Steamed rice roll with shrimps is one of the simpler dim sum items. The rice roll is soft and silky which makes you want to eat more than just one plate. Dim sum resturants typically make the rice roll with indica rice flour (typically sold as rice flour in the US) with wheat starch or water chestnut flour. I added Tai Bi powder (potato startch) to make the rice roll texture a little more chewy than the usual Hong Kongness style.
It is important to buy good quality (i.e. no strange oder) indica rice flour and Tai Bi powder. Besides using shrimps as the rice roll filling, other indgredients will work equally well. Try the Chinese fried dough stick with the soft silky wrapper. The texture is very unique because it is crunchy and soft at the same time!
The trick of making this dish is to make very thin rice wrapper. I use a 23 cm (9 in) pizza pan as the steaming plate. You should use the rice wrapper batter to make 8 wrappers so each wrapper will be thin enough for this recipe. If you can find a bigger plate to steam the wrappers, you won’t have to steam so many times. For example, if the pizza pan is 46 cm (18 in) in diameter, divide the filling into 4 portions, then you only have to steam 4 times to make 4 rolls. Cut each roll in half to get 8 total.
Indica rice flour (or rice flour) – 150 g
Tai Bi powder (potato starch) – 75 g
Water – 600 g
Shrimp – 300 g
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
White pepper – to taste
Egg white – 1
Sesame seed oil – 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce – 3 tablespoons
Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Sesame seed oil – ½ tablespoon
Water – 3 tablespoons
Steaming plate – 1 (any flat metal pan or porcelain plate will work)
- Combine indica rice flour, Tai Bi powder, and water. Mix thoroughly.
- Dry the shrimps with paper towel. Marinate with marinate ingredients.
- Heat up half a pot of water. The pot must be big enough to accommodate the steaming plate. There should also be enough water in the pot so the plate will float.
- Place the steaming plate in the pot to preheat.
- Thoroughly mix the rice wrapper batter before weighing out ⅛ (~ 103 g). Pour onto the steaming plate.
- Gently shake the plate to evenly distribute the batter into a thin layer on the plate.
- Place ⅛ of the marinated shrimp on the rice wrapper batter.
- Put the lid on. Let it steam with high heat for 3 minutes.
- Take the steaming plate out of the boiling pot and let it cool slightly (spray or splash cold water on the back of the steaming plate can help to cool it down). Peel the steamed rice wrapper away from the plate. If the wrapper is still quite warm and you can’t peel it fast enough, bits and pieces of the wrapper will be stuck on the plate. It won’t affect the taste of the steamed rice roll.
- Keep rolling the wrapper until it becomes a roll. Put it on the plate.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of the dipping sauce for each roll. Serve while hot.
Light colored soy sauce is more visually appealing for this dish. My soy sauce in the picture is slightly too dark.
The picture below shows steamed rice roll with Chinese fried dough sticks:
Follow the same steps as the shrimp rolls but without the shrimps. Make the rice wrapper first. Let it cool completely (don’t stack the wrappers together to cool) then wrap it around a Chinese fried dough stick. Cut the roll into smaller pieces before serving because chopsticks won’t be able to cut through the fried dough.
If the fried dough stick is not crispy eough, bake it in the toaster oven. Cool smooth silky wrapper with cruchy fried dough is really a unique experience. It is even more flavorful by adding green onions and toasted sesames in the dipping sauce.
In the US, you can buy Chinese fried dough sticks in restaurants serving traditional Chinese breakfast items like soy milk.