16 Singapore Kueh: Traditional Kueh Battle, Who’s the best?

most traditional kueh in singapore

Traditional Kuehs From 3 Different Heritage

Are you like me that has little to no knowledge about kuehs? Don’t be a sua ku (mountain turtle) lah!

It’s high time you learn more about these traditional kueh in Singapore and their heritage. Read till the end to find out what kind of kuehs have no expiry date.

Do note that the word ‘kueh’ is a direct pronunciation of chinese, while a broad term in Malay and Bahasa language is known as ‘kue’ or ‘kuih’. When translated to English, ‘kuehs’ are items like cakes, dumplings, cookies, pastries, biscuits, puddings.

We’ve also recorded the Google Reviews for the recommended stalls/ shops that sell the best kueh in March 2020. 

6 Most Famous Chinese Traditional Kuihs in Singapore

#1. Soon Kueh

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #1

soon kueh

Guan Poh Gourmet | S$6.00

About the Kueh

Soon Kueh is an old-school Teochew chinese kueh that is both healthy and tasty. Its translucent rice flour skin is packed with jicama, dried shrimp and mushrooms. Dip your Soon Kueh in the dark soy sauce and chilli paste for an extra kick.

Where to buy the best Soon Kueh in Singapore

Place: Yong’s Teochew Kueh

Address: 1022 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534760

Voted: 4.2 stars from 151 Google Reviews 

#2. Crystal Skin Kueh / Shui Jin Bao (水晶包)

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #2

Crystal Skin Kueh

99 Nonya Kueh | S$39.99

About the Kueh

The direct Chinese translation of the Crystal Skin Kueh is called Shui Jin Bao( 水晶包) or Chwee Jia Bao. It’s appearance is extremely similar to Soon Kueh and often mistaken by many people. This crystal clear shiny kueh is filled with either minced pork or chicken. Sometimes red bean paste or gingko nuts may be used to sweeten the kueh. I recommend to avoid the idea of ‘dabao’ (takeaway) and it’s best that you eat the Shui Jin Bao while it’s steamy hot. Once the temperature drops, the skin/ dough of the kueh will no longer be soft and infact, it can become a little leathery as the starch starts to set.

Where to buy the best Crystal Skin Kueh in Singapore

Place: Tiong Bahru Lien Fa Shui Jing Pau

Address: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-10, Singapore 151120

Voted:  3.9 stars from 13 Google Reviews 

#3. Huat Kueh

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #3

Huat Kueh

Gin Thye | S$2.00

About the Kueh

Huat Kueh deserves more attention than it gets. These steamed Palm Sugar Kuehs are an old-school delight served during Chinese festive seasons and any auspicious day. Instead of baking, the batter is steamed until the top splits into a characteristic “split top” of four segments. Given the name ‘Huat’, the Huat Kueh (or Fatt Kao in Cantonese) is translated to Prosperity Cakes and they signify an abundance of good luck and prosperity.

Where to buy the best Huat Kueh in Singapore

Place: Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry

Address: Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Rd, #01-39, Singapore 160055

Voted:  4.4 stars from 230 Google Reviews 

#4. Wa Ko Kueh

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #4

Wa Ko Kueh

99 Nonya Kueh | S$31.04

About the Kueh

Wa Ko Kueh is just like the Huat Kueh, except more colorful, smaller and looks like cupcakes! The roots of Wa Ko Kueh originated from the province of Fujian, China and is often used for ancestral worship. Back then, the kueh was steamed in small porcelain bowls (which is called ‘Wan’ in chinese) with black/ brown sugar. Along the way, this traditional cupcake-like delicacy became ‘Wa Ko Kueh’ today.

Where to buy the best Wa Ko Kueh in Singapore

Place: Toh Chuan Kee

Address: Blk 3017 Bedok North Street 5,#05-12 Gourmet East Kitchen, Singapore 486121

Read More About Toh Chuan Kee here (not sponsored)

#5. Yi Bua Kueh

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #5

Yi Bua

99 Nonya Kueh | S$37.94

About the Kueh

Yi Bua is a Hainanese Kueh that is made with glutinous rice flour as the base. It is stuffed with roasted sesame, chopped peanut, coconut flakes and ginger filling that has been sweetened with gula melaka. You can find Yi Bua on celebratory occasions in the homes of traditional families especially during weddings, dinner parties, gatherings and housewarming parties.

