Jicama/Yam Bean Vegetable Dumplings | Chai Kueh | 菜粿 | 蒸菜饺子

Chai Kueh is a very popular Chinese street snack. Its very healthy as it is steamed and packed with vegetables.

Chai Kueh is very similar to har gow “prawn dumpling”, a signature dim sum dish in Chinese restaurants. Both have clear and translucent skin, also known as crystal dumpling skin. The difference is in the texture of the skin and the filling. Har gow’s skin texture is very thin and tender whereas Chai Kueh is thicker and more chewy. As for the filling, har gow has prawn filling while Chai Kueh has yam beans, carrots and dried shrimp.

I prefer the thinner and less chewy texture for the skin. So for this recipe, I have made the skin thinner, tender, slightly chewy and springy.

Frequently asked questions:

If I don’t have wheat starch, can I replace it?

The simple answer is no. Wheat starch is the main ingredient that gives it the translucent skin for the dumpling.

If I don’t have a steaming basket, how do I steam it?

You can use a plate to steam. Just remember to brush some oil on the plate so that the dumplings don’t stick to it

How to store them?

You can keep the dumplings in an air tight container and place it in the freezer. Can probably store for 1 week. After placing in the freezer, you don’t have to defrost it, can steam it straight away



  • 1 large, approx 700-750 grams Yam bean (known as mengkuang, sengkuang or jicama) 沙葛 1粒(大) 700-750克
  • 1 large carrot 1条胡萝卜
  • 1/3 cup dried shrimps, prewashed 1/3杯 虾米, 洗干净
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil 3汤匙菜油
  • 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce 1茶匙生抽
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 1茶匙盐
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar 1/2茶匙糖
  • Dash of pepper 少许胡椒粉
  • 1 cup of water 1杯水


  • 140 grams (1 cup + 3 tablespoon) wheat starch 澄粉 140克 (1杯+3汤匙)
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch 木薯粉 60克 (1/2杯)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 盐 1/2茶匙
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 糖 1茶匙
  • 300 ml (1 cup + 3 tablespoon) boiling water 300毫升滚水/开水 (1杯+3汤匙)
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vegetable oil 菜油5毫升(1茶匙)


  1. Prepare the filling. Peel off the skin of the yambean, cut into short thin strips. Julienne the carrots into short strips. Finely chops the dried shrimps.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of oil into the wok. High heat, fry the dried shrimps until fragrant. Add in the carrots, fry till soft and caramelised. Then add the yambeans. Mix well. Add in the light soya sauce, salt, sugar and water. Fry and mix well. When water comes to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes on low medium heat.
  3. Add a dash of pepper. Increase to high heat, fry till all the water has evaporated. Set aside to cool at room temperature
  4. Prepare the dough. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix well. Add boiling water. Form into a dough. Add oil a little at a time. Knead while its hot until smooth. The dough should be less sticky once it cools down. About 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes its still sticky, add some oil and knead until smooth
  5. Cover and let it rest for minimum 15 minutes
  6. Divide dough into 2. Work on one dough first. Cover the other dough to prevent from drying
  7. Form dough into a long log. Divide and cut into 16 equal pieces. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap to prevent from drying.
  8. Take one dough. Turn on its stump. Flatten the dough with your palm. Then flatten into a disk with a rolling pin. For this dough, you want to get the same thickness throughout the middle and sides. So roll the rolling pin 3/4 into the middle of the dough. Try to flatten as thin as possible. About the size of your palm, 8-9 cm diameter
  9. Shape the dumpling. 1st dumpling shape. Place a heap teaspoon of filling the middle. Fold into half. Seal the sides. Place on a non stick baking paper, then place into the steaming basket and cover to prevent from drying.
  10. If you have no steaming basket, can use a plate. Just need to brush the the plate with oil to prevent from sticking.
  11. See video for 2nd dumpling shape.
  12. Preboil water for steaming. Steam on high heat for 5 minutes.
  13. Best serve while warm

Video on Yam Bean Vegetable Dumplings | Chai Kueh | 菜粿 | 蒸菜饺子