Growing up, I was fortunate to experience the tradition of Chinese dim sum with my extended family.
It was always a full table or two, with at least 10 people or more. As a child, I was mesmerized by the number of dishes that would blanket the table — each, unique in its own way.
There were dishes that were staples — they were always ordered each and every single time.
Har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), char siu bao (BBQ pork buns), chicken feet, and chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls) were some of the dishes never to be missed.
From the sounds of clinking plates from the lack of space on the table, to the elderly folk chattering away, and the kids sitting in those red booster seats, keeping themselves entertained… Seeing all the variety of food on the table and family gather around always made my heart full.
And that’s the whole point of dim sum. In Cantonese, it literally means “to touch the heart.”
Making dim sum at home seems like an arduous task. And while it does take some time, it’s really a labour of love.
WHAT ARE RICE NOODLE ROLLS?
Chinese rice noodle rolls (“chee cheong fun”) are a thin crepe/pancake made from a steamed rice flour batter.
They can be served plain, or with a filling inside.
Rice noodle rolls are commonly served at dim sum, or can be eaten as a snack.
Well-made rice noodle rolls are thin, smooth and have a silky, almost translucent texture.
INGREDIENTS IN RICE NOODLE ROLLS
There’s only a few ingredients in the chee cheong fun batter:
- rice flour
- wheat starch
- tapioca flour
HOW TO MAKE RICE NOODLE ROLLS AT HOME
You’ll need a few special tools to make rice noodle rolls at home:
- clean unbleached calico cloths: is durable, unbleached/unprocessed with no lint
- dough scraper: a metal or silicone one will work
- stainless steel pan: should fit in the wok or steamer with ease
- large wok or steamer
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and give it a good stir.
Fill the steamer or wok with water and bring to a boil.
Line the wet calico cloth onto the stainless steel pan and place it on top of the steamer.
Stir the batter and scoop a ladle onto the cloth.
If adding filling, add about 1 Tbsp of filling across (widthwise) after pouring the batter in.
Cover the steamer with a lid and let it steam for 1-2 minutes, until it puffs up.
Remove the cloth with the rice noodle and place it on a lightly greased chopping board.
Carefully peel off the rice noodle with a dough scraper and roll or fold into a long cylindrical shape.
Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Note: If you have 2 cloths, the process will go by faster.
HOW TO ENJOY RICE NOODLE ROLLS
They can be eaten plain (as my kids prefer), or with savoury fillings such as shrimp, bbq pork (char siu), or vegetables.
Or with “you tiao” (Chinese donut/cruller) and pork floss.
As the rice noodle rolls are flavourless, there is usually a sweetened soy sauce that accompanies the dish.
Rice noodle rolls are best served hot. As it cools down, the texture will become harder.
HOW TO REHEAT RICE NOODLE ROLLS
Place the rice noodle rolls on a greased steaming rack over simmering water to reheat.
Hot, steaming and fresh, chee cheong fun are a delicious and different way to enjoy rice and noodles together all in one!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
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Let me know if you try out this recipe — be sure to tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment below.
Rice Noodle Rolls (Chee Cheong Fun) 豬腸粉
- clean unbleached calico cotton cloth
- metal or silicone dough scraper
- stainless steel pan
- 200 g rice flour
- 25 g wheat starch
- 30 g tapioca starch
- 15 ml avocado or vegetable oil
- 700 ml water
- ½ tsp salt
Sweetened Soy Sauce
- 5 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
Make the rice noodle rolls:
- Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
- Set up a large wok with a steamer rack, and bring water up to a boil.
- Line a cotton cloth onto a stainless steel pan and place it on top of the steamer rack.
- Stir the batter well so that there are no lumps and scoop 1 ladle onto the cloth.
- Cover the wok with a lid and steam for 1-2 minutes, until the rice noodle puffs with bubbles, meaning that it is ready and cooked through. [If you want to add fillings, add it in after ladling in the batter].
- Lightly grease a chopping board with some oil and transfer the cloth with the rice noodle to it.
- Carefully peel the cloth away from the rice noodle using a dough scraper, and roll/fold into a long cylindrical shape.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with sweetened soy sauce.
Make Sweetened Soy Sauce:
- Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Serve with the chee cheong fun.
Recipe adapted from Siu Kitchen.