Pan fried sticky rice cake (nian gao) recipe

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Moist, sticky, và chewy pounded glutinous rice cake is deep-fried và eaten with brown sugar syrup và a sprinkle of roasted soybean flour is a popular Sichuan sweet treat known as hong tang ci ba. The rice can be cooked on the stove or in the pressure cooker.

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I first learned about fried glutinous rice cake from the Taste of trung quốc cookbook by Ken Hom. I was intrigued by the idea of deep-frying the cooked glutinous rice & serving it with sugar. In the cookbook, the fried rice cakes was served by dipping them in trắng sugar. It was called zong bao in the cookbook. I later learned that there is also a fried glutinous rice cake known as ci ba from the Sichuan province.

What is hong tang ci tía (红糖糍粑)?

Hong tang means brown sugar & ci means sticky & ba means cake. Ci cha is popular in South China, especially in the Sichuan province. They are popular everyday snacks và often seen during a celebration such as the Spring festival (Chinese New Year). The glutinous rice is cooked, pounded, & then molded in a cake pan. The cake is then kept frozen so it is easier lớn cut into the shapes you want. The rice cakes are deep-fried & served with brown sugar syrup and a sprinkle of roasted soybean flour.

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How to lớn make ci ba

The step-by-step photos here were taken when I cooked the rice with a pressure cooker. For the stove-top method, you can refer to lớn the recipe card below.1. You don’t need to soak the rice. We will cook the rice using the pot-in-pot method. Fill up the inner pot of Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. Put a trivet in there. Put the rice và water inside a container, preferably metal, such as 6-inch round metal cake pan. Make sure the rice is submerged in water

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2. Close the lid and turn the steam release valve khổng lồ sealing. Press “pressure cooker” và make sure it’s on high pressure. Mix the timer to 20 minutes and then natural release and proceed lớn the pounding step
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3. Transfer the rice lớn a large heat-proof mixing bowl, lượt thích a stainless steel bowl & use a rolling pin or a pestle if you have one. I wrapped the rolling sạc pin with a cling wrap khổng lồ manage the “stickiness”. Pound on the rice until it is sort of gooey, but you can still see some bits of the rice grains. I don’t recommend pounding it all the way into a paste consistency because the rice cake will be too soft and doesn’t hold up as well when you fry them. They will fall apart
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4. Line a square 7 or 8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper
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5. Cover the top with another piece of parchment paper và press the rice down to compact và flatten it as much as you can. Keep it covered with parchment paper & keep it chilled in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for at least 4 hours so you can cut it into shapes without much difficulty
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6. Remove the rice cake from the pan by lifting the parchment paper up. Turn the rice onto a chopping board


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the rice is firm và doesn’t stick to lớn your fingers after chilling


7. Cut into 1-inch cube or strips, it’s up to lớn you. I prefer cubes

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8. Preheat about 2 inches of oil. When you put a skewer into the oil, you’ll see bubbles. The oil is ready. Put the first cube into the oil & let it fry for about 10-15 seconds and then put another one in. Repeat this process & fry in small batches, 4-5 pieces at a time. If you put all of them all at once, they will stick to lớn each other badly. Don’t try lớn touch them yet during initial frying as they will stick. Let them fry for about 30 seconds or so or until you see a thin crust forms & it won’t be sticky anymore. They will just brown lightly. Remove from the oil to an absorbent paper towel
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9. Once you are done frying all of them. Bring the oil back khổng lồ hot. Chạy thử with a skewer again. We will fry for the second time. Starting from the first batch you fry earlier. This second round you can fry more as they won’t stick to lớn each other anymore. Fry for another 10-15 seconds. This time they will get more prominent golden brown. Remove to an absorbent paper towel. Frying them twice make them extra crispy and they hold up better too
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10. If you choose to lớn pan fry: Heat up about 2 Tbsp of oil on a non-stick skillet. địa chỉ cửa hàng the rice cake cubes on the pan & pan fry over medium heat until they form crust and lightly golden brown on all 6 sides. Just to lớn let you know that the pan-fried version take a bit longer khổng lồ cook & the shape and màu sắc won’t be as uniform
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11. Drizzle the rice cake cubes with brown sugar syrup và a sprinkle of roasted soybean flour and serve immediately. Only bởi vì this when you are ready khổng lồ serve as the brown sugar syrup will soften the rice cakes if they are soaked in the syrup for too long
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Can you make ci tía with regular rice?

I haven’t tried that myself, but I’m pretty sure you can. I can see it will work with long-grain white rice or sushi rice. I would cook the rice as you normally would, following the instruction on the package and then pound it as called for in the recipe.

Love that contrast of texture in one bite!

When you first bite into ci ba, it is crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Such a great contrast in one bite. The brown sugar syrup & that roasted soybean powder seal the deal. A dessert/snack that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy at all despite being deep-fried và all.

Did you make this hong tang ci cha recipe?

I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made