Where to buy the best Yi Bua Kueh in Singapore

Place: 海南小吃 意粑 Yi Bua (Hainanese Coconut Kueh)

Address: Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre, 22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310022

Voted:  4.5 stars from 11 Google Reviews 

#6. Png Kueh

Singapore Chinese Traditional Kuih #6

Png Kueh

99 Nonya Kueh | S$39.99

About the Kueh

Png Kueh (or Peng Kueh) has its roots from the Teochews and is commonly spotted in most hawker centres. They are made from glutinous rice cakes with different hues of pink and filled with a variety of ingredients like dried shrimps, mushrooms, peanuts. What makes them so savoury is that they can be cooked either by steaming or pan-fried. To serve, coat them with sweet dark soy sauce and sambal chili to get that explosion of flavour in your mouth.

Where to buy the best Png Kueh in Singapore

Place: Ji Xiang Confectionery

Address: #01-33 Everton Park, Blk 1, Singapore 081001

Voted:  4.4 stars from 175 Google Reviews 

5 Best Nonya Kuehs in Singapore

#7. Kueh Koswee

Singapore Nonya Kueh #1

Kueh Koswee

99 Nonya Kueh | S$32.19

About the Kueh

An all time Nonya favourite pudding-like kueh, the Kueh Koswee (some call it Kuih Kosui) is lush with coconut milk, heady with gula melaka and thick tapioca flour. It’s wobbly, pretty jade-like texture and rich flavour is a result from steaming. To serve, the Kueh Koswee is sliced into cubes and tossed with lightly sweet and salted grated coconut flakes. Yum Yum!

Where to buy the best Kueh Koswee in Singapore

Place: Chalk Farm

Address: 290 Orchard Rd, #B1-K24, Singapore 238859

Voted:  3.4 stars from 59 Google Reviews 

#8. Kue Dadar

Singapore Nonya Kueh #2

Kue Dadar

99 Nonya Kueh | S$37.94

About the Kue

Good Glorious Food…. The Nonya Kue Dadar (or Kuith Tayap) is such a cute-looking kue and my personal favourite! It is basically a rolled pandan crepe wrapped with sweet grated coconut stuffing! In order to differentiate whether the Nonya Kue Dadar is made from freshly squeezed pandan juice, just look at it’s green crepe. It must have a smooth and nice dadar texture. I also love it’s coconut filling where they are steeped in high quality gula melaka or Malaysian palm sugar. Perfect for an afternoon tea while reading or watching a movie at home.

Where to buy the best Kue Dadar in Singapore

Place: Chong Wen Ge Cafe

Address: 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619

Voted:  4.1 stars from 127 Google Reviews 

#9. Pulut Inti (also known as Rice Kueh)

Singapore Nonya Kueh #3

Pulut Inti

99 Nonya Kueh | S$37.94

About the Kueh

These bite-size Pulut Inti (or Rice Kueh) are made with steamed glutinous rice that have been infused with sweet coconut milk. Shaped like a pyramid, the Pulut Inti has it’s tip packed with grated coconut that is cooked with cane sugar and jawa/ palm sugar. Sometimes, they have a nice shade of blue at the tip or the base of the rice because they have been dyed with pea flowers. It’s such a great snack to be enjoyed over an afternoon tea or serve as a dessert.

Where to buy the best Pulut Inti in Singapore

Place: Borobudur Snacks Shop Pte Ltd

Address: 537 Bedok North Street 3, Singapore 460537

Voted:  3.2 stars from 33 Google Reviews 

#10. Kuih Ambon

Singapore Nonya Kueh #4

Kuih Ambon

99 Nonya Kueh | S$37.94

About the Kuih

Kuith Ambon, also known as Bika Ambon has its own unique characteristic. In the olden days, people used to enjoy stretching and pulling each strand of the Kuith Ambon before eating it. It’s not a requirement to eat like that but more of getting that “stretchy satisfaction”. Each strand of the kuith has to be stretched perfectly from the top to the end to form a vertical honeycomb structure. This makes it irresistible for the eater to peel strand by strand while enjoying their Kuith Ambon.

