Rice “cake” or “dumpling” or “bead”

April 18, 2010

This morning I woke up thinking, what if I replace the wheat flour for making pasta to  rice flour. Would I be able to make rice noodles using the same process? Without prior research online, I thought I will just give it a try, otherwise I will never  find out…

So the answer is..NO! It will not work with the same pasta making process by simply adding rice flour and egg together!

Since I have already mixed 2 egg white to 100g of rice flour, I might as well experiment further to see how it will turn out!

There is this Hakka dish, Sohn Pan Tzai (算盘子), which I have totally forgotten. After living in the UK for nearly 10 years, I have since lost touch of many Hakka traditional cuisines. So I decided to turn this rice dough to Sohn Pan Tzai.

Extracted from Wikipedia:

Sohn Pan Tzai or Àbacus Beads: Made of dough formed of tapioca and yam, cut into abacus-bead shapes, which when cooked, are soft on the outside and a chewy on the inside. The dish may be cooked with minced chicken or pork, dried shrimps, mushrooms and various other vegetables. The dish is stir-fried, seasoned with light soy sauce, salt, sugar and sometimes rice wine or vinegar (depending on taste).

For this experiment, I use the following ingredients:

  1. 100g rice flour
  2. 2 egg white

Mix the two ingredients to form dough and pinch and shape to small bead shape with a dimple in the middle. and cook in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be slightly chewy in the middle.

  1. Generous amount of spring onion. cut to desirable size.
  2. 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  3. 2  fried tofu (sliced)
  4. Chilli (chopped)
  5. 1-2 tbsp oil
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  8. 1 egg plus the left over 2 egg yolks from the dough making process
  9. Iceberg lettuce (for lining at the bottom of the serving bowl)
  10. Approximately 1/4 t0 1/2  water

Firstly, fry the eggs in a hot pan (with enough oil) for 1 minute and remove from heat. Set aside. In the same pan, lightly fry the garlic, spring onion and chilli. Add dried tofu and fry for another minute or two. Season dark soy sauce, salt and pepper.

Add cooked rice “beads” to the pan and stir well. Add the water and stir, cooked until the water is slightly reduced.

Serve with a bowl lined with iceberg lettuce and fried eggs.

NOTE: This is an experiment recipe! Use this recipe as an inspiration, DO NOT try this at home! I think, instead of adding egg white to the rice flour, water might be a better solution, I suspect the rice “beads” will be a lot softer once cooked.

* Not really sure what is the proper name for this dish YET!

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One Response to “Rice “cake” or “dumpling” or “bead””


  1. Yes!! I know these as abacus beads! It’s been so long since I had any of this – they do look like some kind of Italian pasta too, actually. Yours are very nicely done :)


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