through this list of places around the island to find your favourite, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite ones and stand to win $100 GrabFood vouchers!
Bedok Chwee Kueh
Bedok Chwee Kueh is the first chwee kueh stall in Singapore to be listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand, and they're famed for their melt-in-your-mouth chwee kueh ($0.50 per piece, additional $0.30 for takeaway). They have multiple outlets islandwide, and their chye poh is chopped finely with a sweetness that's the perfect foil for their chilli sauce, and the toasted sesame seeds add a nice aroma and flavour to the entire dish.
Address: 208 New Upper Changi Road, #01-19 Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre, Singapore 460207
Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh
Mr Lee, the owner of Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh has been making chwee kueh for over 50 years and he still makes his by hand everyday! The chye poh here is a savoury mix of garlic, fragrant pork lard and preserved radish. The radish here is also chunkier, chewier in texture, and leans more towards savoury than sweet. The minimum order here is 4 pieces at $0.50 each.
Address: Blk 20, Ghim Moh Road #01-54, Singapore 270020
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Jian Bo Shui Kueh has been serving the age-old flavour generations after generations since 1958, and it is one of the OG stalls from the old Tiong Bahru Market. Their chwee kueh ($2.50 for 5 pieces) even comes with a Michelin recommendation! While quality has dipped slightly over the years, their chye poh remains robust and tasty, and pairs perfectly with their chilli with dried shrimps.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-05 Tiong Bahru Food Centre, Singapore 168898
Pek Kio Handmade Chwee Kueh
What's different about Pek Kio Handmade Chwee Kueh is apart from the normal-sized chwee kuehs ($1.50 for five), they also have an XL chwee kueh ($1.50 for one)! Larger pieces can be harder to achieve that soft jelly-like texture, but they seem to have got it just right. Their chye poh is also pretty light, so some may prefer something heavier-tasting.
41A Cambridge Road, Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, #01-28, Singapore 211041
Kovan Chwee Kueh
Kovan Chwee Kueh enjoys a steady stream of customers in the mornings. Their rice cakes are firmer ($1.50 for five, $1.80 for six, and $2.40 for eight), while their chye poh is cooked in vegetable oil and a nice mix of sweet and savoury. The only downside is that the ratio of rice cake to chye poh is not always balanced, so it's worth it to pay an extra 20 cents for extra chye poh!
Address: Bendemeer Food Centre #01-64 29, Bendemeer Road, Singapore 330029
Taman Jurong Chwee Kueh
The wait time might be a bit longer, as the uncle runs the stall by himself. But the chwee kueh here are soft and smooth with a certain firmness and not overly soft ($1 for three, $1.50 for five, and $3 for 10 pieces). The chye poh is also on the saltier side, and tied together by the chilli sauce which has a lingering dried shrimp fragrance. Overall, the dish has a character that's quite different from all the other chwee kuehs around.
Address: Taman Jurong Food Centre #02-67, 3 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 618499
Sembawang Hills Shui Kway
The chwee kueh here is firmer and pastier than the usual, which gives some heft for the savoury chye poh that has been fried with dried shrimp to impart a nice umami. It isn’t too sweet or salty, and the oil is also drained before serving it so it isn't greasy at all. The combination of things makes a pretty solid plate of chwee kueh ($1.40 for four, $2.10 for six, $2.80 for eight).
Address: #01-16 590 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574419
Xiang Xiang Chwee Kueh
On a diet but it’s your cheat day? Xiang Xiang Chwee Kueh has some of the lightest and greaseless chwee kueh you can find in Singapore ($1.50 for five, $2.40 for eight). The chye poh is coarsely chopped, slightly crunchy and both sweet and salty. The stall is run by an elderly couple who only make and sell a limited quantity every day, so visit early to avoid disappointment!
Address: 91 Whampoa Drive, #01-05, Singapore 320091
Xin Xi Chwee Kueh
Bedok 85 market has many great food, so it's no surprise that they also have one of the best chwee kuehs in Singapore. Xin Xi’s menu features a variety of local breakfast options like yam cake and chee cheong fun, but is most well-known for its chwee kueh. The chye poh is fried till mildly charred, which imparts a nice smoky flavour.
Address: 58 New Upper Changi Road, #01-150 Bedok South 58 Market and Food Centre, Singapore
Tiong Bahru Chwee Kueh
Surprised to learn that there's good chwee kueh in the heart of town? Tiong Bahru Chwee Kueh is surprisingly yummy, smooth and firm with a moist and crunchy chye poh ($2 for four) . It might be slightly more expensive due to their location but they do exceed expectations. Chewy yet fragrant with a great mouthfeel, this dish is satisfying and one of most affordable meals in town.
Address: TANGS Orchard Basement 1, 310 Orchard Road, Singapore 238864