May 1, 2010

Crispy Top Hats with Savory Fillings/Kueh Pi Tee

This dish is a Peranakan or Nyonya snack, popular in Penang and Singapore. Kueh pi tee or top hats are crispy pastry cases in the shape of a hat. The cases can be made ahead of time and makes great hors d'oeuvres. The mold is a hand fluted truncated cone made of bronze, its tapered shape allows the top hats to slide off the mold once they are cooked. Making this is no small feat as it requires patience, time and the right batter mixture. The trick is to get the mold seasoned with the hot oil before dipping into the batter.
Ingredients:(makes about 3 dozens)
150 gm rice flour
50 gm cornflour
50 gm all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 cup water
pinch of salt and pepper
oil for deep frying
Pi tee mold
1 medium sized jicama, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, julienned
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cooked prawns, chopped in small pieces
2 tsps. oyster sauce cilantro for garnishing
fried shallots for garnishing
lettuce, shredded in small pieces
chilli sauce for dipping
1. Combine both flours in a mixing bowl; add the egg, water and salt to form a batter. Whisk until mixture is free from lumps. The batter is done, when it coats the wooden spoon or your finger with a light creamy layer thick enough to hold. Strain batter into a clean bowl and let stand for at least an hour.
2. Heat enough oil to a deep saucepan on high. When oil is hot, immersed the pi tee mold into the oil briefly for about 2 seconds. Lower the heat to medium. Dip the heated mold into the batter, until it come up to the rim of the mold, coated with the batter. Let the excess batter to drip off, then dip the mold into the hot oil.
3.To separate the batter, jiggle and move the mold up and down to loosen the edges around the top. The batter should come loose by poking gently with a fork or long bamboo skewer on the edges. Allow the casing to cook in the oil until it is light brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. When cool, store in air-tight containers.
4. In a wok, add some oil and fry the garlic and shallots till soft and fragrant. Add the jicama and carrot and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the jicama is soft. Add cooked prawns and season to taste with oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.
5. In a clean work, add some oil and fry egg into a thin omelet. Remove and cut into thin strips.
6. To assemble: Put a piece of lettuce inside the pi tee case, then add a spoonsful of jicama mixture and garnish the top with eggs, fried shallots, and cilantro. Serve immediately with chilli sauce.
(Click arrow to watch video clip)


MaryMoh said...

That looks so fun to make and eat. I have to look for that pie tee mould.

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day! I have always wanted to make these and your recipe and photo now inspire me to do.
Can you suggest where I might find the pi tee mold in Australia? Thank you!