Chai tao kway is a Chinese dish which is popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It is also known as carrot cake, not to be confused with the western dessert carrot cake. There is no cream cheese anywhere in sight as far as chai tao kway is concerned!
Cubes of steamed radish or daikon cake are stir fried with chopped preserved turnips, minced garlic, eggs and soy sauce. There is a salty and a sweet version.
The sweet version is made with sweet, dark soy sauce and does not include the preserved turnips. This is a simple dish and well loved because it is comfort food at its best.It is warm, filling, tasty and cheap. It is commonly sold by vendors as street food or in casual cafes.
There used to be a wet market on Satok Road when I was growing up in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The wet market would be set up for the weekends starting on Saturday night and you could get everything from cooking pots to produce and almost anything in between.
Growing up I always accompanied my mother to the wet market and one of the funnest treats was always a stop for Chai Tow Kway. My mother has been gone now for over 20 years. I love the taste of chai tow kway but I think I love it especially because when I take my first bite, it always brings me back to those special Sunday morning outings with my mother.