Corner Café

January 20, 2009

Cantonese Peanut Puffs / Kok Chai 脆油角仔

Filed under: Dim Sum — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,


This is another favourite treat during Chinese New Year. The texture of these mini puffs are supposed to be crispy and crunchy from what I could remember. However not having made them before, I tried out this recipe from one of my Chinese cookbooks, and they turned out to be soft crunchy and not very crispy. Although I don’t mind them that much as they are still quite delicious, I would prefer to find a recipe that will produce the light crispiness too. Maybe I need to reduce the amount of eggs, and increase the lard/oil proportion for the pastry… Anyway here’s the recipe for those of you who like this kind of texture.

Makes approx. 70 puffs (5cm-size)

300g (2 cups) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
70g (4 tablespoons) caster sugar
80g (4 tablespoons) lard, or canola oil if preferred
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Filling (enough for about 90 puffs):
140g (1 cup) Ground Peanut Filling
12g (1 tablespoon) plain flour
40g (2 tablespoons) smooth peanut butter, or Chinese sesame paste
Put the plain flour on a piece of kitchen paper and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove and transfer the flour to a new sheet of kitchen paper. Return to microwave and cook on HIGH for another minute. Sift the flour and add all other ingredients. Mix together to form a slightly sticky filling.


1. Put flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add lard or oil and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add beaten eggs and knead lightly into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and set aside for about 30 minutes; put into the refrigerator in hot weather.
3. Divide dough into 4 portions; work on one portion at a time and keep the other portions well wrapped to prevent drying out. Roll dough out to about 3mm thick. Use a 5cm round cutter, cut out rounds of pastry. (Alternatively, use the mouth of a glass, about 7cm diameter, to cut out rounds to make slightly larger puffs.)
4. Place 1/2 teaspoon of filling into the centre of each pastry round (use 1 teaspoon filling for the larger 7cm pastry rounds). Fold the pastry over to half-moon shape to enclose the filling and seal by crimping the edges into rope shape. (Or use the turnover mould to make the puffs.) Arrange the pastry on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling.

I put an egg in there as a cpmparison to the size of the puffs; the 3 lower left puffs are 7cm in size with the 7cm turnover mould shown, the rest are 5cm puffs.

5. Deep-fry the pastry puffs until golden brown.

Taste: Crunchy puffs with delicious peanut filling
Consume: Best within 1-2 weeks
Storage: Store in airtight containers
Recipe Reference: ‘脆角仔’ recipe from the cookbook, ‘飲食資訊庫.專業系列7﹕中國點心製作圖解 Chinese Dim Sum in Pictures’ by 江獻珠


  1. sd

    try my recipe, the pastry is crispy, could it be the rice flour and less egg?

    Comment by lily ng — January 20, 2009 @ 2:26 am | Reply

  2. Lily,
    Thanks, just found your recipe.
    Yes, the rice flour would definitely make the pastry lighter and crispier (same principle of adding rice flour or cornflour to make shortbread), and the best pastry I’ve made previously usually contains only a small amount of egg.

    Comment by SeaDragon — January 20, 2009 @ 8:28 am | Reply

  3. OMG! My grandmother made them just once when I was little and I remember eating so many. The filling wasn’t ground peanuts, rather almost finely chopped peanuts and granular sugar. And yes, they are supposed to be and stay crunchy til they’re all gone 😉

    Comment by vegan.eating — March 9, 2009 @ 2:36 am | Reply

  4. Planning to this puff, I was wondering that do u have the filling with sambal?

    Comment by dolphing — November 29, 2009 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

    • Sorry, I don’t have filling with sambal, but you should be able to find heaps of recipe for it on the net.

      Comment by SeaDragon — December 5, 2009 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  5. I remember our armour in Singapore making these, but she didn’t use any fat in the pastry or the filling I don’t think and it was just peanuts and caster sugar i think which cooked into a crunchy sweet centre and the pastry was very dry and kind of bland really.

    Do you know how to make Toh hup sow walnut biscuits? Would absolutely love to know how to make those.

    Comment by james — September 14, 2010 @ 7:22 am | Reply

    • Hup Toh Sow recipe in in my Chinese blog, Kopitiam

      Comment by SeaDragon — September 15, 2010 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  6. Hi Seadragon, I notice you did not put water to your pastry as some other web site recommend. Do you know the difference of the pastry if we put water into the dough?

    Comment by Lori — July 3, 2011 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

    • They are just different recipes, here the moisture component is provided by the eggs, which makes the pastry dough ‘richer’. Basic dough using water and not egg obviously is not as ‘rich’.

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 8, 2011 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  7. Thank you SeaDragon, I will try using eggs. Let you know.

    Comment by Lori — July 9, 2011 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

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