This Chinese steamed rice cake (or bai tang gau) has a sweet, slightly chewy addictive texture and an intriguing honeycomb pattern on the inside.
In honor of lunar new year coming up, I decided that I would share a recipe for Chinese steamed rice cake with you all because this is something that I haven’t seen very often in the blogging community. It is made of 5 ingredients (rice flour, sugar, water, yeast,oil) and it’s direct translation of “white sugar cake” is a perfect reflection of it’s simplicity.
I grew up eating this Chinese steamed rice cake for breakfast and for that reason, it’s such a nostalgic treat for me to have. I actually used to have to fight brother deer for it because mother deer would only buy one slice from the bakery and expect us to share it between the two of us.
It’s funny how she thought that we would actually share…when what actually happened was brother deer would take a big ol’ bite of the rice cake and being the germaphobe I was, I wouldn’t want to have it anymore. I guess he got the better end of that deal.
I didn’t mind too much though because the main reason as to why I adored this treat so much was because of it’s intriguing, unique stringy “honeycomb” like pattern.
This pattern is created as a result of the rice flour and yeast. Yeast is more traditionally used in yeast breads where the dough becomes a cohesive lump, but the consistency of this is more batter like and is quite runny.
And unlike most of the rice cakes that surface around this type of year where the base is made out of glutinous/sweet rice flour, this rice cake uses regular rice flour instead.
Confusing the two could lead to a completely different end product so it’s important to be aware of this when you’re buying rice flours. Glutinous rice flour yields a chewier, mochi like texture in your bakes while rice flour lightens and fluffs your bakes up.
I hope you all found this recipe to be interesting and are able to add it to your baking books for trying out in the future!
Have a great weekend!
Try these other recipes that use rice flour!
- 2 cups rice flour (NOT glutinous)
- 2 cups water
- 5g yeast + 1 tablespoon warm water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon oil
- Combine the yeast and 1 tablespoon water in a measuring cup. Set aside to bloom for 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 1½ cup of water. Bring it to a simmer on low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and the remaining ½ cup of water. Stir to combine. Add in the hot sugar water, oil and yeast mixtures. Mix until incorporated.
- Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for 2-3 hours to proof. At the end of the proofing process, there should be a layer of bubbles on the surface of the mixture
- When the batter is ready, prepare a shallow dish by greasing it with oil.
- Prepare your steamer for steaming by boiling the water. Pour your batter in to the shallow dish and place it inside the steamer.
- Cover and let steam for 15 minutes on high heat. Turn the heat off and allow it to continue cooking in the steamer for 10 minutes before removing.
- Remove the steamed cake from the dish by turning it out onto a plate. Let cool before slicing and serving. It is best enjoyed chilled.
This post was created for Fiesta Friday, a weekly foodie link-up party. Please feel free to come join the fun, I promise you won’t regret it!