Kuih Pai Tee

Kuih Pie Tee is made up of crispy thin pastry cups filled with sautéd jicama, omelet and fresh cucumber strips. Also known as top hat because of its shape, it is one of the many popular Peranakan appetizers. It is crispy, savoury and tastes amazing with chilli sauce.

5 stars

Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 120 mins


Pai Tee, Pie Tee, Top Hats, 小金杯

Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese

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Nutrition per Serving

90 kcal
14 g
1 g
6 g

‘Pai tee’ is a fun appetizer and is well known as a Peranakan dish. Shaped like an overturned top hat, it is made up of fried crispy shells which use a combination of wheat, rice and corn flour. Pai tee cups are filled with stir-fried jicama and fresh vegetables. Besides looking beautiful, they are also very unique indeed.

Pai tee filling

The filling of pai tee is made up of strips of jicama sautéd with fermented bean paste. You may cook the filling in advanced as it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat the dish by steaming or microwaving before filling it into the pie tee cups.

Substitute for jicama

Jicama or yam bean is not easily found out of Southeast Asia. They are also popular in Mexico, Cental, and South America. If you are unable to get your hands on them, Chayote (which was used in my fruit salad recipe) would make a good substitute as it has a similar taste. Please note that the yam bean needs to be cooked until it softens or else it would be difficult to fill them into the crispy pai tee cups.

Crispy cups

While trying to find the perfect recipe for crispy cups, I experimented using various combination of flours of different amounts and found that those with more wheat flour tastes better but unfortunately, they do not stay crispy for long. Finally, I settled for this version which yields crispy cups.

You may substitute tapioca flour with corn flour. Do not fret if the batter appears to be diluted. Rest assured, the outcome would be great.

Where to get pai tee mould?

As for the mould, you can try your luck on Amazon and look for the Swedish timbale mould. Within Southeast Asia, you can look for pai tee moulds in shops that sell baking products.

Chilli sauce

Kuih pai tee or top hats are served with sweet chilli sauce which is slightly thicker in texture. It can also be served with garlic chilli sauce which is savoury and sourish. Pick your favourite chilli sauce and learn how to make them.

Although making pai tee is not difficult, I have to admit it is rather time consuming. On the other hand, this appetizer is definitely a crowd-puller and I bet your guests will be busy clicking away for the best food shot.


400 g
yam bean (jicama sengkuang)
1⁄2 tbsp
garlic clove(s)
1 tbsp
fermented soybean paste (taucu)
50 g
tofu (firm)
1 1⁄4 tsp
600 ml
1 tbsp
dark soy sauce
1 1⁄2 tbsp
soy sauce
1⁄2 tbsp
20 g
wheat flour
60 g
rice flour
25 g
corn starch
fresh chilli (red)
chilli sauce (Thai)

Steps to Prepare

Kuih Pai Tee Step 1

Step 1 of 4

    • 400 g yam bean (jicama sengkuang)

Remove the skin of yam bean and cut into strips. Soak yam bean for at least 4 hours and then rinse to remove starch.

Kuih Pai Tee Step 2

Step 2 of 4

    • 1⁄2 tbsp oil
    • 2 garlic clove(s)
    • 1 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
    • 50 g prawns
    • 1 tofu (firm)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 400 ml water
    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 1 1⁄2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1⁄2 tbsp sugar

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat to stir-fry minced garlic and fermented bean paste until fragrant. Add prawns and continue stir-frying. Add yam bean and tofu strips. To season, add a pinch of salt. Add enough water to cover the ingredients, followed by soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Mix well, reduce heat to minimum and simmer for at least an hour or until yam bean softens.

Kuih Pai Tee Step 3

Step 3 of 4

    • 20 g wheat flour
    • 60 g rice flour
    • 25 g corn starch
    • 1⁄4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg(s)
    • 200 ml water

To prepare the cups, mix wheat flour, rice flour, cornflour and salt in a bowl. Then, add egg and water. For a smooth batter, run it through a sieve. Set it aside for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Heat oil over low to medium heat. Dip pie tee mould into the heated oil and then into the batter. Immediately immerse it into the oil to fry until golden brown. Repeat the process.

Kuih Pai Tee Step 4

Step 4 of 4

    • 1 scallions
    • fresh chilli (red)
    • chilli sauce (Thai)
    • 1⁄4 cucumber(s)
    • 1 egg(s)

Fry an omelette and cut into little cubes. Also, julienne cucumber, slice chillies and scallions as garnishing. Fill pie tee cups with the stir-fried yam bean, fresh cucumber strips, chillies, scallions and omelette. Top up with the chilli sauce of your choice.

Published: November 20, 2016

1 Discussions

Pink Movie
6 months ago

Pink Movie

Which country in Southeast Asia are you?! In Singapore and Malaysia, yam beans are found EVERYWHERE EASILY. Its called Chinese Turnip here and every grocer carries it. So i dunno why you say it cant be found. Its soooo common here.

6 months ago


Sorry, may I know where was it mentioned?

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