Indian food is my all time favourite, but sometimes you need a break from all of the complex flavours and just need something nice and plain and simple. Cheong fun is one of those dishes that I crave at times like this! I have had this dish many times in restaurants, but if you have the time, then it is well worth making it yourself.
If you are not familiar with this dish, I could best explain it as a noodle roll with whatever filling is on offer, but my favourite filling is king prawn by far!!!!
It has taken me many attempts to make cheong fun with a smooth and silky texture, but if you follow my recipe, you will be sure to get some success!! Let me know what you think?
I forgot to mention how healthy it is too. It is steamed and the only oil you will need is some oil to grease your trays and a few drops of sesame oil in the sauce for flavour. And not forgetting how nutritious prawns are anyway.
3 tbs wheat starch,
2 tbs tapioca starch,
200 ml cold water,
300 ml boiling water,
just a touch over 1/2tsp salt
25/35 fresh king prawns or gambas.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5tbs light soy sauce,
1/4 tsp sesame oil,
2 tbs water,
2 tbs sugar
If you know that you are starting to get a craving for some cheong fun, then I would do this part ahead of time like the day before, or that morning.
1) Prepare a steamer for the rice flour. The rice flour needs to be cooked before hand. this gives the cheong fun a nice silky texture.
2) Sieve the rice flour into a heat proof bowl ( preferably metal ) and cover tightly with cling film as so that the flour keeps completely dry during the steaming process. Steam the flour with a lid, on a medium heat for about 45 minutes.
3) Once the time has gone, remove the flour and let it cool slightly, before you sift the flour again. Once the rice flour is cooked, it should be quite hard.
4) While the rice flour is cooking, de-vein and butterfly the prawns, thoroughly dry them and put them in a container or a non metallic bowl and sprinkle on the soda bicarb. massage in thoroughly. leave to marinate, in the fridge for at least an hour. the longer that you do this, the more tender but crisp the prawns turn out.
5) At this point, boil the kettle for the boiling water and mix all of the other ingredients for the batter thoroughly. Add the cold water slowly ensuring that there are no lumps. Then slowly mix in the boiling water and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour-1,1/2 hours.
7) Once the water is boiling, place one of the trays onto the platform to get hot, stir the batter well again, because rice flour has a tendency to settle at the bottom. Thoroughly rinse and dry the prawns.
8)Once the tray is hot, ladle a small amount onto it and tilt the tray around as to spread a thin even layer of the batter.
9) Steam for 3 minutes and then remove the lid and place 3 prawns slightly to the side. Steam for another 2 minutes. Leave the tray to cool completely before trying to roll.
10) Repeat the process for the rest of the batter in rotation.
For the sauce:-
Mix all of the ingredients together ensuring that all of the sugar has dissolved. Taste to test the balance of the sugar salt and sesame oil.
Serve the cheong fun hot with the sauce pored over the top.