Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake) Recipe

This breakfast favourite is often enjoyed on its own or as part of a yum cha spread.

Malaysians will have their own opinions about what the carrot cake should taste like. Made with radish, this delicious breakfast favourite hits all the spots, with savoury and sweet flavours. Add more chai poh if you want added crunch, and leave it on the pan to toast up for that nice crisp.

Chai Tow Kway (Fried Carrot Cake)

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 1 hr 30 mins

Serves: 4


For radish cake:

  • 500 g white radish, peeled and grated
  • 150 g rice flour
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder

For frying:

  • 2 tbsps sweet chai poh (preserved radish), chopped (add more, if preferred)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli sambal and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped spring onion and coriander leaves, for garnishing


1. Fry grated radish in a pot (or non-stick pot) and add 50 ml water. Cook for about 15 mins, or until radish turns translucent.

2. Combine rice flour, salt and 250 ml of water into the radish and cook till mix is thick. The final mixture should resemble a somewhat pasty coleslaw.

3. Pour mix into a cake tray and steam on high for 45 mins. Leave it until completely cooled so that the radish cake firms up and is easy to cut. This is best done a day ahead and kept in the fridge to allow it to set and make it easier to cut up.

4. Chop up chunks of radish cake to prep them for frying. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil and fry radish cake till lightly browned and slightly crisp. Add minced garlic and chai poh. Fry till aromatic. Drizzle a little more oil if it is too dry. Add fish sauce, pepper and sambal, if preferred. Fry to coat evenly with seasoning.

5. Pour beaten eggs all over radish cake. Allow the eggs to set slightly, about 3 mins, before flipping over in sections. Fry for another 3 mins.

6. Sprinkle generously with spring onions and coriander leaves. Serve.

Chef’s tip: To make the dark carrot cake version, simply add 2 tablespoons of dark sweet sauce together with the fish sauce in Step 4.