18 May 2011

Savoury glutinous rice balls

Yesterday I skipped dinner for an ambitious project. I wanted to try to make some savoury glutinous rice balls. We always order them when we eat dim sum. They’re always so tasty I decided to try and recreate them. I thought the outside looked similar to the Vietnamese “banh cam” so I seared online for something helpful. I found out that to get the sticky, chewy crust you need to use glutinous rice flour in combination with some plain rice flour. And most recipes included some boiled mashed potato for the nice golden crust. Unfortunately I didn’t had any potato so I tried without. 
I started with making the stuffing. I had about 1 kilo minced beef. You can use pork, chicken or whatever meat you like. And 1 kilo was way to much for the amount of dough I had so I think you’ll be fine with 500 gram meat also. I seasoned the meat with some salt, pepper, garlic powder (I love this stuff, always use it when I need to marinate food), sesame oil and some oyster sauce. To this I added one finely chopped onion, 3 gloves of minced garlic and one handful of minced dried  mushrooms. The same one I use for my spring rolls and wontons. 
Then I put one bag (400 gram) of glutinous rice flour and about 100 gram of rice flour in a bowl together with one table spoon of sugar and one teaspoon of salt. After mixing it all I put some water straight out of the faucet in the bowl. I just eyeballed it, but if I would’ve been more carefully would start with one cup of water and add more if needed. I mixed everything together till the dough had the consistency of play dough, not to wet and not to dry.  
I rolled some dough between my hands to get a nice ball, then pressed the middle with my thumbs and flatten it out for a bit. I put a bit of stuffing in the middle and then sealed the ball. After that I rolled it between my hands again to make it nice a round. I tried several round ones first, but found out that they were much harder to fry, especially since they didn’t keep their shape. For next batch I made them look like a log. These were much easier to fry.  
On a medium to hot stove I heated some sunflower oil in a non stick pan. Make sure there is enough to cover most of the food. I flipped the logs back and forth and use a strainer to press them down a bit. This will make them puff up. Some of them even burst so don’t stand to close. I flipped the burst ones and pressed the crack on the bottom of the pan. Sometimes that seals it. It took me 5 till 10 minutes to cook a batch. 
It is very difficult to brown them so it wasn’t easy to see if they were cooked on the inside. Next time I will use some mash potatoes so they will have a better colour.

Nevertheless they were crunchy, chewy and tasted almost like the one in the restaurant. They were good with and without sweet and sour sauce. I was so proud of myself! Job almost well done =)

I checked the leftovers this morning and they were still crunchy. If I could only improve the crust it would be perfect!  


  1. Great sense of adventure! Congrats! :D

  2. I love those! They look really nice. You make it sound so easy. I will try this one time.


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