The sweet, fragrant glutinous eight-treasure rice, with its rich colours, is especially suitable for the festive atmosphere of the New Year’s Eve dinner. The main ingredient is naturally glutinous rice, then we add eight kinds of candied dried fruits, each carrying a different auspicious meaning.
There’s no need to limit yourself to the same fruits all the time. You can use your own ingredients freely to create the meaning and appearance you want. We do need to pay attention to the glutinous rice preparation, though, which is sweet and warm in nature, nourishing the stomach and qi. But it’s difficult to digest, so people with spleen and stomach issues shouldn’t eat too much.
Eight-Treasure Rice Topped with Rose Icing (serves 6)
150g red bean paste
300g glutinous rice
50g black rice
10g black beans
10g white lentils
5g lotus seeds
5g coix seed
2 red dates
3g white sesame seeds
2g icing sugar
1 dried rose
Wash glutinous rice, black rice, black beans, coix seed, lotus seeds, and white lentils separately. Add water and soak separately overnight. Then wash the raisins and soak in rum overnight.
On the second day, put the glutinous rice in a pot. Add water to ¼ inch below the rice. After the water starts to boil on high heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes on low. Turn off the heat and let sit 15 minutes with the lid on, without lifting the lid.
Mix black beans, white lentils, lotus seeds, black rice, and coix seeds. Add water to half an inch higher than the beans. Using a pressure cooker, cook for 15 minutes under pressure. (If using a regular pot, simmer over low heat for about 1½ hours).
Wash the red dates, remove the pits and chop. Chop the walnuts.
Find a mold you like and butter the inner wall. Scoop out the cooked black bean mixture, and mix with raisins, chopped red dates, chopped walnuts, 70g of the cooked glutinous rice, and 50g white sugar. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the mold and flatten.
Mix the remaining white glutinous rice with 30g sugar, and flatten half of it into the mold on top of the bean mixture. Spread a layer of red bean paste over the glutinous rice, about half an inch thick, and then add the remaining glutinous rice and flatten everything. Steam the whole mold in a steamer for 15 minutes.
After it’s steamed, unmold it on a plate, sprinkle a layer of white sesame seeds, crushed dried roses, and icing sugar as topping.