Tráng Mì (Making Fresh Rice Noodle)

Ingredients

1 (16 oz) bag Rice Flour

2 tablespoons Tapioca Starch

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, for Quang noodle

4 1/2 cups Water

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

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Equipments

a Steamer

2 Baking Pans

or

Ring and Cloth for the Steamer/Pot, click here 

for instructions on how to make ring and cloth

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Directions


Preparing Batter

Combine flour, salt, turmeric powder (if you're making Quang style noodle), water, and oil, and mix well. Set aside to rest for half an hour to allow the batter to absorb the liquid and the air bubbles to settle before steaming. 

When you're ready to steam it, steam the first one to test the consistency.  If it's too thick, add a little bit more of water. How much water all depends upon your brand of flour, how old it is, and the temperature and humidly of the room.

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Steaming Rice Cake

There are two methods of steaming rice cake.  


Method #1: using a cake pan.  This is my favorite method of making noodle because it's quick, easy and no mess.

If you don't have the metal ring and the fabric, another way to steam the rice cake is using the cake pan.  I tested out by greasing the pan with oil. Then I also tried it without oil and it was just as easy. So no need to grease the pan.


Add water 2/3 full and stack the second layer of steamer on top. Bring it to a rapid boil.


In a cake pan, ladle about 1/4 cup of batter just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Tilt the pan to even out the batter. The rice cake should not be too thin or too thick. Your call. Place it in the steamer; cover with a lid and steam for no longer than a minute.
The rice cake should be bubbling when it's ready.
Remove the pan.  To cool it down quickly, place the pan on the ice water bath while placing another pan of batter in the steamer.
Remove the pan from the ice water bath.  Peel the rice cake off the pan.

Method #2: using a steamer, metal ring, and cloth

Fill the bottom steamer with 2/3 water.  Place the fabric ring inside of the top steamer. Make sure it's straight.

Bring the steamer to a rapid boil.  Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the fabric screen. The size of the rice cake depends on the portion of the batter you pour onto the fabric screen and how big you spread the batter.

Use the bottom of the metal or coconut shell ladle like the one I used to help spread the rice batter thinly and evenly over the stretched fabric. Be sure to spread this quickly using a circular motion as the batter gets cooked very fast. Cover it up with a lid and let it steam for about 10 seconds.


Remove the lid and spread another layer of batter on top of the cooked one. The noodle needs to be thick, therefore, pouring two layers of batter is a must.  It will take a few more seconds for the steam to cook the smooth batter. The rice cake will bubble when it's ready. Use a flat and long bamboo stick to remove the rice cake, then place it directly on a cutting board.


Be sure to keep the bamboo stick in a vase of water when not using to prevent the noodle from sticking to it on the next try.

Repeat the steaming process until done.
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