Not really hungry, but craving something light to fill your tummy up till your next official meal? You’re looking at a plate of chwee kueh. Here’s where you’ll find the best chwee kueh in Singapore.
The steamed rice cakes are a local hawker favourite here, and has a name loosely translated to “water cakes”, thanks to its differing ratios of rice flour and water mixed together, before being steamed in aluminium cups to form their signature disc shape after they’re cooked. Depending on this magical ratio, the rice cake, or kueh, becomes firmer or softer, and the recipe greatly depends on the chwee kueh stall that makes it.
While many might say that the heritage Teochew cakes are tasteless on their own without the topping of the salty-sweet preserved radish and chilli sauce, we beg to differ. A good chwee kueh will carry the aroma of rice, with a gentle sweetness that broken-down starch usually brings. Besides, it’s perfect for breakfast, as afternoon tea, or as a post-dinner indulgence. We’ve scoured the island for our favourites.
In no particular order, your guide to getting the best chwee kueh in Singapore.
Where to find the best chwee kueh in Singapore:
(Hero and featured image credit: Jian Bo Shui Kueh)
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The silky smooth chwee kueh from Bedok Chwee Kueh forms the perfect base for the chye poh here. The perfectly brown preserved radish is chopped into tiny bits before it’s slowly stewed in an aromatic pot of vegetable oil, minced garlic, shallots, dried shrimps, seasonings, and sesame seeds. If you’re up for a bit of spice, the sambal chilli here delivers a warm, gentle heat, elevated by the taste of dried shrimp.
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Get a taste of tradition when you order from Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh. Each piece is handmade using a 60-year-old recipe, resulting in soft rice cakes that break apart easily. At first glance, the chye poh serving looks a little sparser than usual, but don’t fret. No taste is compromised as the charcoal-cooked radish pieces are quite salty and savoury, so you won’t need much on your chwee kuehs.
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Jian Bo Shui Kueh is one of the most popular chwee kueh stalls in Singapore, founded by Mr. Wang who used to sell his steamed rice cakes in a pushcart back in 1958. Now, its third-generation owner, Eric Ang, helms the business, and has his Michelin Bib Gourmand-approved chwee kuehs prepared in a central kitchen before being delivered to its outlets around the island. While the pork lard used has since been switched to vegetable oil in the preserved radish, it still packs quite a good flavour overall.
(Image credit: @jianboshuikueh via Instagram)
The handmade chwee kueh from Pek Kio Handmade Chwee Kueh is where we’re getting our fix of the humble dish whenever we’re around the Farrer Park area. The chye poh bits here is a little bigger in size compared to some other locales, but the added crunch does complement the smooth texture of the rice cakes pretty well.
(Image credit: @ling.gnil84 via Instagram)
Xin Xi Chwee Kueh is an underrated stall we think more diners should know about, although its loyal customers would say otherwise. The chwee kueh here retains its traditional silky texture with plenty of bounce with each bite, and the chye poh isn’t overly oily or salty either.
(Image credit: @anthonyliangshalom via Instagram)
Aunty Chwee Kueh is considered a new entry into the scene, especially since it only opened in 2020. The fragrant chye poh is what keeps its regulars coming back, but besides chwee kueh, the stall also sells favourites like chee cheong fun and soon kueh too.
(Image credit: Aunty Chwee Kueh via Facebook)
Kovan Chwee Kueh is one of the most affordable spots in Singapore — think five pieces for a shy S$1.50. Rather than a melt-in-your-mouth texture that breaks apart before you lift it up to your mouth, the chwee kueh here holds its own with plenty of chew. For other delicious eats at Bendemeer Food Centre, click here.
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The rice cake here is made perfectly — it isn’t too watery or firm, making it one of our favourite spots in town. The chye poh, on the other hand, is sweeter than the regular savoury preserved radish, and we love the aromatic, homemade chilli that comes with it.
(Image credit: @jamietan04 via Instagram)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Chwee Kueh is an affordable dish and snack in Singapore, with prices starting from as little as S$1.50 for a plate of five.
Answer: Chwee Kueh is a light and airy steamed rice flour cake dish with Teochew origins. The fragrant cakes are often topped with savoury and sweet preserved radish (also known as cai po) and served with a side of chilli.
Answer: The oil and sodium content in the cai po topping and chilli that accompanies the dish can make it less healthy. One serving averages about 224 calories for four pieces of chwee kueh.