My mother claims it has Taiwanese origins, Wikipedia says it’s origins are from Shanghai (with mention of Hong Kong and Taiwan). I’m all about generalizing, it’s a dish with Chinese origins. Fan Tuan is essentially a sushi roll stuffed with shredded pork, zha cai (preserved mustard greens) and Chinese donut. If these ingredients are foreign to you…well, it’s time to try new things, right? This dish provides a satisfying crunch and bite all wrapped in sticky rice goodness. Normally it’s eaten for breakfast but I could eat this any time of the day (or night!)This dish is surprisingly easy to make if you have the proper ingredients and equipment on hand (Who actually makes home-made Chinese donuts anyway?)
2 cups sticky rice, uncooked (aka sweet rice or glutinous rice)
2-3 Chinese donuts (ready to eat)
1 package zha cai
1 cup rousong (or yu song)
1. Sweet rice preparation – Place rice in a bowl filled with water. Wash the rice repeatedly until the water turns clear (this may take 3-4 times). Drain water and soak the rice in clean water over night.
2. After the rice has soaked over night, drain and place in the steamer. (If the holes in the steamer are too large and the rice might fall through, line it with cheesecloth first.) Fill the pan with water, making sure it doesn’t touch the steamer. Steam for about 30 minutes and check it. It might need another 10 minutes or so. The consistency of the rice should be sticky and chewy – not mushy!
3. Rinse the zha cai several times and finely chop.
4. If your Chinese donuts are freshly made, and delightfully crisp, proceed to step 5. If your Chinese donuts lack on the crunchy factor, put them in the toaster.
5. Cover a sushi roller (I prefer the ones made out of bamboo) with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be the slightly bigger than the size as the sushi roller. Spread a thin layer of sticky rice over half of the bamboo roller.
6. Place the Chinese donut (cut to fit the size of the bamboo roller), 1-2 tps of zha cai, and a few tablespoons of rousong on the middle portion of the rice.
7. Roll up rice until the ends of the rice touch (it’s like rolling up sushi). Peel off the plastic wrap as you eat! Peeling it off prior is possible but it gets messy and the plastic wrap keeps the rice from hardening.