Garlic chive cakes “Chai gue”

The first time I ate the garlic chives cake was with my husband’s family, who are originally from southern China. So good and crispy and plant-based, delicious! These “Chai gue”, as they are called in Teochew, are made with rice flour and filled with garlic chives. They can be eaten steamed or fried. I love both versions. Here I share with you our family recipe. I have found online many variations, so do not hesitate to adapt the recipe, particularly the filling, to your taste!



  • 250g rice flour
  • 80g tapioca starch
  • If you want the cake to be translucid, you can add 50g glutinous rice flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • About 400ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil


  • 400g garlic chives diced (Gu Chai)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt ½ teaspoons
  • Sugar 1 teaspoon

For cooking

  • Vegetable oil like sunflower oil

How to make the cakes

First, prepare the filling

  1. Wash  the garlic chives and dry it well
  2. Cut the garlic chives into little sections
  3. Add some vegetable oil to the leaves, the salt and the sugar.

You can reduce the amount of salt and sugar, if you wish, and still have a tasty cake, particularly if you will eat it with a sauce.

Then, make the dough

  1. Put in a bowl the flour and the tapioca starch
  2. Slowly add the boiling water and whisk
  3. If the dough is too thick, add some boiling water
  4. Whisk well and form a ball

And now it’s time to make the cakes!

Before making the cakes, set the steamer on and put some water to boil.

Since the dough is pretty sticky, add some rice flour.

  1. Take some dough and make a ball and shape it into a circle
  2. Fill it with the garlic chive filling and close it as for the dumplings.

And that’s it! The cake is ready to be cooked in the steamer.

Once you have made all the cakes, you cook them in the steamer for about 10 minutes.

Steamed and pan-fried garlic chive cakes (Gu chai Gue)

They are ready for you to eat with a sauce or, if you want, you can fry them in a pan with some vegetable oil. For this, first take them out of the steamer and let cool, put some oil in a pan and when it is hot put the cakes and let them lightly brown.


About Valentina

Valentina is an international communication consultant. She has served communication and PR agencies for several years by providing insights into local French and Italian food trends and traditions. Thanks to her multicultural background, she focuses on promoting intercultural collaboration for sustainable living.