Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sticky rice balls in ginger syrup

Sticky rice balls in ginger syrup. Photo by Steve Shanahan
These are delicious to finish an Asian meal. Prepare them prior to serving. 

Filling
1/3 cup dried yellow split peas, pre-cooked to the equivalent of 1 cup of cooked beans
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar

Rice Ball Dough
2 cups of glutinous rice flour, found at Asian grocers
¾ cup of water, and extra if required
toasted sesame seeds for serving

Ginger Syrup
3 cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thick rings
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups water

Coconut sauce
300ml coconut milk
100ml water
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour

Cook the yellow split peas for about 45 minutes or until soft. Drain, rinse in hot water, and mash with a potato masher until smooth, add the salt and sugar and mix to combine. Set aside.

For the rice ball dough, in a large bowl combine the rice flour and water and knead until a soft dough forms. Add water a tablespoon at a time if more water is needed to bring it together. The dough should be soft and sticky. Knead the dough in the bowl for a few minutes and wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest.

For the filling, take a half teaspoon of the mashed pea paste and roll into about small balls, and place lined up on a piece of baking paper so they are not touching. Continue rolling into balls until all paste is rolled. Set aside.

For the ginger syrup, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and brown sugar. When the syrup starts to boil, add the ginger. Cover pot and and turn to low and leave the syrup to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and turn down the heat to medium. Take one tablespoon of dough and flatten slightly to form a patty. Place a ball of paste in the centre of the dough. Gently work the dough around the paste and pinch and roll into a ball shape. Roll the ball lightly between your hands before gently dropping them into the boiling water. Continue rolling the balls until you have about 10 at a time in the water.

When the balls float to the top, they are cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer them into the simmering ginger syrup. Continue until all the dough has been used up. Once all the balls are cooked simmer lightly in the ginger syrup for another 10 minutes. 

For the coconut sauce, in a small bowl, mix the cornflour and a tablespoon of water to form a thick slurry and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, water, sugar and salt. Stir to combine. When the coconut milk just starts to bubble, add the cornflour slurry and stir quickly for two minutes to stop lumps forming. Don’t overheat the coconut milk before you add the cornflour as this will create lumps.

Serve the warm dumplings in a bowl with a few spoons of ginger syrup, the coconut cream sauce poured over the top and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.