When I was a kid living in Shanghai, one of my favorite snacks was ci fan gao, or ” sticky rice hashbrowns” as they call them.
Because it took me so long to save up enough pennies, it felt like a truly special treat every time I did. When I was at my absolute lowest, I was quite poor. There were times when I was a youngster where I didn’t even have enough money to buy a loaf of bread.
The term “Sticky Rice Hashbrowns” will remain in use. See what we mean once you give them a try. Hash browns without potatoes? The greatest you’ve ever tasted!
FOR THE STICKY RICE HASH BROWNS:
- 4 oz. of ground pork
- 4-6 cups of peanut oil for frying
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of sweet rice
- 1 cup of short grain white rice
- ½ cup of rice flour for dredging
- 1/3 cup of finely chopped scallions
- ½ tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder
FOR THE OPTIONAL DIPPING SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of minced scallion
- 1 teaspoon of chili oil or Sriracha (optional)
- ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
- Pinch of sugar
- To prepare sticky rice and short grain rice, first rinse them thoroughly and then drain any extra water. Use a rice cooker and 2 1/2 cups of water to prepare this. Follow the package instructions if you don’t have a rice cooker.
- Put the ground pork through a food processor or blender to get it finely minced, then put it into a bowl. Mix together 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Stir-fry the ground pork in a little oil over high heat, breaking up any clumps, until it is browned. Put the pork aside in the wok.
- When the rice is done cooking, take it from the fire and let it to cool down to the point where it is just barely warm. Then, add the pork, scallions, and a quarter teaspoon of salt to a wok. Make sure everything is evenly distributed by folding and mixing the mixture with a spatula.
- Using plastic wrap, line a little baking sheet or a shallow casserole dish. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a skillet lined with plastic wrap and spread it throughout. A huge rectangular cake of about 1 inch in thickness can be made by pouring the rice mixture onto the pan and spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Wetting the spatula may be necessary if you don’t want the rice to stick to it.
- After the rice rectangle has cooled fully, sprinkle some rice flour on the cutting board and transfer the rest to a dish. Remove the plastic and invert the rice rectangle onto the board. A bowl of hot water, please. Dip your knife in hot water, then cut the rice block into rectangles, washing your knife in hot water after each cut. Cut a few rectangles at a time and work slowly. Use a little rice flour to cover them all over and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Put the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and put aside.
- To fry the rice sticks, heat the oil to between 350 and 375 degrees and do so in batches until they are golden brown. Paper towels for the drain. As soon as possible, either dip in the sauce or sprinkle with salt.