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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Making Top Hats Or Pie Tee Shells & Other Snacks For Chinese New Year.

Two days ago, I suddenly thought of frying Top Hats or Pie Tee shells. Pie Tee snack is one of our family's favourite snacks. It has been quite a while since I last made Pie Tee snacks for the family. I checked the ingredients and found everything I needed in the refrigerator. I also found the Pie Tee metal mould tucked away in the corner of my kitchen shelf. I planned to make it yesterday morning after breakfast but somehow it got delayed till later in the afternoon.
My Top Hats or Pie Tee shells project got started around 3 pm.
The recipe is simple but to fry the shells is not so easy, especially when I am doing it alone without any helper. Frying takes a long time but it takes a jiffy to finish eating these. Some refer to these shells as Top Hats because they do look like Top Hats.
  • First, prepare and mix the ingredients together to get the batter ready. 
  • Heat up the cooking oil in a pot or kuali. Make sure the depth of the oil should be more or preferably 1.5 times the height of the Pie Tee mould.
  • Once the oil is heated up, lower the fire to medium and heat up the Pie Tee mould. Do not overheat the mould.
  • Take out the mould from the oil, let the oil drip from the mould and lightly tap the bottom of the mould  onto the kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Then dip the mould into the batter, making sure the batter is about 0.5 cm below the top of the mould.
  • Lift up the mould to check and make sure the bottom of the mould is covered with batter.
  • Then dip the mould into the hot oil and jiggle lightly the mould in the oil with up and down movement. The top batter will come free from the mould and spread out.
  • Let it remain in the oil till the batter is firm enough to retain its shape. Then lift the mould away from the shell.
  • Use a pair of bamboo chopsticks to turn the shells in the oil till they are evenly fried golden brown.
  • Lift them up from the oil to drain on a metal rack and later transferred to a tray lined with kitchen paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • When cooled, place the shells in air-tight containers lined with oil absorbent sheets. 
  • These Top Hats or Pie Tee shells are then filled with stir-fried Chinese Turnips (Yam bean, Jicama, sengkuang or bangkuang). The filling can be substituted with diced fruits or veggie salads, etc.
Frying Top Hats / Pie Tee Shells Video

There are other better recipes out there but meanwhile I am still using this recipe which I copied from some online source few years ago and I can't remember where exactly. I like this recipe because the shells turned out like Top Hats and easier for holding the filling.
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I have been busy making homemade CNY snacks for these 2 weeks. Just a little bit of this and that. Homemade are way much cheaper and tastier too. The following are the snacks I have made.

Nga Koo Or Arrow Head Chips
Deep Fried Crispy Arrow Heads Chips (Nga Koo). This year I bought only about 7 kg of arrow heads. Last year I bought and fried about 13 plus kg. If you are interested in the simple steps of making these chips, you can click here to read.

Meat Floss Rolls
I bought 1/2 kg of meat floss to make these meat floss rolls. I bought the spring rolls skin (5 x 5 inch square) and further cut into 4 quarters to fold these meat rolls. I usually fold these after dinner and deep freeze them until I am ready to deep fry or bake them. If you are interested to know the simple steps of making these meat floss rolls, you can click here to read.
For the past years I have deep fried them but this year I tried baking them to cut down on oil usage. I haven't found the right temperature or how to get an even golden brown but taste wise, they are crispy. Suits me fine because these are for home consumption only.  The best part is that they are not oily.

Prawn Crackers From Teluk Intan
This was a last minute decision. A friend and I bought 1 packet each these dried prawn crackers few days ago from our regular rojak shop. I sun dried them, ready for deep frying.
I broke them into shorter length before deep frying. Once deep fried, the crackers will expand in size.
Once cooled, these are kept in air tight container ready for consumption. They are usually eaten by itself. Some likes to dip it in rojak sauce or some chili sauce. 
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The following flower photos are for joining Floral Passion/Floral Bliss.
 Red Trumpet Lily Bud.
 Red Trumpet Lily Flowers.
Purple Periwinkle Flowers.


I am told you can solve all kinds of mysteries.

If you can tell me the meaning of those words,

I will clothe you in purple robes, with a gold chain around your neck,

and make you the third ruler in the kingdom.

(Daniel 5:16, The Living Bible-TLB)

54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Francisco. Not easy to make but very tasty snacks. Have a good day!

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  2. I like pie tee but not many people selling this snack around here. It is good to make yourself but like you said, takes time and effort.

    I deep fried my keropok and salted peanuts last Saturday. No more deep frying. Hehe. I bought my snacks every year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not easy to find pie tee snacks being sold in Ipoh also. With Home made, we can eat to our heart's content. I used to buy CNY snacks when I was working but since retired, I have more time to make those we love to eat. Cheaper this way.

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  3. I never tried to make pie tee before...

    Wish i could try your homemade CNY goodies, hehe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come, come, the goodies are waiting for you. Hehehe....

