Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

INTRODUCTION

Every year on the 8th night or 12:00 am for the 9th day (初八晚,初九凌晨), many Chinese dialects especially the Hokkien will be paying to the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝)or locally known as pai ti kong (拜天公). The praying is usually conducted in a big scale starting from the 8th day night with lots of food, Chinese cakes and symbolic items such as sugar cane etc..

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

One of the items that the Northern peninsula West Malaysians are praying is this bee koh (米糕) or literally translated as rice cake or to be more exact, glutinous rice cake. Every year 2-3 days before this important day, this cake will appear in Chinese Facebook Group and people are preparing in advance for this ceremony.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Since I have never seen this cake in Singapore and East Malaysia, out of my curiosity, I posted in a Taiwanese Facebook Group and obviously they do have such a cake for paying too as in the picture above. The name is the same but there is no pandan leaves and coconut milk which is understandable. Any addition of these two ingredients are locally evolved recipes as most Malaysian like santan and pandan aroma.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

I have searched for recipe and even without tasting it, I know it is a nice cake. If you are wondering what is the taste of this cake, it taste exactly the same (possibly a bit sweeter), it taste like the bottom layer of nonya kuih salat (Recipe: Kueh Salat or Kueh Seri Muka (香兰椰香糯米蒸糕)) or pulut tai tai aka pulut tekan (Recipe: Kuih Pulut Tai Tai, Pulut Tekan, Pulut Tatal (娘惹兰花加椰糕)). Since both nonya kuih have a sweet topping, the glutinous rice portion is slightly bland and quite tasteless except with coconut aroma, however, as this bee koh is to be eaten plain, it is slightly sweeter than the bottom layer.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

I will share two preparation methods, one is by steaming and another one is by rice cooker method. Both has its advantages and disadvantages. It is much faster to prepare using rice cooker but since you need water to cover the rice for cooking, therefore, it is wetter and less sticky than the steaming method. Therefore, it can’t be put for long at room temperature.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

For steaming method, the rice’s cohesiveness or stickiness is better which produce a better looking cake. On the other hand, the coconut milk added is much lesser since you will need to sprinkle the coconut milk on top of the steamed glutinous rice instead of boiling together. I will leave it to the readers to decide.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

While the original version of this cake is very simple and plain, to add some variety to the cake, you can always added cooked red bean to the cake. The taste blend well and personally i think for religious purposes, it is a good substitute since red colour in red beans also implying robust growth in wealth in the coming year. This is optional and will not be covered in the recipe.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Rice Cooker Method

  • 500 grams of glutinous rice
  • 200 ml or grams of coconut milk
  • 200 grams of water
  • 150 grams of castor sugar
  • 10 pandan leaves
  • Some cooked red beans (optional)

Steaming method

  • 500 grams of glutinous rice
  • 150 grams to 200 grams of coconut milk
  • 150 grams of castor sugar
  • 10 Pandan leaves

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Rice Cooker Method

  • Soak the glutinous rice for at least 2 hours or best overnight. Drain and set aside.

  • In a rice cooker pot, put the glutinous rice, add the pandan leaves, coconut milk and water. Cook in accordance to the rice cooker instruction.

  • Once the rice is cooked and while it is hot, add the castor sugar and red beans (optional). Stir until well combined.

  • Lightly grease a bowl and transfer the glutinous rice to the greased bowl and pressed down as hard as possible.  Either inverted for serving or serve as it is.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)


Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Steaming method

  • Soak the glutinous rice for at least 2 hours or best overnight. Drain and set aside.

  • Transfer the glutinous rice to a steaming basket or tray. Add the pandan leaves and steam at high heat for at least 25 minutes.

  • Fluff the rice and gradually sprinkle 1/2 of the coconut milk on to the rice. Continue to steam for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, sprinkle the remaining half of the coconut milk and steam for another 10 more minutes. Before off the heat, add the castor sugar and stir until well combined. Let it steam for the final 5 minutes.

  • Lightly grease a plate or bowl, transfer the hot glutinous rice to the bowl and design your pattern for purposes of praying.

  • Cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)


CONCLUSION

This is a niche recipe and I hope it will benefit those who are looking for the recipe. I am sorry I do not know much about the cake but the taste and texture is nice especially the steaming version though it is much long winded. In addition, it will never go wrong with a sweet dessert cake that has pandan and coconut milk .

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

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Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)


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Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

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Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

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Traditional Chinese Recipe: Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake aka Bee Koh (糯米糕)

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