Rice noodle rolls

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There is a place near my house that makes absolutely amazing chee chong fun: supple, slippery rice noodles flecked with slivers of spring onion (scallion). I like to drown mine in sweet, tangy hoisin sauce – but for something lighter, you can dip the rolls in briny soy sauce.

Use a gluten-free hoisin sauce.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (160 g) rice flour
  • tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra to garnish
  • crispy fried shallots, for sprinkling – optional

Dipping sauce

  • ½ cup (125 ml) hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) boiling water

Method

Set a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water. Place a square tin inside the steamer – I like to use a 20 cm square brownie tin but if your basket is too small to hold a tin of this size, any metal baking tin with a flat base should work. Let the tin heat up in the steamer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter by whisking together the flours, tapioca starch and oil with 1¾ cups (435 ml) water until smooth and lump-free.

Carefully lift out the hot tin from the steamer and brush it with a thin layer of oil. Return it to the steamer basket for 5 minutes, then scoop a ladleful of the batter into the tin, to form a thin layer on the base. Sprinkle with a few slices of spring onion and sesame seeds, then cover and steam for 5 minutes until set.

When the batter is cooked, use a dough scraper to loosen the cooked batter from one edge of the tin. Continue to loosen it, rolling it up as you go along. Remove the completed noodle roll from the tin and brush with another thin layer of oil, then return to the steamer for 5 minutes to heat through. Repeat until all the batter has been cooked. If needed, return all the rolls to the steamer for 1–2 minutes to warm through before serving.

For the dipping sauce, simply mix the hoisin sauce and hot water together in a small bowl until smooth.

Serve the rolls with the sauce on the side for dipping, or drizzle it on top. Garnish with more spring onion slices and sesame seeds, and sprinkle with some crispy fried shallots, if you like.