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  4. WOW Nancy....your tee pie is a perfect art:) I like the idea very much. Creative dainty cooking are fun to make but then it gets eaten in just a couple of minute considering it takes so long to make:( You've done so well with all your homemade snacks...definitely much better than store bought ones because of the added 'love' ingredients you've put in it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Annie. I only take the trouble to make the snacks my family loves to eat. That's what motivates me to make them in the first place. No fun making when nobody eats. Love to see all my snacks eaten up. I am sure most of us mothers feel this way. But not so easy for those working mothers. I only have time to makes these snacks after I have retired.

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  5. Wah...the top hat very susah make wor. Sounds a bit like honeycomb buscuits process. That 1 i know very hard to get it right.

    Oh...need to dab the excess oil fr the mould ar? Maybe that's y my honeycomb kept dropping back into the bowl of batter. Thanks Sifu. Will try to be better next year.

    Kung Hei Fatt Choy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the method is same as honeycomb biscuits. So far I have tried making honeycomb biscuits. I learned through experience to dab the excess oil from the mould when I found some turned out without a base. Ha ha...Wishing you and family a blessed CNY!

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  6. Lovely photos of the flowers, and I especially love the lily!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. I love this red lily too!

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  7. Delicious & pretty flowers! Have a nice day Nancy!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Riitta. Have a nice day too!

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  8. Looks really nice, great photos. Warm greetings!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Blogoratti. Have a great day!

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  9. Oh yummy. I'll have my chips with salsa please.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like salsa sauce too! Have a wonderful day, Sandee!

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  10. You are an expert cook! You must have to do so much standing! You can cook even very fancy and pretty things! I would love to taste some of your cooking! Your flowers are always so beautiful! I always enjoy them because now we are in the middle of winter, no flowers here! Do you have very cold winters? Do you ever get snow? Is it warm year round?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ginny. I used to enjoy cooking and baking when my boys were small. Now that the boys have gone to work away from home and there are only two old folks at home, I am only doing simple cooking most of the time. I am not an expert cook, just able to cook some decent meals for the family. Ours is a tropical country. There is no cold winters nor snow. But we have rainy, wet seasons but warm and sunny, sometimes very hot most of the year round.

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  11. Of all the CNY snacks, my favourite this year is pineapple tart

    Actually CNY the joy is in the anticipation, it is the journey that counts not the destination

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have many favourites when it comes to CNY snacks but they are mostly the savoury types. Wishing you a blessed CNY!

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  12. Interesting post my dear, thank you for sharing :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beauty. Have a wonderful day!

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  13. Replies
    1. Thank you, Angie. They disappear very fast!

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  14. I've never ate those snacks, but seem very tasty!!!!
    xxx
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Silvia. You will surely love these snacks. Have a lovely day!

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  15. Replies
    1. Thank you, Gosia. Have a fantastic day!

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  16. Replies
    1. Thank you, Basia. Have a fabulous Day!

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  17. Replies
    1. Thank you, dear for your compliments. Have a good day!

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  18. Replies
    1. Thank you, William. Have a beautiful day!

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  19. Neat! I've never seen them made before. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear. These are time consuming. Have a good day!

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  20. Very rajin la, Nancy.. All the yummy snacks for CNY! The prawn crackers are good.. should have bought more... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like, can still buy after CNY. I think they are available all year round.

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  21. Nancy, you are a pro since you can make top hats so well! Happy CNY to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mun for your kind compliment. I am not a pro yet, just happy to get the hang of how to do it. Blessed CNY to you and family too!

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  22. Oh, Nancy! That is a labor of love, all the goodies that you made. If I was in Ipoh, I will sure come to your house hah..hah...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a labor of love for my family. Because they like I will make. If I don't know, then have to buy. Can, can, you can come and taste the goodies. Ha ha!

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  23. Love pie tee! My mum-in-law makes these for CNY too. Always look forward to them 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irene, you are so blessed. I am sure your mum-in-law is a very good cook. Have a blessed CNY!

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  24. they look very nice! Have a nice New Year!

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  25. The top hats look very elegant!! Everything looks delicious! Have a wonderful CNY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear. After all the hard work, it is time to sit back and enjoy my snacks!

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  26. I read this and got so hungry. My husband spent some of yesterday making dumplings from scratch, which we will eat on Super Bowl Sunday. So I have an idea of how much hard work those shells took - and I hope you had a lot of enjoyment enjoying what you made.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alana. We don't mind making as long as our love ones enjoy eating them. Oh yes, I enjoy eating my own home made snacks. Have a wonderful day!

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  27. The hotpot is definitely a good deal for senior citizens!

    Oh I like all the snacks you made. Ohh that's why the floss crackers aren't golden... but great to have a non-oily version.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stacy. I have yet to get the right way to make them slightly golden brown. But they are good even the colour not so attractive.

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