This is one of the classic of chinese snacks. It is not my favorite snack to eat but somehow the quest to make a soft and tasty one has been going on for quite awhile. Have tried a few recipes, easy ones and tedious one but all the results went to the Culinary God. This recipe was from Claire, a dear friend and is by far the best of all that is why i am sharing it. Thank you Claire for typing out the recipe and sharing.
1 cup long grain rice (i wonder if jasmine fragrant rice will do)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. water
2 tsp. instant yeast
Wash the rice-8-10 times in cold water and leave in a clean tupperware container with 2 inches of water over the surface for 2 days. Change the water daily.
Mix yeast with 1/2 c.tepid water(85 f to 100 f) and add 1/4 C. sugar. Cover and place in a warm place when you do the next step.
Liquify the soaked drained rice with 1 c. water at high speed till rice is liquified and mixture is smooth (it's going to take 10-12 minutes depending on the power of your blender.....we know it's ready when the powedery film of rice is easily scaped down with a spatula in the blender). Next add 1 1/4 c. sugar and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Add yeast mixture and blend on low for 30 seconds. STRAIN mixture and put in a warm mixing bowl, cover well with cling/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until mixture is bubbly and almost double in bulk (1.5 to 2 hours)
Bring water to high boil.
Put the greased 8 inch cake pan and warm it for a few minutes.
Lightly stir batter and pour half the batter into the greased pan.
Steam for 12-15 minutes.
Lightly rub a little oil to give it a glossy appearance.
Repeat steaming for the other half of the batter.