Rice flour based sweets are common throughout Eastern Asia, and this recipe is a great example of how they are often incredibly straightforward and easy to make.
This simple Indonesian rice fritter recipe utilises black sticky rice flour to produce a soft fried puff of dough, which is then coated in crystalised sugar. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and the recipe can easily be double, tripled, or whatevered. My rule in regard to quantity planning is to consider the fact that I will eat exactly the number I make, so if there's anyone else in the picture I basically shouldn't make these at all. I'm a terrible host.
Black sticky rice flour used to be quite difficult to find in London, but in recent years it's become easier to source. If you're near Earls Court, you can find it at Manilla Supermarket on Hogarth Road. I have also seen it at See Woo in Greenwich.
In case you're not lucky in finding this sometimes elusive ingredient, however, you can substitute white sticky rice flour. This more common variety of glutinous flour is easily found in just about any Asian shop stocking Eastern Asian ingredients.
Indonesian sugar frosted black rice fritters
- Whisk the rice flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour in the coconut milk and mix into a smooth dough, switching from utensil to hand to knead once the liquid is absorbed. Add more warm coconut milk or water in 5 millilitre increments, if necessary, if the dough is too crumbly. The consistency ought to be smooth and shouldn't stick to your hands.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each into an oval shape. Press lightly to flatten the ovals until they are ¼ to ½ inches in thickness.
- Heat at least 1 inch of oil in a wok or high sided pan. Fry the rice pieces for about five minutes, until they are crispy and slightly darker in colour, and remove to drain on kitchen paper. If the oil doesn't cover the fritters, flip them halfway through cooking. Beware of oil splatters! Use a splatter screen when deep frying.
- In a saucepan large enough to comfortably hold all of the fritters, bring the sugar and water to the boil over high heat. Do not let the sugar burn; if it goes beyond a pale golden colour, throw it away and start again. As soon as the sugar is dissolved and large bubbles form on the surface, tip in the fritters and stir quickly to coat. After a short while the sugar will begin to crystalise.
- Remove from the pan and serve either immediately or within a few hours of making.