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Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Chinese Food, Sweets

the blog:

These Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes are easy to make and require minimal ingredients. They are lightly sweetened and are the perfect snack to have when that afternoon craving for something sweet kicks in!

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Put chai ko is a traditional snack originating from Hong Kong. These pudding cakes became widely popular during the 1980s where you would see hawkers selling them all over the streets with their pushcarts. Back then, there were only a few flavors and they got their name from being made in porcelain bowls. The batter was poured into the bowls and steamed to cook through. Once the cakes have cooled, the hawker will insert bamboo skewers to turn them out and serve. You can often see them being sold in plastic bags as well.

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Put chai ko is made with a few ingredients only- brown sugar, rice flour, wheat starch/ cornstarch, and red beans are often added to them as well. Nowadays, there are more flavors but I believe the original, classic flavors are always the best!

Since my parents do not understand English well, growing up we watched mainly Hong Kong dramas. There would only be a handful of channels so throughout the day my mom would switch between the channels catching up with any shows she missed.

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Whenever I watched along with her, especially any historic shows, I was always fascinated by the food at that time. A lot of them were snacks from street vendors and one that I always wanted to try was Put Chai Ko (a type of steamed pudding cake). They are actually not pudding-like at all but more of gelatin, slightly chewy and lightly sweetened.

I remember seeing kids in the shows rushing to the vendors and buying a few at a time. They were always so excited seeing them and I always wondered if they really tasted that good. In a matter of minutes, all of the pudding cakes would be sold out. They were nothing fancy and plain in appearance, yet, they are loved by everyone.

We don’t see them being sold in pushcarts anymore and they are not as widely available in bakeries as well, but I value the nostalgia they bring with their history. Even though we cannot go back in time and purchase one of these pudding cakes from street vendors, I still take delight in trying to make them at home. It is almost like a trip back to history when I made these pudding cakes.

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Here is an overview of these Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko).

Ingredients
Flour:
These pudding cakes are naturally gluten-free being made with rice flour. I purchased mine at an Asian supermarket. Make sure you use regular rice flour in the red bag, not the glutinous rice flour in the green bag.

Sugar: To add to the color of the pudding cakes, brown sugar is used. You can also use regular granulated sugar, but note that the color of the cakes will not be as pictured.

Corn Starch and Wheat Starch: The starches give the pudding cakes its chewiness and softness.

Adzuki Beans: If you cannot find adzuki beans, you can omit them. The adzuki beans give the cakes an extra depth in flavor and texture.

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

Tips

How do I store these red bean pudding cakes?
These cakes are best eaten fresh. If you have any leftovers, store the cakes in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. When you want to eat them, microwave the cakes in 30-second increments until they are soft again.

Can I substitute brown sugar for any other sugars?
The brown sugar gives the pudding cake a brown color. If you do not have it, you can substitute it for coconut sugar or granulated sugar. Please note the color will look different with different sugars.

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

If you like these Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes, you might also like:
Vegan Teddy Bear Mantou
Vegan Chinese Wife Cakes
Vegan Chinese Steamed Rice Cakes (Fa Gao)

I cannot wait for you to make these Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes! If you do, please tag me on Instagram @_withhelen or leave a comment below letting me know how you like them! Enjoy!

Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)
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Vegan Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes (Put Chai Ko)

These Hong Kong Red Bean Pudding Cakes are easy to make and require minimal ingredients. They are lightly sweetened and are the perfect snack to have when that afternoon craving for something sweet kicks in!

  • Author: Helen Au
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

67g (⅓ cup) brown sugar

300g (2 cups) water, divided

70g (½ cup) rice flour

20g (2 tbsp) cornstarch

10g (1 tbsp) wheat starch

60g (½ cup) adzuki beans, cooked

Instructions

  1. To a small pot, add in the brown sugar and 100g water over medium heat. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat, stirring until all the sugar has melted. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

  2.  In a separate bowl, add in the rice flour, cornstarch, and wheat starch. Mix until combined. Add in the remaining water and sugar mixture. Stir until the batter is well-combined and no lumps are visible.

  3.  Add the 6 glass bowls to a large steamer basket and bring the steamer to a boil.

  4. Divide the batter among the glass bowls. Top each bowl with 1-2 teaspoons of adzuki beans. Steam the pudding cakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and not sticky.

  5. Allow the pudding cakes to cool completely before transferring them to a plate and inserting 1-2 bamboo skewers. Enjoy!

Keywords: pudding cake, hong kong pudding cake, steamed cake, vegan cakes

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