Steamed rice cake recipe Chinese
FOR NON –ENO RICE FLOUR HUAT KUIH, PLEASE SCROLL TOWARDS THE END OF THE POST.
For other Pandan Huat kuih prepared using self raising flour, please refer to: An Auspicious Steamed Cake To Celebrate My Blog Anniversary–Pandan Huat Kuih (香兰发糕）
For Gula Melaka Huat Kuih prepared using self raising flour, please refer to: Palm Sugar or Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Huat Kuih (椰糖发糕）
I am writing this post with due respect to my late mom and Chinese traditions. The name of this steamed is Chinese steamed rice flour cake (hereinafter to refer to as Huat Kueh) or in Mandarin Fagao (发糕). There are two types of Huat Kueh, one type is using wheat flour and another type is using rice flour. This post is the rice flour version of Huat Kueh. It is a very simple cake basically using only 4 ingredients – flour, water, sugar and leavener (either natural yeast or baking powder or baking soda). Since this cake is pure vegetarian (and in fact gluten free), it was usually used as an offering in both the Buddhist and Taoist temples. In addition, it is a common offering item to the ancestors. Practically, the steamed rice flour cake was offered because the cake can be kept longer and not turning bad due to its simple ingredients used.
As similar with the), Chinese hoped that the cake will crack or smile beautifully. Cracking signifies joy, prosperity, resembling a flower that are full of hopes and looking forward for a brighter tomorrow. Therefore, in the olden days, there are lots of taboos associated with the preparation of this cake, including no quarrelling in the kitchen, no unlucky words said, no peeping into the steamers etc.… etc.Even until today, I still have this pressure when I am preparing the cake, fearing that the cake may turn out “bald headed” which to me, is a sign of unluckiness. Well, may be I am overly superstitious.
After I steamed the cake, I feel rather sentimental and I wrote down in my Facebook personal timeline as follows:
It was written in a rush and I do not wish to amend it today, so there are a number of grammatical mistakes above. Basically, I am recalling how my mom prepared this cake. In the 1960’s-1970’s, my mom usually prepared these cakes for offering to the ancestors or Gods. She soaked the rice, ground them using a big stone mortar assisted by my brothers. She then proofed the batter using the leavener (natural yeast) obtained from the bakery shop. There were no written recipe and she learned the preparation from words of mouth. She prepared based on her observations and experiences. I still remember that she used the traditional weighing scales or balance to weigh the sugar and used bowls to measure the water. My brothers and I will help her to put white papers onto the bamboo basket and throughout the steaming process, we were not allowed to talk non-sense and the best were out of the kitchen. Therefore, preparing this cake really bring fond memories and have a significant meaning to me.