Shanghai Daily

Tasty treats from gift packs

Turn rice into a Shanghai street snack – zifangao

- Li Fei

Using simple ingredient­s instead of the usual profession­al items and making do with the limited gear at hand, it’s fun to create our own delicacies during home quarantine. Carrots, cabbages, even rice — the unexpected ingredient­s in your government gift packs can be turned into savory foods and street snacks.

Over the past 50 days, I have moved from being a novice to a master baker. So did all my friends who live in the city. I’ve seen their progress in the photos they have posted on their WeChat moments.

Here are some recipes.

The simple street tastes are what we have missed the most.

If you only have rice and cooking oil, you can try this — the Shanghai traditiona­l street food called zifangao (粢饭糕). It is a rectangula­r block of compressed rice cake that is fried until golden brown.

I have always bought the savory Shanghai breakfast snack from street vendors, but never tried to make it at home. This is a homemade recipe for beginners. I succeeded the first time.


1 cup rice, cooking oil, salt


1. Rinse the rice and put in the electric rice cooker; add 1/5 more water than normal, add a teaspoon of salt. (You can use a 1/4 cup of purple glutinous rice to make it chewier and get a better shape.)

2. Steam the rice. Put it into a lunch box container. Press the rice so it sticks firmly together. Leave it in the fridge overnight. Remove rice from the contain3.

er, cut into 3-centimeter slices. 4. Heat frying pan, add the oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom.

5. Fry the rice cakes for two minutes on each side, until the surface becomes crispy.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China