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Eight treasure rice pudding with red bean paste filling
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5 from 4 votes

Eight Treasure Rice Pudding (Ba Bao Fan, 八宝饭)

A delectable treat consisting of sticky rice, dried fruits, nuts and red bean paste, eight treasure rice pudding is a must-have for Lunar New Year.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Soak8 hrs
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Glutinous rice, New Year, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Wei Guo

Ingredients

For the rice

  • 200 g glutinous rice (aka sticky rice, sweet rice) about 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar or brown sugar

For the filling

For the toppings (see note 3)

  • 1 handful mixed dried fruit and nuts e.g. jujube (Chinese dates), apricot, cranberry, raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, etc.

You also need

  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil or butter, neutral cooking oil
  • Honey for serving (optional)

Instructions

Soak the rice

  • Rinse glutinous rice under running water. Put it into a bowl and top with water. Leave to soak overnight. Then drain well and mix with sugar.

Prepare the toppings

  • Deseed and slice dried fruits if necessary. If using Jujube (Chinese dates), peanuts, lotus seeds or almonds, soak in water overnight to soften. Other dried fruits and nuts can be used directly without soaking. 

Assemble the bowl

  • Evenly coat a bowl with coconut oil (or butter, neutral cooking oil) to prevent sticking.
  • Spread a layer of mixed dried fruit and nuts over the bottom of the bowl. Design a pattern if you wish.
  • Lay half of the rice over the dried fruit and nuts. Shape the red bean paste into a flat circle (smaller than the bowl). Place it on top of the rice. Put in the rest of the rice and flatten it with a spoon.
  • Pour in water just enough to level with the rice (Be very gentle to avoid pushing the rice around).

Steamed the pudding

  • Place the pudding bowl into a steamer basket or onto a steamer rack. Fill the wok/pot with water. Leave to steam over medium heat for 50 mins. Don’t forget to check the water level in the wok/pot halfway through in case it dries out.

Serve the pudding

  • After steaming, leave to cool for 10 mins or so. Then use a knife or spatula to gently run along the edge of the pudding to help separating. Place a serving plate over the bowl. Flip over then gently remove the bowl.
  • The rice pudding tastes great both warm and at room temperature. Drizzle some honey when serving if you like a sweeter taste.

Store and reheat

  • You can keep the rice pudding in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months (wrapped tightly with cling film after it cools completely).
  • Steam for 10 minutes to reheat (defrost beforehand if frozen).

Notes

1. I have a blog post dedicated to Homemade Red Bean Paste which includes two types of paste: smooth red bean paste and chunky red bean paste. You may use either of them.
2. Be flexible and creative with the choice of the toppings. If available, mix different colours and textures. I don’t recommend you use fresh fruits though.