You can buy yellow noodles, bihun or kuey teow from any supermarket or wet market, no problem. But where do you go to buy those square rice/radish cakes used to make kueh kak? No where. Well, no where I know, at least. So, if you want to make the dish, you actually have to start from scratch and make the radish cake first which is what I did.
Turned out, it wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be . I googled for the recipe and found two among many which I liked. I combined elements of both to come up with this one.
It took two attempts before I found the perfect mix. In my first try , I decided to leave out borax (air abu) because I didn't have it at home and I didn't know where to get it. The resul? A slightly soggy radish cake that tasted great but got kinda mushy when I stir fried the kueh kak.
My second attempt, I added the borax and boy, what a difference the 1/8th of a tsp of borax makes. The radish cake came out firmer and springy and a lot lighter (colour and texture) too.
Though there is some amount of prep necessary, its worth the effort because making something from scratch makes you feel like a real cook.
Step one: Making radish cakes
You will need 2 rice bowls of rice flour (I used one cup organic brown rice flour and one cup plain rice flour); 4 tbsp tapioca flour, 1 medium to large white radish -- grate finely and squeeze out all liquid; 1 tbsp sugar; 1 tsp salt; 1 tbsp light soy sauce; 1 tbsp sesame oil; 1/2 tsp pepper; 1/4 tsp borax and 1/4 tsp bicarb soda; 4 rice bowls water.
Mix all ingredients till you get a smooth batter. Heat on stove over medium heat till mix starts to thicken ... not more than 5 mins. Transfer into circular baking pan and steam for about 90 mins or till set. Remove from heat and let cool. Chill for a few hours before cutting into squares.
Step 2: Fry radish squares
Once you cut the radish caked into squares, shallow fry them till they turn golden all over. Removed from oil.
Step 3: Kueh Kak
Get your ingredients ready: chopped preserved turnip (.5 tbsp), minced garlic (2 tsp), 2 eggs, 2 handfuls bean sprouts, spring onions.
Put about 2 tbsp oil in wok. When hot, add turnip and garlic. Once fragrant, break in the eggs. Add a dash of light soy sauce into the eggs and mix them up a little in the wok and before they set. Add the fried radish cakes. Toss em about and add some seasoning to taste: vegetarian oyster sauce, light soy sauce, white pepper and a little bit of salt (just a little if at all cos the turnip and the sauces are already pretty salty).
Add the bean sprouts (be generous) and spring onions and after a couple of minutes (toss them around), your kueh kak is ready. Remove from the fire and serve.