Pandan Green Or Gula Melaka Brown, You Decide–Kuih Kosui or Kuih Ko Swee (卡穗糕 or Kuih Kaswi)



First of all, I have to apologize that the images were not as satisfactory as I wanted it to be as it was captured at night after I prepared the Kuih. I made the wrong decision of preparing it at evening.. As the kuih cannot be kept for long (preferably not overnight), I have decided to have my photo shooting session at night.


Kuih Kosui or ko swee or 卡穗糕 or kuih Kaswi is a type of nonya cakes steamed in small Chinese tea cups. It was usually served with freshly grated coconuts. It is supposing to have a springy texture and sweetened by the aromatic coconut sugar. However, in recent years, pandan flavour have developed have I have decided to share both variations in the same post.


As compared to our Malay brothers, most nonya recipes uses alkaline water, rice and tapioca flour where as Malay recipes uses kapur (edible calcium carbonate or chalk), rice and wheat flour.




Recipe 1 – For Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Kuih Kosui – prepare 20 small cups

  • 50 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 50 grams of tapioca flour (木薯粉)
  • 450 grams of lukewarm water (温水)
  • 80 grams of gula melaka or gula apong (椰糖或其他棕榈糖)
  • 20 grams of white sugar (白糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of alkaline water or lye water or kansui(碱水)

Recipe 2For Pandan flavour Kuih Kosui – prepare 20 small cups

  • 50 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 50 grams of tapioca flour (木薯粉)
  • 450 grams of lukewarm water(温水)
  • 5-6 stalks of Pandanus Leaves or screw pine leaves (香兰叶)
  • 100 grams of white sugar(白糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of alkaline water or lye water or kansui(碱水)

For both recipes

  • 200 grams of freshly grated coconut (椰丝)
  • Pinches of salt   (盐巴)
  • 2-3 pandan leaves cut into smaller pieces (香兰叶)



  • Lightly greased 20 Chinese small teacups suitable for steaming.


  • Heat the gula melaka or gula apong, white sugar and water in a microwave for about 1 minutes (until the sugar dissolved). Add the rice flour, tapioca flour and alkaline water, stir until well mix. Return the solution back to the microwave, heat for another 1-2 minutes. In the interval of 0.5 minute, take out the bowl and stir. As long as the solutions starts to thicken, you can take out from the microwave and transfer to the greased cups. Note that depending on individual microwave oven, it can be rather fast. Keep an eye and as long as it is thicken (but can still be poured, it is consider done).

  • If you do not have a microwave oven, perform the same procedures over the stove. Note that  you must use medium to low heat to heat the sugar and rice flour solution. Constant stirring is required until it thickens.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • For the Pandan Kosui, extract the pandan juice using the lukewarm water.  Once the juice is extracted, add all remaining water (if any), white sugar, rice flour, tapioca flour and alkaline water. Stir until well mix. Put the pandan flavoured rice solution in the microwave and heat for 1-2 minutes until it thickens but can still be poured. If you do not have a microwave oven, perform the same over the stove using medium to low heat and constant stirring is required until it thickens.


  • Once the partially cooked rice solution is ready, transfer it to the greased cups. Steam in a steamer for about 10 –15 minutes under medium to high heat. It is consider as cooked when colour changes and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Leave it to cool completely and use a toothpick to unmould the steamed cake.

  • For the grated coconut, steamed the grated coconut in a steamer,pinches of salt and the pandan leaves. Steam in the steamer for about 10-15 minutes or until the pandan leaves are soft.


  • For servings, scoop some grated coconut and put on top of the kuih kosui. Best served as a snack item.



Happy to add another Nonya kuih to my recipe list. I would say this is not difficult to prepare but taste is very nice. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste buds.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


32 thoughts on “Pandan Green Or Gula Melaka Brown, You Decide–Kuih Kosui or Kuih Ko Swee (卡穗糕 or Kuih Kaswi)

  1. Pingback: RECIPE INDEX ( Updated on 26 June 2014) | GUAI SHU SHU

  2. hihi , wanted to try tonight u think it can last till sunday afternoon ? i will not add in the coconut now .can i reheat it on sunday morning

  3. Hi hi. I m trying out your recipe but have some issues. Appreciate your advice. Is tapioca flour = tapioca starch? For the grated coconut, can I use desiccated coconut ? Is it the same?

  4. Pingback: RECIPE INDEX ( Updated on 16 AUGUST 2014) | GUAI SHU SHU

  5. hi kenneth, im so desperate to make this b cos i bought some kosui making cups and of cos kosui also is one of my fav kueh 🙂 but the problem is i don’t have kan sui to make kosui…heheh sounds funny right, what do u think if i insist to try without using kan sui/alkaline water, b cos i really really cannot find here at the supermarket. what do u think the kosui texture will like, with ur expert opinion or point of view?

  6. oh…i see, so means i can try without alkaline too….ok..ok, is good idea, maybe i can try 10 cups, so means, i cut down ur recipe into half.? anway, thanks Kenneth for quick respond, ur answer mean so much to confidence and decision making …. hehe..

  7. Hi kenneth, just letting u know that i managed to make this just now! 🙂 and guess what? surprisingly i found kapur sirih water at the meat thanks god for that. The kosui was so yummy, i can’t stop eating!! thank you for sharing your recipe was a great experience and im glad i make this with ur recipe just enough for small family. what a good try! i can make anytime i want now. thanks again.

  8. Pingback: 30 Local Singapore And Malaysian Kuih Special Compilation (30 种本地糕点汇编) | GUAI SHU SHU

  9. Hi Kenneth
    Kuih Kosui is one of my favourite.
    Thank you very much for sharing your receipi.

    I will try it out but would like to check with you if cutting down the sugar to 50gram…will it be okay?

    Will it effect the texture of the Kuih in anyway?

    Thanks In advance for your reply


  10. Hi kenneth, kuih kosui is my favourite nyonya kuih thanks for sharing, may I hv kuih kosui resepi in chinese version?

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