So simple it hardly qualifies as a recipe, these Thai fried rice cakes (khao tang) are made by shaping steamed sticky rice into rounds before baking, sun-drying, or dehydrating the cakes. Once the crackers are completely dry, they are deep fried and used as vessels for different spreads and relishes. I love them with simple chilli jam.
You can use a mix of sticky (glutinous) and jasmine rice, but I prefer to use only the former since it’s, well, sticky. When made wholly from glutinous rice you won’t have any trouble with the rice cakes falling apart as you form them.
Soak glutinous rice overnight. In the morning, drain and place in a collapsible metal steamer basket (only a few grains of rice will fall through) and steam for 20-25 minutes.
Once the rice is cool enough to handle (but not when it is cold or the starches won’t bind the rice together), it needs to be shaped into rounds, squares, or spread to crack naturally into large piece.
For the latter effect, spread the rice no thicker than ¼ inch on a rectangular metal tray. Using wet hands or the back of a wet spatula, press the rice firmly down. To shape the rice into rounds, use a ring mould, cookie cutter, a glass, or anything else you can think of that would work in a similar way.
Leave to dry for a couple of days. Alternatively you may use an oven set on a low temperature to dry the rice cakes, or a food dehydrator set at 95 degrees celsius for 18-24 hours. It’s very important that the rice is completely dry before use.
Store in an airtight container until use. To fry, heat an inch or more of vegetable oil in a wok or pan to medium heat and fry for a very short time until all of the rice is puffed up. Remove to kitchen roll to drain.
175 grams (¾ cup) sticky rice will yield about eight 3.5 inch round rice cakes.
Note: this recipe was previously labeled khao tang na tang, which was incorrect. Khao tang na tang are these rice cakes but served with a specific dipping sauce I haven’t mentioned here.