Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smiling Steamed Rice Cakes -- Fatt Koh -- Ba'nh Bò Bông

Yesterday I went to visit my Mother-in-law. We chatted for a while, and she asked if I knew how to make “smiling steamed rice cake”, also known as Fatt Koh (in Cantonese), and Bánh Bò Bông (in Vietnamese). Basically, it’s similar to a muffin. It tastes sweet, and the texture is fluffy. Usually, Chinese folks make or buy these cute adorable cakes during the New Year holidays. They believe when the cake blossoms, it resembles a smile which will bring good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year. Honestly, I did not know how to make Fatt Koh. However, I had seen my Grandma make it when I was a little during New Year's Eve. She made these smiling steamed cakes for Chinese New Year. Of course I never cared to learn how to make them until yesterday. "How hard can they be?," I said to myself. There got to be a recipe somewhere on the internet for it. So I went home and searched for it. Oh Lord, it appeared that many people had attempted to make these cakes and failed many times. This freaked me out a little bit, but at the same time I wanted to learn how to make it.

Ready? Ta Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........They are smiling!!!!! :-)))))) I am so happy!!! I am doing a happy dance now. :-)

This was my first attempt making these steamed rice cakes, and it was a success.

I added coconut milk and pandan flavor so they taste better.

This will be a good practice before the Chinese New Year .

1 bag of rice flour (16oz)
1 TB of yeast
1 TB of baking powder
1/4 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of sugar (add more sugar if you like it sweeter.)
2 cups of warm water
few drops of pandan flavor (or different colors)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 lime juice (This is to make the steamed rice cakes smile.)

1. In a big container, Mix water, sugar, baking powder together and stir well.
2. In a small bowl, add the yeast and a 3TB of warm water (set aside and let it sit for a while.)
Add in the rice flour and then the yeast and stir until smooth.
4. Let the mixture sit for 1-2 hours or until bubbly.
5. Add in the coconut milk and pandan flavor.
6. Line your tea cup with muffin paper. (I used tea cup as the mould for these steamed rice cakes.)
7. Pour the batter into the mould, all the way up.
8. In another container, squeeze out 1/2 lime juice and add a little bit of water. (this is use to make the rice smile.)
9. Dip a tooth pick into a small bowl of lime juice of and then make a cross on top.
10. Boil a pot of water and make sure it is hot.
11. Steam the rice cake for 15-20 minutes.

1. Make sure your steamer is hot.
2. Fill the batter all the way up.
3. Make a cross on top of each mould.
4. Don't open the steammer until you see the cake smile.
5. Pray :-)
Good Luck!


ch3rri said...

Aww....I want These looking good. Will try to make these sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

Zoe said...

Pretty huh? It was a productive day after all. I made them for my Mother-in-law :-)

pigpigscorner said...

They are smiling happily! Happy new year!

ICook4Fun said...

Your rice cake are all smiling big :) Happy New Year to you and your family!

Zoe said...

Pigpig, They sure are :-) Xie Xie. Xin Nian Kuai Le.

Happy New Year to you too. Gong Hei Fat Choi!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe, TrucVi. This is Angel from Tu Do. I need to ask you what the 1/2 tsp salt was for. I made this last night and omitted the salt because I didn't see where in the recipe to use it. The cakes were moist, but didn't open up as wide as yours. I will try again.

Bang said...


what in this recipe makes final outcome texture fluffy and not like the honeycomb cake (banh bo nuong)?


Vj.w said...

Wow , that simple to make the this smiling cake?. But what about eno ?i wll try this cake to night , looks very good respei. Thank you for sharing.vijayw.

tam chi said...

Xin vui lòng dịch sang Việt ngữ. Cảm ơn thật nhiều