recipe: brown sugar rice cakes

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The first time I ate one of these brown sugar rice cakes was in Chengdu, China. Now, Chengdu isn’t an official UNESCO City of Gastronomy for nothing: from hotpot, to wontons, to tangyuan and more, Chengdu truly is a culinary experience.

Brown sugar rice cakes are a classic: crunchy on the outside, chewy on the outside, they look almost like potato fries. But instead of ketchup, they’re covered in an osmanthus flower-infused honey syrup, that you (double) dip each bite into.

It’s a lot like mochi, with the added soybean flour. And because it’s fried, the texture on the outside is a lot different from mochi, too. For a dessert, it’s not particularly sweet, but because it is made of glutinous rice flour, don’t underestimate how much room it’ll take up in your stomach!


☐ Glutinous rice flour (250 grams)
☐ Boiling water (180 mL)
☐ Cooked soybean flour (2 tbs) [by cooking, just add the soy bean powder to a pan, and cook on low heat for about 2 minutes.]
☐ Brown sugar (30 grams)
☐ Honey (1 tbs)
☐ Dried Osmanthus flower (1 tsp)
☐ Cooking oil (1 tbs)


  1. Add the boiling water to the glutinous rice flour to create a dough-like structure.
  2. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Then, cut into pieces that are approximately 3 inch long and 1 inch wide.
  4. Cover each piece on all sides with the cooked soybean powder.
  5. Leave in refrigerator for 30 minutes, so they become solid.
  6. Then, take a non-stick frying pan, and add oil.
  7. Pan fry the pieces of glutinous rice cakes on medium heat.
  8. Once both sides are golden, place onto a plate.
  9. Using a small pot, add 3 tbs water, brown sugar, and honey. Heat over low-heat for about three minutes.
  10. Remove from heat, and add Osmanthus flowers.
  11. Pour the honey-syrup over the hot rice cakes.
  12. Enjoy with some tea!


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