Quite some time ago I bought a bag of rice flour for a recipe and it’s been sitting in my cupboard since. Today I finally found the spare time to think about a use for it. Rice cakes! Now the word “cake” in Chinese cuisine has a slightly different meaning as the western concept of a cake. Cake in Chinese generally means some sort of cooked batter made of flour. It could be rice flour, glutinuous rice flour, tapioca flour, etc. The cooking method can be varied too, it can be steamed, fried or deep fried. That is why my Chinese New Year Cake doesn’t resemble the look of a normal western cakes.
Once this cake business is clear, I can introduce you to one of my favourites, steamed rice cakes. These are savoury “cakes” and are definitely best eaten hot! It’s a breeze to make too, you make the batter, steam it, put some topping on and drizzle with a bit of dressing and it’s done! It’s gluten-free, it’s authentic and it’s cheap and filling. Look, don’t they scream yummy!
- 75g Rice flour
- 2.5 tsp Corn flour
- a pinch of sea salt
- ½ tablespoon sunflower oil
- 6 fl oz of water
- 100g Raw large rawns
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 1.5 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon water
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Make the batter first. Combine all the rice cakes ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Boil a little pan of hot water, emerge the prawns and cook for 3 minutes till they turn pink. Drain and dry on a piece of kitchen paper. Meanwhile, finely chop the shallot and garlic. Once the prawns are cool, bliz briefly in a food processor, you want chunks of prawns intact.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, fry the prawn, shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes or until fragrant.
- Oil some ramekins or dipping bowls (I used 5), give the rice flour mixture a final stir before pouring into the bowls. Steam for 10 minutes or until set.
- To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- When the rice cakes are cooked, top with 2 teaspoons of topping and a generous teaspoon of dressing.