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Chinese Steamed Sweet Rice Cakes

Fluffy sweet steamed rice cake. Usually sold by the manapua man and seen in Chinatown.
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Chinese, Hawaiian
Servings 8 large pieces


  • Steamer


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1/8 tsp oil
  • oil to grease pan
  • water for steamer


  • Dissolve the sugar in the water by heating it in a small pot. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.
  • Mix the yeast with warm water. Set it aside to bloom (usually in a few minutes).
  • Add the rice flour and sugar water to a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Add in the yeast mixture and lightly stir to combine. Cover and let it proof for 2-3 hours in a warm environment. *Add a few drops of oil 30 minutes into the proofing step.
  • Once a thick layer of small bubbles are on the surface of the rice mixture, lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan. Then add the rice mixture to the pan.
  • Boil the water for the steamer first. Add the pan to the steamer. *Cover with the lid and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the steamer and let it completely cool down. Remove the cake from the pan and slice into diamonds, wedges, or cubes. Serve and enjoy!


*I added the 1/8 tsp oil to the recipe to give the rice cake more moisture.
*When covering the lid, be careful to not let the condensation from the lid drop onto the cake. You can prevent this by wrapping the lid with a towel. Using the towel will naturally absorb the water. If you are using a bamboo lid, you can skip this tip.
Keyword cake, honey comb, rice, rice cake, steamed, sweet, white