Pineapple jam sticky rice flour bread rolls. I have plenty of pineapple jam leftover from making pineapple jam squares, so I turn them into fillings for this bread rolls that is slightly unusual than my regular ones because the addition of sticky rice flour (a.k.a. glutinous rice flour) to make it slightly chewier, but ultimately, still very delicious.
Homemade pineapple jam
Maybe because I grow up eating homemade nastar (Chinese pineapple tart), where the pineapple jam is heavily infused with cinnamon and cloves, I can never dig store-bought pineapple jam. It must be home made, or I would rather use other kind of jam, or filling for this bread. Whichever route you take, just make sure you have about 1 cup of jam for filling. And the jam needs to be chilled first, so they are not too runny.
Bread dough with sticky rice flour
This bread dough has sticky rice flour in it to give it a slightly chewier texture. I usually use the one from Erawan, but I guess other brands should work just as well. If you want to ditch the sticky rice flour, just substitute with the same amount of bread flour. In which case, the bread roll texture will be more like regular Asian bakery style bread. So don’t worry too much about it.
Egg wash and black sesame seeds
I like applying egg wash to my bread because the sheen once baked is just very attractive, and to me, they make the bread looks delicious. It is not a must, so if you are not used to applying egg wash to your bread, you can definitely skip it. Also, the black sesame seeds are purely for decoration. You can use slivered almonds if you wish, which I think is another great option.
Wajik is a traditional Indonesian snack/cake made with steamed glutinous (sticky) rice and further cooked in palm sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves.
The cooked rice is then spread and flatted in a baking tray. Once it cools to room temperature, we cut this into small pieces in the shape of a diamond (er, okay, a rhombus or a parallelogram to be geometrically precise).
Incidentally, in a card game, the diamond is translated as a wajik. So, you are not supposed to cut your wajik into squares. ♥
What you need to prepare wajik (Indonesian sticky rice in palm sugar and pandan leaves).
As far as Indonesian snack/dessert/cake recipe goes, wajik is one of the simplest one to prepare. You need only 4 ingredients:
All four ingredients are critical and should not be substituted with anything else. Well, if you must, you can use black sticky rice (black glutinous rice) instead of white sticky rice, but you absolutely need the other three ingredients and these three should not be substituted at all.
A steamer and how to properly steam sticky rice
To make wajik, you will need a steamer to steam the white sticky rice. You can use a bamboo steamer, a stainless steel steamer, or even the steamer basket that comes with your rice cooker if it is large enough to hold the rice. Regardless of choice, here are my tips for successfully steaming sticky rice:
Make sure there is enough water in the bottom pot for around one hour of steaming. I would suggest about 2″ of water in the bottom pot.
Make sure that the water is already boiling and there are plenty of steam visible before steaming the sticky rice.
Just to be safe, line your steamer basket with either a clean kitchen towel, or a parchment paper riddled with tiny holes (smaller than the size of sticky rice) before you add the sticky rice. You don’t want the sticky rice to all end up falling down into the bottom pot instead of staying in the steamer basket.
Make sure to steam the sticky rice until al dente (soft and tender to bite). I cannot stress this point enough. Since I cannot be sure that we all have the same temperature on our stoves and depending on the size of your steamer (and hence the depth of the rice), steaming time will vary. To test for doneness, grab a tiny spoon of steamed rice and eat it. If you like the texture, then that’s when you should stop steaming. Just for reference, on my 8″ stainless steel steamer pot, I need 1 hour of steaming over medium high heat.
How to serve wajik
Like I mention earlier, wajik means diamond, as in the diamond suit in a pack of cards. The cake gets its name from this particular shape, so be sure to cut them into diamonds instead of squares or rectangles.
Wajik is always served at room temperature, so although you can refrigerate any leftovers, be sure to take them out from the fridge and only serve them once they have return to room temperature.
There are two really classic Chinese sticky rice dish, one is bak cang (粽子), and the other one is lo mai gai (糯米鸡). The first one is wrapped in bamboo leaves and served during dragon boat festival, while the later is wrapped in lotus leaves and commonly found in dim sum.
I love both versions, and I especially love my Mom’s bak cang which she makes annually (I know, I know, I am so spoiled when it comes to good food ♥). Since I am no expert in wrapping a cang, I just make this super simple version when a craving for one hits me.
Purists are probably gonna hate me for tempering with their bak cang or lo mai gai, not to mention I dare to use a rice cooker too! But, I will take all the hatred hurled at me as long as I can have my bak cang/lo mai gai fix whenever I want one. 😛
The ingredients needed to prepare no mi fan – Chinese savory sticky rice
Just like regular bak cang, you can make a super fancy no mi fan, or make a really simple one. For this recipe, I only use these three ingredients, which to me is perfect for non special occasions:
If you need something fancier, you can add the followings too:
salted egg yolks
soaked dried shrimps
chicken meat/pork meat cut to bite size pieces
So feel free to pick and choose what you want to add to your no mi fan, and if you have some favorite ingredients that I miss out, do share them with me in the comment. 🙂
Dried shiitake mushrooms and the shiitake stock (a.k.a. shiitake soaking water)
Lately, fresh shiitakes have been getting more and more common, and I think they are perfect for a quick stir fry job with some Chinese greens. But for no mi fan (or bak cang/lo mai gai), please stick to using dried shiitake mushrooms.
Also, be sure to soak them in plenty of water (for this recipe, about 2 to 2.5 cups of water) to rehydrate.
Hopefully, once the shiitake mushrooms are back to their fluffy state, you are left with about 2 cups of natural shiitake stock. Using this shiitake stock to cook the no mi fan gives a much flavorful result than simply using water or chicken stock, so please don’t throw the soaking water away.
The ingredients for no mi fan sauce, and my note on Shaoxing wine
The last important part to prepare no mi fan is the sauce. And for that, you will need the following ingredients:
Shaoxing wine (if possible, choose the one with 0% salt like Pagoda brand)
salt (only add salt if your Shaoxing wine has 0% salt)
A note on Shaoxing wine. If you are using good quality Shaoxing wine that has 0% salt, then use the salt in the recipe to prepare your no mi fan sauce. If you notice that your Shaoxing wine contains salt, then please don’t add any more salt to the sauce or the no mi fan may end up too salty.
Two step process to cook no mi fan, stove top and rice cooker
Once all the prep work is done, it is time to finally cook the no mi fan. Here is the two step cooking process:
1. Start on the stove top
Fry garlic, scallion (white parts only), Chinese sausage, shiitake, sticky rice, and no mi fan sauce in a wok/frying pan on the stove top.
2. Finish in a rice cooker
Then transfer the ingredients from the wok/frying pan into the rice cooker pot, add shiitake stock (a.k.a. shiitake soaking water) and let the rice cooker cook the rice with “cook rice” or “white rice” function.
Remember to wait 10 minutes once the rice cooker turns to “keep warm” function. Add scallion (green parts) and close the lid and wait another 10 minutes before fluffing and serving the no mi fan.