Updated: Aug 21, 2021
This may seem like a weird pastry for a lot of people here in Australia, but it is something that I grew up enjoying a lot. Kap Chong is a Malaysian Chinese version of a doughnut that is wrap around spiced glutinous rice and fried before serving. It taste something like a salty dough with sweet sticky rice. Kap Chong is a street food and is often consume as breakfast or a snack. Its closest cousin is the ones that are wrapped around with sweetened red bean paste instead of sticky rice.
Glutinous rice is widely consumed in South East Asia as a staple very much like bread is in the Western Culture. Unlike regular rice, glutinous rice are usually steamed to cook and have a sticky texture. The cooked glutinous rice can be used as a savoury dish but they are also very often used as a sweet dish as well.
When preparing for the Kap Chong, you need to plan your time as the glutinous rice will need to be soaked in water preferably at least 8 hours or overnight. If you have a pressure cooker, you can omit the soaking and simply wash the rice multiple times then add in the required amount of water and cook in the pressure cooker.
When preparing for the dough, a starter mix is used. Starter is a partial dough that includes yeast in them with some sugar. The starter dough needs approximately and hour to two to activate. This is where it imparts flavour to the dough. You will know that the starter dough is ready when the mixture starts to increase triple in volume and looks really bubbly and light. Depending on the temperature of the water that you are using, the time that takes for the starter dough to be ready will be different. The ideal temperature for the water will be around 35°C - 38°C.
When the Kap Chong starter is ready, it is then added into the rest of the final dough recipe and mixed until they form to a dough. It is important however that you add in the water gradually at this point to adjust the consistency of the dough. The dough should be pliable and slightly soft but not too soft and slack that it makes it hard to handle.
You will also realise that baking powder and bi carbonate soda is used in the dough. These raising agent will give that airy interior in the dough when you fry the Kap Chong, giving you a very light and airy texture.
Once the dough are made, the final dough will need to rest to bulk ferment for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight in the fridge. Ensure that you place the dough in a large enough bowl as it will continue to increase in volume.
Yield: 12 - 14 Doughnuts
Note: You will need to organise your time when making the Kap Chang as some of the component needs several hours of resting or soaking. If you do not have a pressure cooker, the glutinous rice is best left soaking in water overnight. Starter dough and final dough is best made in advance or the night before if you are planning to make them first thing in the next morning. Alternatively, prepare them early in the morning to finish in the evening.
200 g Glutinous rice
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
130 g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
3 g Instant Yeast
130 ml Water (warm not hot) - 35 °C
165 g Bread flour
7 g Baking Powder
5 g Baking Soda
50 g Caster Sugar / Granulated Sugar
40- 50 g Water
6 g Salt
White and Black Sesame seeds
Water & brush
Bread flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying (I use Canola Oil)
The night before
Soak the glutinous rice in water sitting above the level of the rice and let it sit overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Mix all the starter dough ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and let it rest for 1 hour. At this point the starter will rise significantly and be very active and have risen triple its volume with lots of air bubbles. If you get to this stage, it is ready to add the starter dough in the rest of the final dough ingredients. If the starter dough still doesn't look too active at this point, leave for for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Place all the ingredients except for the water for the final dough in with the starter dough mixture and mix well at medium speed the gradually add in the water. Adjust the amount of water if necessary. You want the dough to come together to a smooth dough but not dry nor too wet to handle. Once you have added the necessary water, continue to mix over medium speed for approximately 10 - 12 minutes or until the dough starts to come together and pulls away from the side and form in to a smooth dough. The dough should feel pliable and do not break easily when you try to stretch a small piece of the dough.
Cover and let the dough overnight in the fridge.
Note: If your dough feels too wet, simply add spoonful of flour to adjust. It is recommended that when you add in the water, you stream in some of the water then allow the flour to absorb the water and judge the consistency of the dough before adding in more water.
The dough can be left in the fridge for up to 24 hours or at least 6 hours standing at 5°C.
The next day
Steam the glutinous rice
The next day, strain the soaked rice then refill the rice with half cup of water in a bowl and steam for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice turn sticky and is tender. Steam for longer if you like a stickier texture ( I prefer to still feel the grains of soft sticky rice when I eat them :) )
Once the rice is steamed, add in the sugar, salt and spice and mix with a wooden spoon and mix until well combined. Transfer the rice onto a cling film and wrap it to a log of approximately 300 mm in length then tighten the sides. Leave to fully cool before assembly.
For the dough
1. Once the rice log have fully cooled, flour your worktop well then transfer the dough from the fridge over. With the help of a rolling pin, roll the to dough to approximately 300mm x 190 mm rectangle or with similar length to the rice log and wide enough to cover the roll.
2. Brush the top of the dough with some water, then place the cooled rice on one edge then roll to fully cover it with the dough. Trim off any excess so you don't end up with too much dough on one side. Pinch the seams to fully seal.
Lightly dust some flour again on the bench them roll the dough/glutinous rice to approximately 400mm long log or until it is 50 mm diameter. Roll shorter or thicker if you want a larger Kap Chong, this will mean that the yield will be less.
Trim off both the ends if necessary.
3. With a serrated knife, cut the Kap Chong log to 12 equal pieces with approximately 25 mm in width. Place the portioned Kap Chong onto a tray lined with non stick parchment paper with the cut side facing up. Once they are all portioned, lightly spray the surface of the Kap Chong then place a piece of cling film on top. Press the individual pieces of Kap Chong with the palm of your hand to flatten then leave covered for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, pre heat the frying oil to 165°C. Depending on the size of your pot, you can fry a few Kap Chong at a time or fry them one at a time.
4. When the oil is ready, place the Kap Chong into the oil and fry for 45 seconds then flip it over and fry for another 45 seconds until they are golden in colour.
Transfer the Kap Chong on to a grease oil paper to absorb any excess oil then sprinkle the top of the rice with some black and white sesame seeds.
Note: Ensure to monitor the temperature of the oil after every fry and maintain the temperature at between 165°C- 170°C. If the oil is too cold, the doughnut will absorb too much of the oil and become too greasy and if it is too hot, the doughnut will burn on the outside before it is cooked on the inside.
Fried Kap Chong is recommended to be consumed on the day it is made. If you want to keep them, store them into an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Simply heat the doughnuts in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds before serving for best eating quality.