Make your own muah chee

What does homemade muah chee (glutinous rice balls) have that store-bought ones don't?

The extra sweet taste of satisfaction that money cannot buy. Plus, you can heap on toppings to your heart's desire.

It is not that difficult to get results that will put smiles on the faces of those getting this delicious treat from you.

I found that a suitable ratio is one part glutinous rice flour to 1.4 parts water.

Using a one-to-one ratio will leave you with muah chee that is too thick in texture and without that chewy stretchiness.

There are two ways you can cook the batter - the traditional method is to steam it. The alternative is to fry it.

Either way, it is not going to be tasty if you skip the shallot oil, which helps turn the tasteless mass of cooked glutinous flour batter into a smooth glistening ball of goodness.

If you like ground peanuts as a topping, you can buy raw ground nuts, fry them and remove their skins before grinding. But you can also get unsweetened peanut powder at the supermarket, which I did.

It's hard to find ground black sesame, though. You can buy toasted black sesame seeds and pop them into a food processor.

Don't over-grind or the black sesame will turn into a paste. What you want is a powdery texture.

In my childhood days, I used to wonder why muah chee sellers wouldn't give out forks or chopsticks instead of sad little toothpicks.

But I must admit, that extra bit of work makes the muah chee seem all the more tasty.

MUAH CHEE

INGREDIENTS

100g glutinous rice flour, sifted

120ml water

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp shallot oil

METHOD 1: STEAMING

Mix glutinous rice flour, salt and water.

Stir into smooth batter.

Stir in the shallot oil.

Pour in a heat-proof dish and steam for 15 minutes.

Place the mixture on plate or tray containing topping of choice.

Use a pair of scissors to cut the cooked glutinous rice paste into bite-sized pieces.

Roll each piece in the topping until fully coated.

METHOD 2: FRYING

Mix glutinous rice flour, salt and water.

Stir into smooth batter.

Heat the shallot oil in a non-stick pan.

Pour in the batter and allow it to cook over medium-low heat.

Turn and fry until the batter turns opaque and is cooked through.

SHALLOT OIL

INGREDIENTS

10 shallots, sliced

200ml cooking oil

METHOD

Heat the cooking oil in a wok.

Fry the shallots over low-medium heat until golden brown.

Place shallots on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Reserve shallot oil for use.

PEANUT TOPPING

INGREDIENTS

120g peanut powder

3 tbsp fine sugar

METHOD

Mix the peanut powder and sugar.

BLACK SESAME TOPPING

INGREDIENTS

120g black sesame seeds

3 tbsp fine sugar

METHOD

Briefly pulse the black sesame seeds in a food processor or grinder. Mix the ground black sesame seeds with sugar.

MIXED

100g peanut powder

20g ground black sesame seeds

3 tbsp fine sugar

METHOD

Mix the peanut powder, black sesame seeds and sugar.


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