I am visiting my grandaunt & granduncle today. I will cook them their favourite steamed glutinous rice cake with a recipe from our hometown, Zhongshan (中山) prefecture in the Guangdong province.
My granduncle’s family came to Australia during the gold rush era in the early 1900s. The family opened a peanut shop in Newcastle with a roasting workshop at the back. The peanut shop had a table in the corner, with old Chinese ladies dropping by daily to enjoy a cup of Chinese tea and a few chats.
My granduncle went to high school and he was academically excellent. He took over the family business instead of pursuing university, a filial duty as the only son in the family.
During the 1940s, my granduncle went back to Zhongshan for an arranged marriage. He married a pretty and educated maiden from a well-off family. My grandaunt came to Australia, without a servant by her side for the first time. she learned to cook, to speak English and raised six children.
After the peanut shop was sold to a large competitor, the family opened up a Chinese restaurant. They worked really hard. According to their children, they were in the restaurant ‘all the time’. The family moved to Sydney in the early 1970s as the children studied in universities around Sydney.
When I graduated from high school in China in the 1980s, my granduncle sponsored me to come to Australia. My granduncle found a school for me, paid for the exuberance school fee and bought an air ticket for me. I lived with them until I was on my own two feet. Thanks to their generosity, I have a wonderful life in a beautiful country. I am forever grateful for their support, kindness & care.
So I am cooking our special rice cake to say thank you. The rice cake is sticky from glutinous rice, bouncy from the tapioca, juicy from the white radish, sweet and tasty from the Chinese sausage and dried shrimps, and spicy from the green shallot.
- 100g rice flour
- 40g glutinous rice flour
- 40g tapioca flour
- 1 cup water
- 200g fresh Asian / Chinese white radish, grated
- 2 Chinese sausages, or 2 rashes of bacon, finely sliced
- 20g Asian dried shrimps, soak in hot water for 5 minutes, drained (optional)
- pinch of salt
- cooking oil
- garnish – green shallot, thinly sliced
- dressing / dipping sauce – dash of dark soy sauce and dash of sesame oil
- In a frying pan, bring some cooking oil to medium heat, sauté the sliced Chinese sausages (or bacon) and dried shrimps briefly until aromatic, approximately 1-2 minutes; add radish, sauté briefly (1 minutes); set aside to cool
- In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour with 1 cup water, mix well; add sautéed white radish with Chinese sausages and dried shrimps, pinch of salt; mix well; transfer to a shallow bowl for steaming
- Steam the mixture for 30 minutes or until it sets; leave it aside to cool before slicing into small pieces
- Top with a dressing with dark soy sauce and sesame oil
- Garnish with sliced green shallot