Inspired by my favourite Chinese and Vietnamese desserts, these rice cakes feature sticky rice coated in sesame seeds with sweet banana tucked inside.
Frosted birthday cakes in Asia were always a dicey proposition. They almost never tasted quite right to me. But anything sweet that involved sticky rice was usually excellent. So I have come to the conclusion that it is best to seek out ethnic food that reflects the traditional ingredients and cooking methods of the area. In China and Vietnam that means rice prepared without an oven.
I was craving some Vietnamese che choui nuong (grilled banana in sweet coconut milk) a while ago, but I thought it was yet another Asian treat I would have to forgo on this side of the ocean. And then I remembered ba si xiang jiao (deep-fried banana with caramel syrup), another sweet-and-sticky dessert that we often enjoyed at restaurants in China. And so this fusion dessert/snack/breakfast came to be. It combines the flavours of sweet banana che and fried banana dumplings with the light crunch of sesame seeds.
Sesame Sticky Rice Cakes with Banana
- 1 cup glutinous rice (or sushi rice), soaked for 2 hours or more
- 2 bananas, cut into thick pieces
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- about 2 cups of oil for frying, such as grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- honey, to taste
- Drain water from rice and add 1.5 cups of water. Cook in a rice cooker or covered saucepan according to package directions. Remove from heat.
- Make sure the cooked sticky rice is cool enough to handle but still warm and moist. Take a portion of rice and use it to cover a piece of banana (and be ready for sticky fingers). Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and then dip the rice cake into a bowl of sesame seeds until completely coated.
- Pour oil for frying in a pan or skillet until it is about 2 cm deep. Heat over medium-high heat for several minutes before adding some of the sticky rice cakes. Fry on both sides until golden. Remove rice cakes from oil and drain.
- To make a dipping sauce, whisk warm coconut milk, honey, and peanut butter together until smooth.
I’m also joining Gluten Free Wednesdays this week.