Following on from my previous blog post this is another dish that I made specially for Chinese New Year. This dish is called Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake.
Rice cake has always been one of my favourite desserts to eat during Chinese New Year festivities. I remember when I was a child I always chased after my mother asking her to prepare it for me.
In Taiwan, there are two really popular flavours of sweet rice cakes. One is red bean and the other is brown sugar. I remember this recipe for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake from when I was young so I decided to give it bit of a personal twist and give it a go. Personally I really like it, I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
I have some big deadlines coming up with my college class so I didn’t have time to prepare any other kinds of rice cakes, but once these deadlines have passed I’m aiming to prepare some different flavour rice cakes, including the aforementioned brown sugar rice cake which is also really delicious.
Ingredients for Sweet Red Bean:
400g red beans (soak in water for a good couple hours)
400g brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Procedure for Sweet Red Bean:
- Drain the red beans and put into a saucepan. Add 750ml of water into the sauce pan and boil it first. Once it has reached boiling point reduce the heat and simmer for around 1 hour until the red beans are soft enough that you can squash them with your fingers. Please note you must keep stirring the red beans to prevent them from burning. Add more water to the saucepan if necessary.
- Mix sugar and salt with the red beans while they are still hot and leave aside for a few hours.
Ingredients for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake:
450g glutinous rice flour
450g sweet red beans
420ml coconut milk
350g brown sugar
Procedure for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake:
- Boil coconut milk and add brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and leave it to cool down.
- Mix glutinous rice flour with coconut milk from step 1 and make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Mix sweet red bean mixture into step 2 evenly.
- Brush a layer of oil into tin into some tin foil trays (I used 6x4x2 inch tin foil boxes from my local Chinese supermarket. These tins are exactly the same kind you get at Chinese takeaways) and pour the mixture into it.
- Use a steamer to steam the rice cakes. If like myself you’re using a metal steamer, use a clean towel to effectively tie down the lid. This prevents water dripping from the lid onto the rice cake which can affect the final result. Once the water under the steamer has started to boil, leave the rice cakes to steam for 30 minutes.
- After the rice cakes have been steamed allow them to completely cool down before attempting to remove them from the tins (otherwise they’ll stick). Cut your rice cake into 3cm cubes and fold them into either spring roll pastries or wonton pastries. Deep fry them until the pastries have turned a golden brown colour. Your oil temperature should be approximately 180 degrees celsius.
This is how the mixture should look once it has set and cooled down in the tins.
This recipe makes approximately 4 to 5 tins of rice cake mixture.