Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 19, 2022
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Pressed rice cakes

Street food has always been a big part of Chinese food culture. Even with all the spanking new shopping malls and food courts, on the side streets of every Chinese city are food vendors of all varieties. These rice cakes are all over China and people take them on buses and trains.

2 c. (500 ml) raw glutinous rice

3 c. (750 ml) water

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

1 tbsp. (15 ml) garlic, minced

1 tbsp. (15 ml) vegetable oil

½ c. (125 ml) pork sung (dried, shredded pork used as a topping and filling)

1 tbsp. (15 ml) pickled garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. (15 ml) Sichuan preserved vegetables, finely chopped

4 fresh banana leaves (optional)

3 tbsp. (45 ml) toasted sesame seeds

In a 2-quart (2-L) pan, combine the rice, water, salt and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the oil and remaining 2 teaspoons (10 ml) garlic in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Combine the pork sung, pickled garlic, pickled cucumbers and three-quarters of the garlic-oil mixture in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Line a loaf pan with banana leaves (or plastic wrap) and brush with any leftover garlic oil. Sprinkle with half of the toasted sesame seeds. Spoon half of the rice into the lined pan and work with wet hands to press into an even layer. Sprinkle the pork sung mixture evenly over the rice and cover with the remaining rice. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and cover with more oiled leaves (or plastic) and a second square pan. Weight the top pan down with a few cans.

Let stand for at least 20 minutes. Invert onto a cutting board, remove the leaves (or plastic) and slice into 1½-inch (3.8-cm) squares with a wet knife. Serve at room temperature as is or lightly pan-fry until crisp. Makes 6 cakes.

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