Rice cakes and their aroma in different cultures – Erakina

Rice cakes originated in Southeast Asia, with a long history of early rice cultivation. The influence of rice cakes in different cultures dates back to the Nara period (710- 794 A.D.), when the Chinese exertedinfluence on Japanese culture. The type of edible made from rice is called a rice cake. This food item gets its name according to the way it’s prepared and the ingredients that go into it. Though it’s widely popular in Asia, they do exist in so many cultures.

Rice Cakes and its diversity in different countries

Rice snack;
Four rice cakes kept on a table;
  • India

The Konkani people make Patoleo, steamed rice cakes made with rice flour, coconut, and jaggery. This cake is wrapped in a turmeric leaf. Pitha is the same as pancakes or dumplings made of rice flour batter filled with sweet fillings. It is commonly available in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and Odisha. Idli is a popular South Indian cuisine prepared with fermented rice and lentils batter.

  • China

Chongyang cake is a traditional Chinese cake made of rice flour, sugar, and almond and chestnut toppings. Nian Gao, or Chinese New Year cake, is prepared from glutinous rice flour and has a chewy texture. Ball-shaped Ciba Cake is similar to that of Nian Gao and is also made from glutinous rice flour but is fried and dipped in brown sugar syrup before serving. Ludagun is a soft and sweet Manchu snack with coated soybean flour and a soybean fragrance.

  • Philippines

In the Philippines, there are two different types of rice cakes, based on how it is cooked: Puto refers to steamed rice cakes, and Bibingka refers to baked rice cakes. They are normally prepared from fermented glutinous rice. Biko is made out of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. Palitaw is made from glutinous rice flour, shredded coconut, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and water. Bibingka is a rice cake made with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and cheddar cheese.

Steamed rice cake:
South Indian Idli served with coconut and coriander chutney
  • Indonesia

Rice cake is considered the staple food in Indonesian culture. Burasa is a delicacy of Indonesia, made from rice, coconut milk, and coconut wrapped in a banana leaf. Ketupat is rice packed in young coconut leaves. It is popular during Eid-al-Fitr. It is usually served with rendang or chicken in coconut milk, also known as opor ayam. Lontong is an Indonesian dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped in a banana leaf.

There are many types of cakes, both sweet and savory, made using glutinous rice flour. Arem-arem is similar to Lontong but is filled with diced vegetables or meat. Klepon is made of glutinous rice flour filled with red palm sugar and is shaped like a ball. Then it is coated in shredded coconut. Lemper is an Indonesian traditional savory snack prepared with grated coconut filling and packed in banana leaf. It is a filling meal.

Nagasari is an Indonesian steamed rice flour cake. It is filled with bananas and wrapped in banana leaves. This famous traditional snack or dessert is eaten in the morning or the evening with tea or coffee. Japan Mochi is a Japanese sticky rice cake used in sweet and savory dishes. It is made from Mochiko (sweet rice flour), sugar, and water. It can be eaten by itself or with Japanese desserts such as Daifuku and Mochi Ice Cream.

This food is most sold during the Japanese New Year. It is also well known in Thailand, Cambodia, and Taiwan. Senbei is a Japanese rice cracker. They can be made in any shape. Normally they are savory but sometimes sweet. Senbei is often eaten with green tea as a casual snack and offered to guests as a courtesy refreshment. Korea A celebration meal in Korea is not complete without Tteok, the rice cake.

Glutinous rice used in most of the rice cake recipes;

It is a delicacy that is as special as rice to Koreans. It can be prepared in different ways with different ingredients and recipes. It is a special dish served on all occasions and signifies peace and wellbeing. Tteok is considered a source of nutrition and is a very filling meal. It remains a central part of Korean cuisine. It is served as an appetizer or dessert. Idli, originating in South India, is a savory widely eaten for breakfast in Srilanka. Puttu is steamed rice in the shape of a cylinder with layers of rice and coconut.

  • Taiwan

Steamed rice bowl cakes are a traditional homemade snack in Taiwan. It’s made up of bland-tasting rice cakes, which are steamed rice mixture (rice flour and water) and are usually topped with savory pieces of meat, mushrooms, and salted egg yolk of duck.Being a rich source of carbohydrates, which fuel the body with energy. For the same reason, it is also the largest consuming grain. It is used as a base for meals with culture-specific additions.

Internal links:

Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals-Erakina

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Read more about rice cake and theier aroma in different culture

By Nitha Maria Shaji

Date: 19/07/2022

Tags: food

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