A Chinese version of the more popular Japanese mochi, muah chee is arguably the superior rice cake, as instead of having a limited amount of filling on the inside, it is rolled in a peanut and sesame crumb, then topped with more of that crack-like crumb. This version further simplifies the cooking process, using a microwave instead of the more traditional steaming/boiling method, with near-identical results!
- Roast the peanuts and sesame seeds separately in oven or a pan until brown, not burnt. (If using an oven, 20-30 minutes at 320°F should do the trick.) Then, using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, crush up or blend the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds into a rough, sandy crumb. Transfer this peanut crumb onto a shallow tray.
- For the muah chee dough, sift the glutinous rice flour, caster sugar, and salt into a bowl. Then add the water and tablespoon of oil. Mix with a whisk until well combined. It should resemble a thick batter at this point.
- Transfer the muah chee mixture onto a small but deep microwave-safe tray. (Glass, ceramic, or Pyrex all work well.) Cover the tray with a lid or plastic wrap, and heat in a microwave one minute at a time, stirring after each minute, for 4-5 minutes. The dough will turn slightly translucent when cooked through.
- Remove the muah chee dough from the microwave and cut it into 1-inch squares. Then transfer these pieces of muah chee to the tray with the peanut crumb, and roll them around the crumb so each cube is fully coated.
- Portion 15-20 pieces per person, and serve warm. Top with an extra sprinkle of the peanut crumb!
Yi Jun Loh is a freelance writer and cook. An engineer by training, he immersed himself into the food industry right after graduating from Cambridge, learning to cook in Paris and then at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York. He is now based in Malaysia, obsessing over food culture and science through his blog Jun & Tonic.