These silky Rice Noodle Rolls are a classic Chinese dim sum dish. With a few ingredients and some time, you can enjoy this gluten-free dish at home.
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Growing up, I was fortunate to experience the tradition of Chinese dim sum with my extended family.
There were dishes that were staples -- they were always ordered each and every single time.
What is dim sum?
Dim sum is the experience of enjoying a variety of dishes in a Chinese restaurant setting.
In Cantonese, it literally means "to touch the heart."
It is also known as "yum cha," which means "drink tea" -- since the dishes that accompanied were to complement the tea served.
Making dim sum at home seems like an arduous task.
While it does take some time, it really is a labour of love.
What are rice noodle rolls?
Chinese rice noodle rolls, (also known as "chee cheong fun" in Cantonese), are a steamed, thin savoury crepe/pancake made from a wet rice flour batter.
They can be served plain or with a filling inside.
Rice noodle rolls are commonly served at Chinese dim sum restaurants, and can also be eaten as a snack.
Well-made rice noodle rolls are thin, smooth and have a silky, almost translucent texture.
What do they taste like?
Rice noodle rolls have a soft, smooth and silky texture that almost melts in the mouth.
The noodle roll itself is relatively tasteless so it relies on the soy sauce/or fillings for flavour.
You can fill them with:
- char siu (roasted BBQ pork) (very common option)
- or leave them plain
Ingredients you'll need
There are only a few ingredients in the rice noodle roll batter:
- rice flour: is different than glutinous rice flour, which is used commonly for mochi
- wheat starch: gives the batter a smooth texture
- tapioca flour: which is the main ingredient in bubble tea/boba pearls
- water: loosens the batter
- sea salt: flavours the rice noodles a little
- vegetable oil: helps with producing a smooth batter
You can find rice flour, wheat starch and tapioca flour in Asian grocery stores.
How to make them at home
You'll need a few special tools to make rice noodle rolls at home:
- clean unbleached calico cloths: are durable, unbleached/unprocessed cotton cloths 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
Make the batter
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 tablespoon 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 much more quickly.
How to serve them
The rice rolls can be eaten plain (as my kids prefer), or with savoury fillings such as shrimp, bbq pork (char siu), or vegetables.
Try it with with "you tiao" (Chinese donut/cruller) and pork floss.
As the rice noodle rolls are flavourless, serve them with a sweetened soy sauce and a good sprinkle of green onions/sesame seeds.
Serve the rice noodle rolls hot and freshly made, preferably on the same day. As the rolls cool down, the texture will become harder.
How to store and reheat leftovers
If you have leftovers, store the steamed rice noodle rolls wrapped in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, steam the rice noodle rolls on a greased steaming rack over simmering water until soft.
I don't recommend microwaving the rice noodle rolls, but you may do so if you're in a pinch. The texture may not be as soft.
Other dim sum recipes you may like
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
Hot, steaming and fresh, these Rice Noodle Rolls are a delicious way to enjoy rice and noodles together in one dish!
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- be sure to tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Rice Noodle Rolls (Chee Cheong Fun) 豬腸粉
- clean unbleached calico cotton cloths
- metal or silicone dough scraper
- stainless steel pan
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 200 g rice flour
- 25 g wheat starch
- 30 g tapioca starch
- 15 ml avocado or vegetable oil
- 700 ml water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Sweetened Soy Sauce
- 5 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon 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 rice noodle rolls.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Recipe adapted from Siu Kitchen.