Chinese Rice Ball With Coconut

The Chinese rice ball (lo mai chi), or “nuomici”, as they are called in the Chinese language, is a famous traditional dim sum originating from the Chinese Guangdong Province.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut


According to legend, in the second year of the Southern Song Qingyuan, Zou Yinglong went to Beijing for the examination. As a parting gift every family in the village gave him nuomici to eat along the journey, complete with well wishes of winning the examination.

As he traveled, Zou Yinglong was thirsty and drank from many natural springs. When he arrived at Peking with natural food and spring fed water, he won the examination and was praised by the emperor Ning Zong.

When he presented the emperor with the tokens brought from his hometown, even the emperor was full of praise and nuomici was spread throughout the world.

Nuomici is mainly made of glutinous rice supplemented with other seasonings. Nuomici is hardy enough to be used as an edible gift for friends and relatives.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut
The nuomici made with coconut milk is particularly delicious. This combination is delicious even if it is cooled. It will not harden upon cooling and the fruit inside can be selected according to your own preferences.

The recipe below utilizes a soft nuomici to encase the sweet meat of a mango.

Once this recipe is cooled, the rice and mango combination provide a cool, icy texture creating a pleasing cold snack after refrigerating.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut
Mango nuomici

Ingredients (Makes approximately 12 rice balls)

  • Glutinous rice flour, 90 grams
  • Corn starch, 10 grams
  • Coconut milk, 10 grams
  • Milk, 50 grams
  • Powdered sugar, 50 grams
  • Butter, 15 grams, melted
  • Egg yolk, 1
  • Mangoes, 2 (depending on size)
  • Finely Shredded coconut (surface coating)
  • Cooked, loose Glutinous Rice Flour for dusting

1. Mix coconut milk, milk, powdered sugar, melted butter, egg yolk into a large bowl, stir well.

2. Sift in the glutinous rice flour, then corn starch. Mix gently and evenly with a hand egg beater, until a thin paste consistency is formed.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut step1-2
3. Pour the mixture into a container that can be placed in a steamer, such as a domestic household bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap leaving air space between the mixture layer and the plastic wrap then place the bowl in a steamer. Steam over high heat until water is boiling. Transfer to medium heat for 20 minutes.

4. After the batter has been steamed, it will be a doughy consistency. After cooling slightly, stir the rice dough with chopsticks to smooth out any lumps or air bubbles.

5. Once dough is smooth and fully cooled, refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The dough will be very sticky after the steaming process. It will lose the stickiness once refrigerated. If the rice dough is still very sticky after the initial two hours refrigeration, continue to refrigerate.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut step3-5
6. Dice the mango meat into small cubes.

7. Separate the chilled glutinous rice dough into balls weighing about 30 grams. If you prefer smaller or larger rice balls, adjust accordingly. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the chilled, non-sticky rice balls into small sheets. Use some cooked glutinous rice flour on your hands to avoid sticking.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut step6-7
8. Place a few mango pieces into the center of the flattened dough sheets. Wrap the rice dough around the mango to once again form into a ball.

9. Roll the completed rice dough ball in shredded coconut to fully coat the dough ball surface. Mango and glutinous rice cakes are ready.

Chinese rice ball with Coconut step8-9
If you pack the mango to tightly, the rice dough outer layer will seem thick and unbalanced to the taste. Also, be careful not to make the coconut coating too over powering as well. To create a sticky dough surface to aid the coconut in coating the dough ball, first brush the dough with mango juice or pure water. Once the rice balls are complete, refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Mango Nuomici is best if eaten within one day of preparation.

1. Coconut milk is a thick, white liquid, rich in coconut flavor. Utilizing coconut milk in the dough can make a glutinous rice cake with a very fresh and creamy taste.

2. Freshly steamed glutinous rice dough will be very sticky and will need to cool for awhile before it can be flattened in preparation for the stuffing. To prevent dough from being sticky when flattening, dust your hands and preparation surface with cooked glutinous rice flour . You can also use plastic wrap to flatten the dough.

3. To cook glutinous rice flour, place desired amount for dusting in a wok on low heat. Stir fry until the flour is a yellow color. The flour can be used after cooling.

4. If using a relatively large mango, you can cut the mango into larger sections equal to the number rice balls to be prepared. Every rice dough ball can just wrap one mango which will be easier for you to wrap more mango into the dough.

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