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Sticky Rice Cake with Red Bean Paste

Sticky Rice Cake with Red Bean Paste or pan-fried mochi is a classic Cantonese snack or street food in Hong Kong. Also, it’s one of our favourite childhood snacks. If you like mochi, you should try out this simple and delicious sweet red bean glutinous sticky rice cake recipe too! 

Sticky rice cake is crispy on the outside with a gooey texture inside. You will smell the toasted sesame seeds from afar. The first bite of the slightly spongy and pleasantly fragrant rice cake has such a delightful mouthfeel. The sweet and moist red bean paste will melt in your mouth so quickly that won’t be able to resist devouring the whole cake!

What is Glutinous Rice Flour?

It is super easy to make this dish and you only need four ingredients. You can find both glutinous rice flour and red bean paste at a Chinese or Asian market. You could also make your own red bean paste at home. It is healthier and even tastier than the kind you’ll find in the supermarket.

When you shop for glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour), make sure you choose the kind that is milled from long grain sweet rice, which is for grilling and baking. The texture is stiff and will form a very crispy surface when heated. The one made from short-grain rice is also called mochiko, often used to make cold desserts such as Japanese mochi. Even with the same label, “glutinous rice flour”, it could be made from long-grain or short-grain rice. Pay attention to this when picking your flour.

Homemade Red Bean Paste

As mention above you can make your own red bean paste as it is healthier and even tastier than the kind you’ll find in the supermarket. See the details and instructions on how to make red bean paste in this post.  All you need is 2 ingredients, azuki bean and rock sugar. You can make ahead and keep the paste in an airtight container. It will keep for a week in the fridge and for about a month in the freezer. If possible divide the paste into the amount that you would use at a time.

Fail Proof Tips for the Sticky Rice Cake

  • Add glutinous rice flour and sugar into a bowl and mix it well. Then, pour the hot boiling water into the flour mixture. Be careful the dough is very hot. Use a spoon to stir and mix the dough until the dough is not too hot, but it is ok to use your hands to knead the dough. Remember to knead the dough while it’s still hot/warm. 
  • When you knead the dough, it’s a little bit sticky. Don’t worry about adding extra flour. Adding vegetable oil will help. Separate 2 times and pour the oil into the dough. Continue to knead the dough until it’s not sticky. 
  • Use your palms to flatten the flour dough and use fingers to flatten the sides. Make sure the middle of the dough is thicker. 
  • Put the filling, fold the dough and roll into a ball. Use the palm slightly to press the ball. Remember don’t flatten too much because the filling will come out. 
  • Spray some oil and turn on a small/low fire. Pan fry both sides and cover with the lid 5 minutes each side. 

Gluten-Free Dessert

The so-called glutinous rice flour (because of the sticky texture) is actually gluten-free (*Please note, if you are gluten intolerant, you should look for the variety specifically labelled as gluten-free.). It’s a great alternative to wheat flour for dessert making. If you pan grill dough made from glutinous rice flour, the surface will become crispy, and the interior of the dough will become sticky and slightly sweet. If you don’t like the gooey texture, you can let the rice cake cool a bit before eating – the texture will be less sticky then.

If you’ve never worked with sticky rice flour, don’t be intimidated by it. It can be made into dough really easily. It requires much less time and effort than does a wheat-based dough. If a typical wheat flour dough requires ten minutes of kneading, a rice flour needs three or five minutes. Also, even if the rice dough turns out slightly drier or wetter than it should be, it usually won’t cause a big problem.

Ready to cook? Happy cooking and please let me know if you have any questions about the recipe!

xoxo, Joe

Sticky Rice Cake with Red Bean Paste

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Glutinous rice flour

  • 1.5 tablespoons Sugar

  • ½ cup Hot boiling water

  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil

  • 1 cup Red bean paste (Enough to roll into small 6 balls)

Method

  • Preparing the dough: Put 1 cup of glutinous rice flour into the bowl. Then, add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar into the flour and mix it well. Pour ½ cup of hot boiling water into the flour mixture. Mix the flour with a spoon. (Be careful when pouring the hot water.) The dough is hot, keep mixing with a spoon until it is not too hot and you can use your hand to knead the dough. The dough is a little bit sticky and doesn’t worry about adding extra flour. (Remember to knead the dough while it’s still hot/warm.)
  • After that, pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the dough and continue to knead the dough until it’s not sticky. (I like to separate 2 times by pouring the oil. Therefore, I add ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil at a time and continue to knead the dough.)
  • How to wrap them: Start by rolling the dough into an elongated shape. Roughly divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll the pieces into 6 balls. Scoop a tablespoon full of red bean paste and roll it into a ball. Repeat this step and roll 6 red bean paste balls. Use your palm to press and flatten the flour dough. Then, use fingers to flatten the side. Make sure the middle of the dough is thicker than the side. And, place the red bean paste filling in the middle of the dough. Fold and roll the dough with red bean paste filling into a ball. Repeat and finish 6 of them. After, use your palm to press the dough with filling slightly.
  • Cook it: Spray some oil into the non-stick pan and turn on a small/ low fire. Pan-fry both sides of the sticky rice cake with red bean paste. Cover the lid for 5 minutes. Then, flip the other side pan fry and cover the lid for another 5 minutes.

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