Tuesday, November 22, 2011

glutinous rice balls

rice ballsrice balls

rice ballsrice balls

This is a fabulous Shanghainese dessert, properly known as 桂花酒酿汤圆. We make a sweet soup of glutinous rice balls, a fermented rice wine (making it slightly alcoholic), a certain yellow flower that I don't the English of, and a certain red herb I also don't know the English of. Like all great things, it has to be all done by hand. Glutinous rice flour, rolled out by hand. My mother does four at a time . . . I barely manage two, but get the job done. Of course, the key is to keep size and shape consistent. It seems tricky, but the flour reacts in an amazing way to the heat from your hand, and never sticks together after the balls have been rolled. Into the freezer, where it keeps until you're ready to cook them.

It's sweet, slightly sour, and absolutely delicious. Soft, squishy texture, like little plushy balls in your mouth.


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