PIE tee is a Nyonya appetiser with a variety of fillings such as egg, tofu, lettuce, noodles and cucumber.
Its most common filling is shredded sengkuang or jicama, a root vegetable that is sometimes called yam bean or Chinese turnip.
When we made this at home, the task of frying the shells usually fell on me.
While my mum prepared the fillings and condiments that go with it, I stood over the frying pot for long hours, dipping in the batter and frying each piece of top hat shell to a light golden brown.
Back then I could handle two moulds at a time.
Pie tee should be consumed immediately after they are assembled.
The same way we serve popiah at home, we usually assemble the pie tee ourselves, filling the shells with whatever we want, as and when we want it.
When we make this appetiser at home, it becomes a pie tee party.
It’s been a while since I made these crispy morsels, mainly because it takes a long time to fry the shells.
Nowadays, whenever we have a craving for them, we pop over to a Peranakan restaurant and order just a few with our meal. It certainly whets the appetite.
- Pie Tee Shells:
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 190ml water
- 300g yam beans, shredded
- 50g carrots, shredded
- 2 tbsp dried prawns, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp chopped shallot
- 50g cucumber
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar or to taste
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- Chilli sauce dip:
- 2 red chillies
- 2 hot chillies
- 3 bird's eye chillies
- 1 calamansi lime, seeds removed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Put sifted flours into a small mixing bowl. Add egg and salt and pour in water gradually to make a smooth and runny batter. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Leave aside to stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Heat the pie tee mould in the hot oil for 1–2 minutes. Remove the hot pie tee mould and dip into the batter.
- Then dip the mould back into the hot oil and keep it there until pie tee is golden brown. Loosen the pie tee gradually until it slips away from the mould.
- Remove the pie tee cases and drain well on absorbent paper towels. When cool, store in an airtight container to retain crispiness.
- Heat oil in a wok and fry garlic, shallot and dried prawns until fragrant. Add yam beans, carrot and seasoning. Stir and cook, tossing the vegetables well until almost dry. Dish up and cool completely.
- Serve pie tee shells with the filling topped with a little chilli sauce and some chopped spring onion.