June 20, 2010

This "cake" is traditional yet easy to make. It's also not particularly rich as far as these things go.

Glutinous Rice Flour Cake
糯米糕 (nuo mi gao)

5 minutes preparation + 50 minutes cooking time

1 package of glutinous rice flour (16 oz.)
1 can of sweetened red beans (18 oz.)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup oil
2 cups milk
(optional) 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
(optional) 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds

About the ingredients: the amount and variety of milk and oil is flexible. I can't taste the difference between using skim or 2%, between canola and extra virgin olive oil, so use whatever you have on hand.

The only specific recommendations I have are about the package of flour and can of mashed red beans. If you visit an Asian market and look for glutinous rice flour, you'll inevitably run across this package and brand. The hardest ingredient to find will be the can of red beans. In any Chinese market, this aisle will be flooded with variety: whole beans, small beans, jumbo beans, red bean paste, black paste, unsweetened, etc. I always buy Shirakiku because both the texture and amount of sugar are perfect for the recipe, so I prefer using it over trying to figure out how much sugar to use. The package of flour is about $.75 and can of red beans a little over $3.

Mix together everything EXCEPT the red bean. Just toss everything together in a big bowl, crack the three eggs over the side, and mix with a pair of chopsticks. After about two or three minutes of stirring, the texture will be like white glue and should no longer contain too many lumps. At this point, pour in the can of red bean and chopped walnuts, fully incorporate (but don't wait too long or else the beans will start to settle at the bottom), and pour into a shallow baking pan lined with foil. Make sure to butter the foil because this stuff is sticky. If you want to use sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the surface of the batter before baking.

It's easiest to remove the cake within the first half hour out of the oven. After it's been separated from the original foil, it won't stick as badly. Invert the crust (which doesn't stick) onto a new sheet of foil, then let cool upside down for an hour before cutting into smaller squares.

Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 or 375 F.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I want to try this! It is strange to think about baking Chinese food (I'm not sure I can ever remember my mom making something Asian in the oven), but this seems simple and good.