As a child growing up in Singapore, one of my secret afternoon snacks was Muah Chee. I used to buy it in a little plastic container from an old lady after school. All she would have was a pan with the dough and a tub of ground peanuts and sugar. She would set up stall against a pillar and snooze away until someone came by. I’d have to wake her up, put in my order, she would snip away, scoop up into a plastic container, a couple of toothpicks and off I went. I’d walk really slow so that I had enough time to finish it before getting home.
When mum found out that I enjoy Muah Chee, she teased me about it for years. She calls it that ‘gooey thing’. To be honest, I never even knew it’s real name until we moved to Australia and I spent a weekend on Google frantically looking for a recipe. All I ever did in Singapore was point and order, so it never occurred to me to find out what it’s called!
Anyway, here we are, with Muah Chee. I’ve based my recipe on this one, but have changed it to suit our tastes. It’s a low carb dieter’s nightmare, but we only live once, no?
(a) You’ll need: Dough
- 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk powder
- 160ml water
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon shallot oil (see Method to prepare shallot oil)
(b) You’ll also need: Coating
- 1 and 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3/4 cup white sesame seeds
- Pinch of salt
- Sugar to taste
(c) Shallot oil
- 1 French shallot (peeled and sliced finely)
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
Step 1: Shallot Oil
Heat oil in a small pot, add sliced shallots and a tiny pinch of salt. Lower heat and fry slowly. When shallots go crisp, pour oil and shallots into a bowl. Allow to cool.
Step 2: Coating
Although I buy roasted peanuts, I like to give them a quick roast at home to freshen them up. In a hot dry pan, toss the peanuts for a couple of minutes. Pour into a bowl and let cool. Then powder peanuts in a coffee grinder. Pour into bowl, add salt, sugar and sesame seeds. Mix well.
Step 3: Steamed Dough
In a microwave safe bowl, mix coconut powder, flour, water and oil. Stir well. Cook on high for 1 minute in the microwave oven. The mix will probably not be cooked through, but it will look gluggy. Stir as best as you can. Cook for another minute. Stir again, and cook for about 10 more seconds (but keep a close eye on it). Once all the dough has cooked through, let it cool slightly.
Strain the shallot oil (save the crisp shallots for other dishes). Pour the shallot oil into a ziplock bag or freezer bag. Using a greased spoon, scoop the dough into the ziplock bag. Seal the ziplock 3/4 of the way (it’s hot inside, so don’t seal the whole bag). Wear a kitchen mitten or put a tea towel over the bag (to avoid burning yourself), and knead the dough through the ziplock bag. Kneading will help the dough come together and also absorb the shallot oil. Keep kneading until totally coated in oil. Unzip the bag and let the dough cool
Step 4: To serve
Cut a portion of the dough and drop the whole thing into the peanut mixture. Once the chunk of dough is coated, it’s easier for you to handle. Pick up the chunk and start snipping with a pair of scissors into small pieces. I like really small pieces. Make sure the peanut mixture coats all the exposed surfaces. Scoop into a bowl, stick a few toothpicks in and serve. Enjoy!