Nothing like the dawn of the Lunar New Year to make one crave for traditional Chinese kueh, which for the uninitiated are bite-size snacks or dessert foods originating from the Hokkien, Teochew and Nyonya communities in the region. Here are some of the most delicious sweet and savoury kueh, plus the halal or Muslim-owned shops in Singapore that make them. 

Ang ku kueh 

Halal ang ku kueh Singapore
PHOTO: LEK LIM NONYA CAKE CONFECTIONERY'S WEBSITE

Sticky and chewy, ang ku kueh is made by wrapping sticky glutinous rice flour skin into a tortoise shape around fragrant sweet mung bean (sometimes red bean) and peanut filling. In Singapore, ang ku kueh is available all year round, but more commonly during Chinese New Year as the tortoise is a symbol of longevity and good fortune. 

Where to buy: Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery (Bedok North) (also available online) for 55 cents each

Bak chang

Halal bak chang Singapore
PHOTO: LEK LIM NYONYA CAKE CONFECTIONERY'S WEBSITE

Once a festive food eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, these sticky glutinous rice dumplings wrapped securely with flat leaves and raffia string are now widely available throughout the year to sate many a peckish foodie and remains one of the Peranakans' savoury kueh that are still prepared in local households. 

Where to buy: Kowloon Express at $4.50 per piece with several flavour options, Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery (Bedok North) (also available online) for $2.05 each

Carrot cake

Halal carrot cake Singapore
PHOTO: OLD CHANG KEE'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Referred to in Cantonese as "lo bak gou", the roughly palm-sized, rectangular cake is made of shredded daikon. It's sometimes served during Chinese New Year because it represents good fortune, but it's also now a local breakfast staple. 

Where to buy: Dough Culture outlets islandwide for $1.10 each

Chee cheong fun

Halal chee cheong fun Singapore
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM / @WILLCOOKWILLEAT

Hong Kongers know this Cantonese dish to be commonly served as dim sum, but in Singapore, chee cheong fun is simply rolled up rice noodle sheets doused in soy sauce - a common breakfast or teatime savoury snack. 

Where to buy: Kowloon Express for $4.50 per plate, Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Bedok) or Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Jalan Kayu) for $2.60 to $3.90 per plate

Chwee kueh

Halal chwee kueh Singapore
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM / @RAISINGAPPETITES

A traditional Teochew delicacy, chee kueh is a cup-shaped steamed rice cake topped with diced preserved radish or "chai poh" and served with sambal. 

Where to buy: Roti Junction (East Point Mall) for $2.50 for a set of five

RELATED: Craving a Chinese New Year feast? These halal restaurants have special festive menus

Liu sha bao

Halal liu sha bao Singapore
PHOTO: BURPPLE / NUR ZEE

Liu sha bao translates to "buns with flowy filling", but it generally means steamed buns filled with molten lava custard. In Singapore, the unending craze is the Golden Sand Bun that oozes salted egg custard. Nowadays restaurants make avail two kinds of buns for this hot item - the regular snowy white-skinned and the grey, charcoal-skinned. 

Where to buy: Kowloon Express for $4.80, Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Bedok) or Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Jalan Kayu) for $4.50 for a set of three

Luo mai kai

In SIngapore, halal luo mai kai or glutinous rice with chicken, mushroom and sometimes salted egg, is served at dim sum restaurants and even as a takeaway option at convenience stores. Traditionally it's wrapped in a lotus leaf but many restaurants now serve it on a plate, ready to be eaten. 

Where to buy: 7-Eleven stores islandwide for $1.70 each , Kowloon Express for $4.50, Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Bedok) or Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Jalan Kayu) for $2.90  

Png kueh

Halal png kueh
PHOTO: LEK LIM NONYA CAKE CONFECTIONERY'S WEBSITE

If you're a sucker for looks, you've definitely craved halal Teochew png kueh at least once. The pink version is a variation of the original white glutinous rice dumpling with a sugary peanut bite, which is often offered to family and during prayer sessions over the fesive period. 

Where to buy: Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery (Bedok North) (also available online) for $1 per piece

Salted bun

Halal ham chim peng
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM / @EILEENONGXT

One of the more addictive snacks on this list, ham chim peng is a fried flatbread that's lightly crisp on the outside and soft, but chewy on the inside. Imagine biting into char kuey or even a croissant, but with a doughy bite and a hint of saltiness and sweetness from the five-spice powder. 

Where to buy: Dough Culture outlets islandwide for $1 each

Siew mai

Halal siew mai Singapore
PHOTO: KOWLOON EXPRESS' FACEBOOK PAGE

The dim sum must-have is so popular, even convenience stores have been selling it for years. The Chinese eat these steamed dumplings with pork or shrimp filling, the halal siew mai in Singapore uses chicken instead 

Where to buy: 7-Eleven outlets islandwide for 65 cents each, Kowloon Express for $4.80 for four, Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Bedok) or Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe (Jalan Kayu) at $3.90 for three

Soon kueh

Halal soon kueh Singapore
PHOTO: LEK LIM NYONYA CAKE CONFECTIONERY'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Here's another dim sum favourite - a white vegetable dumpling filled with turnip, dried shrimp and carrot usually served with sweet sauce and sambal. 

Where to buy: Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery (Bedok North) (also available online) for $1.15 each, Kowloon Express at $4.50 for three pieces, Qiji outlets islandwide 

Steamed yam cake (top photo)

Also known as "orh kueh" by Peranakans and "wu dao gao" in Cantonese, the best yam cakes are fluffy and fragrant. They're lightly formed then fried with a medley of dried prawns, mushrooms, shallots and chicken stock before being seasoned with salt and five-spice powder. They're available all year round, but are also considered auspicious if eaten during Chinese New Year as they symbolise higher achievements.

Where to buy: Dough Culture outlets islandwide for $1.30 per slice, Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery (Bedok North) (also available online) for $5.10 per box and $30 per tray

Is your favourite Chinese kueh missing from this list? Email editorial@halalinthecity.com