Where to buy the best Kuih Ambon in Singapore

Place: Bengawan Solo (Named after renown river in Indonesia, it offers a variety of traditional and contemporary (Indonesian) cakes and sweets.)

Address: Located in Multiple Malls

#11. Nine Layer Kueh / Gao Teng Kueh / Steamed Kue Lapis

Singapore Nonya Kueh #5

Nine Layer Kueh

99 Nonya Kueh | S$34.99

About the Kueh

The Nine Layer Kueh is like a friendship bond among the people in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Chinese call it ‘Gao Teng Kueh’, while the Malays call it ‘Kue Lapis’. The recipes are almost similar where gluten-free flour like rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour or even sago (cassava) flour are used as its main ingredient. It also require patience to make the signature ‘layers’ for the kueh. The Chinese will usually add three colors – green, red and white before steaming the kueh. As a kid, it’s always fun to peel each layer of the Gao Teng Kueh one by one before consuming them piece by piece. And as for ‘Kue Lapis’, continue to read on to find out more!

Where to buy the best Nine Layer Kueh in Singapore

Place: Molly’s Nonya Kuehs

Address: 104 Hougang Ave 1, #01-1121, Singapore 530104

Voted:  4.3 stars from 30 Google Reviews 

5 Most Mouth-Watering Indonesian / Malay traditional Kueh

#12. Kue Lapis

Malay Traditional Kueh #1

Kue Lapis

Your Very Treatz | S$30.00

About the Kue

Unlike the Nine Layer Kueh, Kue Lapis is baked instead of steamed and it is by far… The. Most. Unique. Kue! Not only does it have different names (like Lapis Legit or Spekkoek or Thousand Layers Cake), it is also a hybrid of the Indonesian and Dutch cake. The Dutch name this kue as bacon cake (in Dutch, ‘Spekkoek’) because the combination of each layer looks like bacon. Even though there’s no bacon (made with only spices), a traditional recipe may use up to 40 egg yolks to yield that rich and tender cake. So for those weight-watchers out there, be sure to truly enjoy the process of indulging that one small piece of kue.

Where to buy the best Kue Lapis in Singapore

Place: Arteastiq Bistro

Address: 68 Orchard Road, #03-70/72, Plaza, Singapore 238839

Voted:  4.2 stars from 613 Google Reviews 

#13. Kue Jagung

Malay Traditional Kueh #2

Kue Jagung

KedaiKueKue | S$31.00

About the Kue

Kue Jagung is a Sweet Corn Pudding that is super easy to prepare and also makes a delightful addition to any dessert table. A typical old school flavour include ingredients like Jell-O or Vanilla, Cream style corn, coconut milk and agar-agar powder. If you are interested in making the Kue Jagung yourself, check out a recipe that I’ve found from Roti n Rice (not sponsored)! In her post, it’s like time traveling back to the 90s while she shared her memories.

Where to buy the best Kue Jagung in Singapore

Place: Kintamani

Address: 405 HAVELOCK ROAD#03 169633, Singapore 169633

Voted:  4.1 stars from 410 Google Reviews 

#14. Lemper Arem Arem

Malay Traditional Kueh #3

Lemper Arem Arem

KedaiKueKue | S$30.80

About the Kuih

If you love sticky rice, Lemper Arem Arem could be your next love in line. The coconut flavored sticky glutinous rice is filled with well-seasoned shredded/ floss/ minced chicken, diced carrots and chopped onions. Some stalls would even add in fresh dry herbs like coriander, cumin, and turmeric. To pack all the flavour within this Indonesian Javanese savoury snack, the rice kueh is compressed into a cylinder-like shape inside fresh leaves like banana, jeruk purut, salam or pandan leaf.

