Home Cooked Cantonese Rice Noodle Rolls 肠粉
I'm not prepared to throw away the oven just yet, since the bottom heating bars are still working; only means that I'll have to opt for other cooking methods, such as: steaming! And that's the reason why my latest venture is this Cantonese rice noodle roll. It's called 肠粉 (chang fen) or 猪肠粉 (zhu chang fen) in Chinese.
A big part of my family is of the Cantonese root, so this has been a very common dish to us. In fact, two of my aunties of different sides of the family ran a rice noodle business respectively. As a kid, I used to go to one of them to get freshly steamed rice noodle rolls dribbled with onion oil and soya sauce, I can still remember that heavenly taste.
So I've got my steamer ready, and started my adventure with the home cooked rice noodle rolls.
The ingredients are pretty simple: rice flour, wheat starch, corn flour and water. However, I can't get any wheat starch at my local shops so I've tried substituting with some tapioca flour.
The first attempt got me a rather sticky and chewy texture, which I believed I'd used too much tapioca flour. After making some adjustment on the ratio of the flours, the second time gave me a less sticky and less chewy result, and the taste of rice came through more distinctively.
After adjusting and readjusting the ratio of rice flour : tapioca flour for 4 times, I think I'm pretty close to the texture I like - with my own alternative ingredients combination that is.
What I've used:
Rice flour 60g
Tapioca flour 15g
Corn flour 10g
Filtered water 200ml
A little oil for brushing
Having practised for 4 times, I'm getting quite a good hang of it now and I can say that it's not as difficult as I thought it would be 😄
The first thing I would do is to get the steamer ready, to start boiling the water.
Then I'll get the container ready for the rice batter, and I've used a square Pyrex baking dish because that's the only thing I can find in the house that can fit inside the steamer.
Mixing the ingredients is really easy, just place everything in a mixing bowl and mix well. I just have to make sure that I stir it again every time I want to use it, as these flours don't bind with water and will separate then sink to the bottom once left still.
Next, lightly brush the baking dish with some oil, on the base and halfway up the sides. This will make getting it out easier.
Once the water in the steamer starts boiling, scoop a ladle full of the rice batter (mixed well first of course) into the dish, and place the dish inside the steamer. Steam for 3 minutes, there will be visible air bubbles pushing up from the bottom of the cooked noodle.
Take the dish out with a hot dish clip. Using a scraper (I used a silicone cake spatula, just whatever I can find in the kitchen), slowly roll the noodle up from one end to the other, whilst tilting the dish so that it helps the noodle to roll down easier and can be pushed out onto the plate.
|Makes 5 rice noodle rolls, almost enough for 2 light snacks.|
I believe I could still improve it further, or eventually make it with wheat starch if I can find it, but till then, this is my best bet. I might even cooked it with added ingredients such as dried shrimp and egg 😉