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Red Tortoise Cake (紅龜粿, Âng-ku-kóe)


ACT hosted a Red Tortoise Cake class taught by with Mr. Chiu and a great time was had by all attendees. Pictures from the event are interspersed between the usual recipe steps. If you’re in the Seattle-area we hope to see you at our next class!


For the wrapper:

For the filling:

Other Equipment:

*Bakers’ percentages allow you to easily scale the recipe up and down

Preparing the Wrappers

450 grams is 0.992 pounds which works great as glutinous rice flour is easily found in 1 pound bags. The “glutinous” part is important! Regular rice flour will produce interesting results.

1. Mix the cold water into glutinous rice flour. Take a small piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and flatten into a disc to form a “starter dough”.

2. Place the starter dough in boiling water for 5-10 minutes until it floats to surface then drain the water

3. Mix the starter dough into rest of the glutinous rice flour/water mixture. Knead until dough is no longer sticky and pliable.

Depending on the particular brand of glutinous flour the prescribed 1:0.6 ratio of flour: water might be off. If the dough appears too dry, add more water. Alternatively if it’s too wet, add more glutinous flour.

4. Add sugar and butter, knead well into dough

5. Add food coloring and knead evenly into dough


1. Roll out the dough into a long log-like cylindrical object

2. Portion out the dough in 30g increments, roughly 30 pieces. If not immediately using the dough cover loosely with damp cloth to prevent drying out.

3. Flatten the dough into a disc with palm of your hand, making the edge slightly thinner than the center. Spoon about 1 tablespoon (15g) of the red bean filling and form it into a ball.

Brush some oil onto the mold

Mr. Chiu brought along several types of molds.

For the wooden molds place dough ball seam side down into the mold and press down with the heel of your hand so as to not squish the ball. If red bean leaks out you pressed too hard.

Knock each side of the mold against the table to dislodge the cake from the mold. Place each individual cake on a greased leaf.

Again, cover loosely with a wet cloth or paper towel to prevent drying while working on the remaining cakes.

The plastic mold uses a screw mechanism to make the impression

How does one get such nice looking leaves? Hard work!


1. When water in steamer is boiling, place the cakes inside steamer about 1-inch apart and steam approximately 10 minutes on medium heat (#4 setting).

2. When the surface is glistening, the cake should be done. Test the cake by inserting a wooden toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean it’s done.

3. Remove from the steamer, place on a plate, and let them cool down completely before stuffing in mouth

Thanks again to Mr. Chiu for sharing his decades of baking experience in the class. Keep an eye out on the Events page and our Facebook page for future classes.

Please check out the YouTube Video of the event

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