Sweet, jello-like traditional Chinese snack or dessert.
Last week, my family and I celebrated Chinese New Year, and in celebration, I am sharing my Grandma’s Traditional Chinese Sweet Rice Pudding Cups, or Boot Jai Goo 缽仔糕! Long before I was even born, my Grandma has been making Boot Jai Goo for my family on special occasions like Chinese New Year. It has always been one of my favorite treats she makes. These sweet rice pudding cups are most similar to almond Jello in consistency, but they are slightly firmer and are perfectly sweetened by plain white sugar. These are truly a unique and delicious sweet treat, and they are super simple to make.
Boot jai goo originates in Hong Kong, and the name “boot jai goo” literally means a cake that is shaped like a bowl. As you can see in the pictures, the signature look of these pudding cups have a dimple in the center of them, making them look like a bowl. These pudding cups are steamed in small metal or ceramic baking cups to get the perfect dimple. However, if you have small tart molds, you can use those.
For these yummy puddings, wet rice flour will give you the best results. However, this may be hard to find depending on your location. The best place to look for wet rice flour is at your nearest Chinatown. Dry rice flour will be easier to find at your local Asian supermarket, and it will still yield a pudding that is just as amazing.
Begin making these pudding cups by dissolving sugar in water over low heat. Once dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. In a large pot, add the rice flour. Pour the sugar water in very slowly, stopping every 1/2 cup of liquid to knead out the lumps of flour. Keep slowly adding sugar water until the batter is thin and leaves a thin coating on the back of a ladle.
Now it is time to test out our batter. My grandma always makes a “test” pudding to make sure the consistency of the pudding is perfect. Pour the batter in the unlined cup, to the rim, and steam for 20 minutes. Once cooled enough to touch, using chopsticks, slip the pudding out of the cup and give it a try! My favorite part about making these with my grandma is sharing the test pudding with her. If the consistency is too hard, add more sugar water. Remember it is always easier to add more sugar water to get the right consistency rather than adding more flour.
Grandma's Traditional Chinese Sweet Rice Pudding Cups
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 lb wet rice flour (1 lb dry rice flour is okay too)
- Set up steamer with water and a wire rack. Begin boiling the water.
- In a small pot over low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a large bowl, break up the wet rice flour, or pour the dry rice flour in the bowl.
- Slowly add the cooled sugar water, stopping every 1/2 cup to knead out any lumps.
- Slowly keep adding sugar water until the batter is thin and leaves a light coating on the back of a spoon or ladle.
- Pour batter into a metal cup, to the rim, for the “test” pudding. Steam for 20 minutes. If the pudding is too thick, add more sugar water.
- Once you have the right consistency, fill the cups to the rim and steam for 20 minutes.