Rice Noodle Rolls: This week, we want to show you how to make some triple sauce rice rolls, or “混酱肠粉”.
That’s a classic Cantonese street snack that’s made with a type of rice noodle that’s called Jyu Cheung Fun (猪肠粉) or ‘pork intestine noodle’.
They’re called that way not because they contain any pork or intestine, but mostly because they kinda look like one.
But before we get started let’s lay some groundwork.
I am a rice noodle fundamentalist.
Rice noodles should JUST BE ABOUT RICE.
You should be able to actually taste the subtle rice in rice noodles itself and you should be able to just appreciate the different characteristic textures for different kinds of rice noodles.
But nowadays, unless you’re eating at a very tasty stall or restaurant that got its own specific supplier for rice noodles, the rice noodle quality in Guangdong tends to be pretty disappointing.
Like, look at this Jyu Cheung Fun (猪肠粉) we get at our local market, see how it’s kind of translucent and gets transparent as you heat it up? This is just garbage.
In the past decade, it seems like this kind of garbage Jyu Cheung Fun (猪肠粉) has taken over that’s the kind that’s made with way too much-added starches.
It’s way too slippery, it doesn’t sustain longer cooking time, and it honestly tastes like plastic.
So today, let’s revive the tradition, and make some round rice noodle rolls from scratch using just rice.
So we’ll need 200g of dry rice. Here we have 100g of short-grain Zhenzhumi (珍珠米) from the northeast, you can also just use sushi rice.
And to that, we’re gonna add another 100g of jasmine rice for some more fragrance.
You can also use straight up 200g sushi rice or jasmine rice, I tested them all and they all work, just with a slight textural and flavor difference.
Now give the rice a rinse, submerge it with water, and soak it for at least 4 hours or alternatively overnight in the fridge.
Then once your rice is soaked, we can make our batter. Strain the rice first, and now we’ll need to see how much we’re working with.
So. Get your blender on a scale, tare, toss the rice in, see how much it weighs.
Usually, the rice would absorb about 50g of water, and as you can see ours is a bit more than 250g.
So now, add more water, till it reaches 500g altogether.
Next. Blend on high for 4 minutes, scraping down if needed.
Once the batter is all smooth, pour it into a bowl, and set aside.
So. Steaming set-up. Here we have our steaming wok, a rack, and an 8 by 8-inch non-stick baking tray.
Traditionally people would use bamboo trays to make this and it creates a thinner result.
But you probably don’t own one of these, so baking tray it is.
So bring enough water to a heavy boil, preheat the tray for a minute.
While it’s preheating, add in 2g or half tsp peanut oil to the batter, mix well, and now we’re ready to steam.
Take out the tray, lightly brush some oil on, and stir the batter to make sure nothing’s settled at the bottom.
Now scoop some batter to your tray, just enough to spread over the surface.
Put the tray in, make sure it’s not tilted, cover, steam on high for two and half minutes.
It’ll be done once you can see big bubbles forming underneath the rice noodle sheet, then take out your tray.
Now, we can roll. Use a bench scraper, gently lift the far end of the sheet, flip the edge over, and roll it with the help of the bench scraper till you reach the close end.
Take it out, and set it aside.
Now work through your batter, this recipe yields about 7 to 8 rice rolls with an 8-inch baking tray.
I know this may seem a little complicated, so for a clearer version, you can check out the uncut shots up here.
Soft, slightly chewy, with some delicate rice fragrance, just like how a Jyu Cheung Fun (猪肠粉) should be.
So right, now that we have noodles ready, let’s show you how to make the classic street snack.
This snack is literally rice rolls smothered in three sauces.
The three foundational sauces here are a peanut butter sauce, a seasoned soy sauce, and a sweet and savory sauce called “sweet” sauce – or often hoisin, more on that in a sec.
But now, let’s show you how to whip those up.
Peanut butter first. The peanut butter sauce in this dish is a fried one, so let’s break out the wok.
First, long you, get your wok piping hot, shut off the heat, add in the oil, here we’re using 2 tbsp of quality peanut oil – some stalls would use lard in this process to give it a richer flavor, so it’s totally up to you.
And then, toss in 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter, heat on the low, and patiently mix it till smooth.
Once the color deepens a little bit, shut off the heat and take it out.
Next, seasoned soy sauce.
This is actually a product that you can buy at most Chinese supermarkets – and they are often labeled as ‘seasoned soy sauce’ or ‘seasoned soy sauce for seafood or something like that.
But making it is also very easy.
Just combine 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp of water, 2 tsp sugar into a tiny saucepan, heat on low, bring it to a boil, let it cook for a minute.
Then heat off, set aside.
Finally, let’s tackle the “sweet” sauce.
If you’re in Guangdong or Hong Kong, you can just buy a pack of this stuff and squeeze it onto your rolls.
It’s a sweet and savory sauce that tastes quite like hoisin, which’s actually another really common choice for vendors too, only this one has a very slight hint of fruitiness.
So you can totally just use Hoisin here, but if you like, you could sub that ‘sweet sauce’ by simply mixing half hoisin and half part Thai sweet chili sauce.
But this is a really free thing.
Some shops use house-made, some use this Thai sweet chili sauce and we even tested with this Trader Joe’s chili jam for the sake of completeness, and they all work great.
So now, we have everything ready, let’s serve.
Jyu Cheung Fun (猪肠粉) is often served warmed, some shops would keep it in a steamer, some shops will give it a pan fry and create a nice little crust, and today we’re going with the steaming route.
So quickly steam your rice rolls on high for 3 minutes, take it out.
On a plate with some wax paper for extra authentic points cut 4 rolls into about 1-inch sections with a pair of scissors.
Pour on 2 tbsp of the fried peanut butter sauce, 2 tbsp seasoned soy sauce, a couple of tbsp those sweet sauce or hoisin, sprinkle on some toasted white sesame seeds, and now, your triple sauce rice rolls are done just like how you’d get – from a good place – from the street.
So right, I know using short-grain rice sounds pretty counter-intuitive for rice noodles, but that’s the beauty of all kinds of different
rice products, they all have their own unique characteristics that shouldn’t just be ruined by this one-batter-fits-all kind of approach.
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