Fried carrot cake always brings back fond memories. It was my favourite dish during my childhood. Back then, two types of eggs – duck and chicken, were used for the dish.
Trust me, the eggs made a big difference in taste. The dish, in the past, was almost exclusively dark and made with a secret cocktail of sweet and savoury dark sauces.
The dish stood the test of time. Fried carrot cake has evolved and now comes in variants of white, black, and black and white. The dish remains a hugely popular hawker food in Singapore. White carrot cake is my pick now. It does not have the dark sauces but really tests the skills of the chefs to produce this fragrant omelette-like dish.
Many point the origin of carrot cake to Southern China’s Chaoshan province. Made mainly with rice flour, it is known as fried starch cake there.
Locally, according to archives, Teochew hawker Ms Ng Soik Theng claims to be the first to have called this dish chai tao kway (the dish we all Singaporeans know now as) in the 1960s when she added radish to it. Another hawker, Lau Goh, claims to be one of the pioneers who converted the dark carrot cake into a white version. You can read more here.
Chef Ho from Carlton Hotel shows us how he transforms this humble street food into a fancy rendition in the video below.