No matter what it’s called (I prefer rice-ball thingy myself), this snack happened to be a hot favourite when I was growing up. We never made it at home, so when I phoned mum to ask for the recipe, she knew how it was made but didn’t have any measurements. “Why don’t you look on the blogs? ” was her sage advice. This from a woman who was once a technophobe, Go Mum!
Then my aunty, who happened to be there when I called, chimed in: “you can use the microwave to make it”.
After hunting around, I found two promising recipes, one at
Citrus and Candy, and one at Lily’s blog. I made a mash-up using the two recipes, and here’s how it went.
First make the filling:
I used 1 cup toasted unsalted peanuts and 3 tbsp caster sugar. Blitz until medium fine, in the food processor. Tip into a bowl.
Add 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds to this mix. Stir and set aside.
This actually makes way more filling than needed, but it can also be stored in an airight container in the fridge. You can sprinkle it on stuff, maybe ice-cream?
For the outer “skin” , I used:
1 ¼ cup toasted glutinous rice flour (not all the flour is used in the dough, some is kept for dusting. Explanation further on)
1 slightly heaped teaspoon tapioca flour (I like the “chewiness” this imparts to dough)
1 scant teaspoon caster sugar
about ¾ cup water
about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
First, toast the glutinous rice flour in a clean, dry frypan, one with deep sides is ideal. I toasted the flour over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Jiggle the pan from time to time to make sure the flour is evenly toasted. Do not let the flour colour. We’re aiming for the flour to become lighter in texture, but not burnt.
L: Toasted flour (powdery texture), R: Untoasted
Place about ¾ cup of the glutinous rice flour, the tapioca flour and the sugar in a deep, microwave safe bowl. Keep the remaining glutinous rice flour aside for later. Add the oil at this stage (I forgot and had to add it halfway through the cooking process, not ideal). Add about half a cup of water, and stir well. I used a fork, then switched to a spatula to scrape all the dough off the bottom. Add the other ¼ cup water slowly. The end texture should be like a thick batter.
The next part really depends on your microwave. Heat for short bursts, on high power until the dough becomes slightly translucent and quite solid. It took me two 40seconds, and one 30 second cycle.
Careful, at this stage, the dough is very, very hot. Use the spatula to “stir” and mix it to check if done. Mine came away from the sides of the bowl and became a sort of ball.
Now comes the very tricky part. This dough is absolutely the stickiest thing I have ever handled. Assemble the bowl of filling, and the extra glutinous rice flour for dusting. First, I took a small piece of the dough, dusted it with the flour and tried to form a flat circle. The aim was to place a teaspoon of filling in the middle, then wrap the whole thing up like a ball.
In reality, it felt like I was wrestling a very small, very sticky jellyfish. I managed to get the filling in, but when I tried to wrap it up, it leaked out the sides. In the end, I just ate that sucker.
Then I washed my hands. And washed my hands. And washed my hands some more. Like I said, this dough is sticky!
Ok, it was very clear that I was an amateur at this. I pulled out some reinforcements – baking paper, and my non-stick rolling pin. My next attempt, was slightly better.
"This one needs surgery!!"
Finally, at attempt number 5, when I was almost running out of dough, I got one that I thought would be good enough for a photo.
I scooped up the rest of the dough and tried to cut it into little portions, then coated this in the peanut mixture. Apparently, this is how “muah chee” is made. It should also have some fried shallots added to the mix, but it wasn’t something I felt I needed ☺
Because this was a bit of a test batch, I only made about 6 balls all up. Double or triple the dough measurements to get more serves.
The taste and texture of the ball was very similar to what I had as a child. MC Junior liked the outer dough but disliked the peanut filling, but MC Senior happily chomped through two.
I would definitely make this again, but I think I’ll just make the “muah chee” version rather than trying to form balls.
Have a great start to the week ☺