Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Flexible glutinous rice flour — pan-fried cheesy sweet potato ricecake


Glutinous rice flour is ground from glutinous white rice, also called sweet rice. It tastes tiny little bit sweeter than common long grain rice. Cooked glutinous rice flour food is sticky, soft and chewy. This rice flour is the key ingredient of many Asian desserts and snacks. I have posted recipes using glutinous rice and glutinous rice flour, such as, Breakfast Rice Wrap, Shanghai Style/早餐粢飯糰, Japanese Stuffed Tofu Pouches with Ricecake (Mochi Kinchaku)/年糕福袋, Marbled Sweet Dumplings with Sesame Seed Stuffing/虎皮麻蓉汤圆, Japanese Glutinous Rice Ball in Sweet Soy Sauce/日式醬油糰子, Mochi/麻糬.

I had some steamed sweet potatoes leftover but didn’t want to eat them anymore. Anyway, I shouldn’t waste any food, so I thought it is nice to make some sweet snacks using glutinous rice flour, which I always have had it in my cupboard. This little pan-fried ricecake is savoury and sweet, soft and chewy, crispy on the edges when hot off the pan. For a complicated taste, I added some cheese in with the mashed sweet potato filling. Any milky types would do, such as cheddar, or I use Italian blended.

The method of making this pan-fried ricecake is similar to sweet dumpling, only with a few tips for better texture –
1. The dough for the wrap is moist so that it’s easier to make a thinner wrap, easily cooked when pan-fry. For sweet dumpling I tend to make a slightly dryer dough;
2. Add 2-3tbsp of wheat flour in glutinous rice flour, so that the ricecake wouldn’t be too sticky when cool down;
3. Add some melted butter in the filling, when the ricecake is cooked, the filling would be so moist and silky.

Ingredients –
Cooked sweet potato, any types, peeled, 200g
Glutinous rice flour, 2cups;
All purpose wheat flour, 3tbsp;
Cheese flakes, 1cup;
Non-salted butter, 30g;
Hot water, sugar, salt.

How to do-
1. Dough – In a mixing bowl, put in the flour, a tiny nip of salt and 1tbsp of sugar, mix well. Then pour in a little less than 1 cup of hot water gradually. Mix with a mixing spoon since the water is very hot. Then set aside to cool down a little. Then knead with your hand till the dough is smooth. The dough should be moist or may stick on your hand. Don’t worry, dust a little flour on your hand to prevent. Set the dough aside, covered with cling film or wet kitchen cloth;

2. Filling – Sweet potato peeled, cut into chunks. If your sweet potato isn’t very sweet, then you could add 1 or 2 tbsp of sugar to sweeten. Put sweet potato, cheese, butter and sugar in a bowl, wrapped with cling film and steam for a few minutes till the cheese and butter melted. Or you could use a microwave in this step. Mashed the sweet potato and mix well. I like a little biting and contrast of the texture so wouldn’t mash the potato too smooth and silky;

3. Wrap – Now let’s make the ricecake. For this amount of dough I could make 10 small ricecakes.
1) Divide the big dough into 10 small doughs. Prepare some extra glutinous rice flour aside, dust some on your hands;
2) Similar to sweet dumplings, roll a small dough into a ball shape, press and spread with your fingers, thick in the middle. Since the dough is moist so it’s easy to shape the dough;
3) Spoon generous filling in, wrap, press and seal the dough till the filling is fully wrapped;
4) Press and flatten the rice dumplings.

4. Pan-fry – Non-sticky pan is suggestive. 2tbp of oil in hot pan, turn down to medium heat. Put in the ricecakes, slowly pan-fry them till light golden both sides. Then turn up to high heat, pan-fry both sides for a few more seconds till turn darker golden and crispy. The ricecakes wouldn’t absorb too much oil in this way.

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