Other than rice congee, the second item of food we always get after our flight back into Hong Kong, is rice noodle rolls. Be it rice noodles rolls, simply served with a trio of sauces and sprinkling of sesame seeds (豬腸粉) or the steamed rice rolls at yum char with fillings such as prawns, beef mince/coriander/water chestnuts or char siu Chinese Bbq pork (蒸腸粉) . Both are made with a rice flour batter, creating thin sheets of noodles that are slightly elastic and bouncy.
Both are J’s favourite and I have promised her to write this recipe up for a while. It only took a week-long hospital stay for me to find the time to do so. Over the recent long weekend, we got to test it a few more times to make sure the quantities in the recipe are right. These reheat well and tastes just like the ones we have in Hong Kong! Just like my other recipes, this one has a nifty ratio for you to base on. Perfect for scaling up or down.
Be sure to first figure out your steaming station and consider whether the size of the steaming dish will fit your steamer. Here’s a not so glamorous photo of my set up:
Edit: I’ve also subsequently realised that all you need is a well-oiled tray. So lately I have ditched the baking paper lining when making these.
To speed up this process, have at least 2 trays ready – you can steam the second tray while rolling the first.
Ingredients (makes 15 rice noodles)
4:3:1 of rice flour: corn starch : Tapioca starch
3.75 times of dry ingredients weight of water
- 120g rice flour 粘米粉
- 90g *corn starch 粟粉 or potato starch 土豆粉
- 30g **Tapioca starch 木薯粉 or wheat starch 澄麵
- 800-900ml water
- pinch of salt
- 20ml neutral oil, such as rice bran
*Corn starch provides for a sturdier roll, easier to roll and stays firm. Use if making plain rice rolls.
Potato starch provides translucency and a softer texture. Use if making filled rolls where you want to show off your ingredients.
**Tapioca starch provides for the sticky, elastic and chewy texture of rice rolls. If you can’t find them, use wheat starch instead but be prepared for a firmer texture.
- Set up your steaming station. Find a metal tray that fits into the wok, sitting on top of a steaming rack or bamboo steamer. Oil the tray (Edit: the baking paper is now proven redundant!
line it with a piece of baking paper, with about 2 cm hanging over the tray on one side. Trim so that the paper sits flush to the edges of the other 3 sides.)
- Mix all the dry ingredients together. Slowly drizzle in water and whisk the batter until there are no lumps.
- With the water at a rolling boil, pour about 1/4 cup or just enough batter onto the oiled tray (this depends on the size of your tray). Make sure it’s very thin, barely covering the bottom is just enough. Gently spread the batter into the corners of the tray as well.
- Steam for 3 minutes, covered.
- Remove the lid, and remove steaming tray from pan and carefully, using a pastry scraper, roll the rice noodle sheet up from one end of the tray to the other. Place on a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter. (If you have 2 trays, you can steam the second tray while rolling, thus speeding up the process.)
- If you are making filled rice noodles, precook fillings first (such as fried dough Yau Cha Guai, marinated prawns, char siu pork) place fillings in the first third section of the sheet and steam for 4 minutes. Remove the lid and roll the rice noodle sheet from the filling side.
- Cut them into short pieces. Drizzle with sweet soy sauce, hoisin sauce and most importantly, sesame sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and serve warm.