Where to buy the best Lemper Arem Arem in Singapore

Place: Rumah Bebe Pte Ltd

Address: 113 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428803

Voted:  4.0 stars from 45 Google Reviews 

#15. Kuih Lopis

Malay Traditional Kueh #4

Kuih Lopis

KedaiKueKue | S$15.00

About the Kuih

Kuith Lopis is an Indonesian traditional kuith that used to be especially popular along the Northern part of Malaysia. Right now, it might be a little challenging to spot stalls that are still selling Kuith Lopis. In Singapore, you can check out this humble little stall named ‘Malay Kueh’ in Tampines (not sponsored). If you are lucky to spot any Kuith Lopis, do try one and leave a Google review so as to keep the heritage going. Its rich taste comes from the glutinous rice that is cooked in squeezed juice from the pandan or screwpine leaves. Then, coated with slightly salted coconut shavings and drizzle with thick gula melaka syrup.

Where to buy the best Kuith Lopis in Singapore

Place: Malay Kueh

Address: 11 Tampines Street 32, Singapore 529287

Voted:  5.0 stars from 1 Google Review

#16. Onde Onde

Malay Traditional Kueh #5

Onde Onde

Melvados Singapore | S$35.00

About the Kuih

In Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Onde-Onde (or Ondeh Ondeh or Klepon) is these delicious glutinous rice balls that are packed with gula melaka fillings. They are like little sweet bombs where flavours explodes like fireworks with one bite into an Onde-Onde. While the sweetness from the melted palm sugar or gula melaka ooze out, the slightly salted coconut flakes that are coated around the Onde-Onde will even out the overall taste perfectly. I’ve also included a link to a Melvados’s Ondeh Ondeh cake in the orange button below! If you haven’t try it yet, please do! Melvados’s Ondeh Ondeh cake has received lots of good reviews and it is a must to try at least once in your life time. 

Where to buy the best Onde-Onde in Singapore

Place: HarriAnn’s Nonya Table

Address: 230 Victoria St, #01-01A Bugis Junction Towers, Singapore 188024

Voted:  4.0 stars from 188 Google Reviews

We've gotcha!

Kuehs that have no expiry date doesn’t exist unless they are inedible!

If you are a kueh lover or knows any, buy them a kueh with ‘no expiry date’!

Kuehs with no expiry date

Nyonya Kueh Food Magnet

Singapore Kueh Cushion

Meykrs Ang Ku Kueh Cushion

Tutu Kueh Earrings

Handmade Clay Earrings - Png Kueh

FAQs About The Best Tradition Kueh in Singapore

Nonya kueh can be kept in cool dry places for up to 3 days and if refrigerated, it can last up to 4 5 days. It is highly recommended for same day consumption. Otherwise, please remember to reheat by steaming the Nonya kueh after you take them out from the fridge.

Yes, you can freeze kueh lapis. It can last up to 1 month if you use a piece of plastic (Kleen wrap) and wrapped around it. Kueh Lapis can last up to 10 days if refrigerated.

Ang Ku Kueh can be stored in cool dry room temperature for up to 1 day. If you cannot eat within the next day of purchase, you must store inside the refrigerated and consume it within 3 days.

Yes, you can keep Ang Ku Kueh overnight. However, if you left it uncovered for a prolong period of time, the Ang Ku Kueh may turn hard. You can try to steam it before consumption.

In A Nutshell

Most Singaporeans, our dear neighbours (like Malaysia, Indonesia) and even tourists love asian’s traditional kuehs. My parents and grandparents especially love them as these kuehs invoke memories from the olden days.

It’s such a pity that the art of making them is slowly disappearing. I truly hope that as one united Singapore, we can continue our efforts to preserve this wonderful heritage of ours so that future generations can learn and even make them.

Speaking of Singapore’s Heritage, do you know that you can pledge your support for the nomination of Hawker Culture in Singapore for UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage?

Follow #OurHawkerCulture on Instagram and take your pledge to show your support. Results will only be known end-2020. I’m so looking forward to it!

Catheryn Wong
Catheryn Wong
Let's just say that Catheryn loves planning... a lot. She spends her free time exploring what to buy for dinner, scheduling a date for housework, checking when is the next birthday celebrations, etc. That explains why she has a unique writing style and the way she shares her experience.

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