Crisp and Chewy Thai Fried Chive Cakes (Kanom Gui Chai) Recipe

Crisp and Chewy Thai Fried Chive Cakes (Kanom Gui Chai) Recipe

Thai fried chive cakes are steamed, then pan-fried, resulting in a great crispy exterior with a pleasantly chewy inside. [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

These fried chive cakes are insanely chewy inside with a crisp, golden shell. Flavored with garlicky Chinese chives, they're a snack that, once you've tried them, you won't be able to live without.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using a trio of rice flour, tapioca flour, and glutinous rice flour gives the chive cake the right chewy texture.
  • Frying the chive cakes after steaming creates a contrasting golden, crispy exterior.
  • Molasses-y dark soy sauce gives the dipping sauce a thick consistency perfect for coating each piece.

Note: This recipe makes several servings. Leftover steamed chive cakes can be frozen before being fried, then thawed and fried as needed.

Adapted from She Simmers.

  • Yield:Makes 10-12 servings as an appetizer
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

  • For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • For the Chive Cakes:
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/2 pound Chinese chives, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. 1.

    For the Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    For the Chive Cakes: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chives and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with 1 teaspoon salt, and set aside.

  3. 3.

    In a large bowl, whisk together rice flour, glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add water and whisk until smooth. Stir in chives and then transfer batter to a greased 8-inch round cake pan.

  4. 4.

    Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Rest cake pan in steamer insert or on rack above the water level. Cover and steam until chive cake is cooked all the way through, about 30 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Let chive cake rest in pan until cool enough to handle. Flip cake out of pan and, using a knife, cut cake into 1-inch squares or triangles.

  6. 6.

    Fill a wok or Dutch oven with 1-inch oil and heat to 375°F over high heat. Working in batches, add chive cakes and fry until browned and crisped all over, flipping occasionally for even cooking. Transfer chive cakes to a paper-towel lined plate and season with additional salt to taste. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.