Crafting Your Own Rice Noodles: A Dual Recipe Approach

The joy of crafting homemade rice noodles, specifically known as cheung fun, is unparalleled. These pliable sheets can morph into several delightful dishes, two of which we’ll delve into today.

One dish is an age-old favorite: rice noodle rolls infused with dried shrimp and scallions. The other takes the form of a cherished dim sum treat: rice noodles wrapped around Chinese fried dough. While there are other variants of rice noodle dishes, like those stuffed with shrimp or beef, we’ll delve into those another day.

Creating rice noodles can be challenging, but the reward is worth the effort. If fortune is on your side, you might find them fresh at local Asian markets. But for those keen on a DIY approach, this guide is for you.

The dried shrimp and scallion variant holds a special place in my heart. As a child, these were my introduction to the world of dim sum. I’d meticulously unroll them, smear sauce, and then roll them back, relishing each bite. Nowadays, this convenience can be found pre-packaged in some stores, and of course, they’re a staple in dim sum restaurants.

Conversely, the rice noodles with fried dough are a more recent discovery for me. Typically found near the tofu aisle, these Chinese crullers are a crispy delight when baked. Alone, they’re tasty, but wrap them in rice noodles? Pure magic!

For the visual learners, photos showcasing the differences accompany this article, along with purchase links for those without access to an Asian grocery store.

Now, let’s dive into the culinary journey!


For the Rice Noodles:

  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons wheat starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (and some for pan-greasing)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup boiling water

Savory Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar (or raw sugar)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Dried Shrimp & Scallion Rolls:

  • 1/2 batch rice noodle batter
  • ¼ cup dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
  • A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds

Fried Dough Rolls:

  • A full batch of rice noodle batter
  • 1 pack Chinese crullers (or utilize our homemade version)


Preparing the Rice Noodles:

  1. Mix rice flour, tapioca starch, wheat starch, and salt. Incorporate canola oil and lukewarm water, whisking to a smooth consistency. Add boiling water and mix. Allow the batter to rest for 45 minutes.
  2. An aluminum 10” square cake pan is ideal for steaming. Alternatively, a 9-inch round cake pan works. Aim for a thickness of about 1/8” when pouring the batter. The outcome might be slightly thicker than restaurant variants, but perfection comes with practice!
  3. Use a deep skillet or wok for steaming. Ensure it has a lid. Fill with approximately 2 inches of water. The pan, when filled with batter, should float. Begin with simmering the water.
  4. Ample oil should be brushed on the pan’s base and sides. Warm the pan on simmering water. Stir the batter thoroughly before pouring a portion into the pan, ensuring even distribution. Around 1/3 cup of batter works well for a 10” pan. Remember to stir the batter before each use.
  5. Once evenly spread, steam the batter atop simmering water, covering it, for 3 minutes.

Savory Dipping Sauce:

  1. Dissolve sugar in water over heat. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce, allowing it to simmer gently. Once it thinly coats a spoon, set aside.

Dried Shrimp & Scallion Rolls:

  1. If using dried shrimp, rinse and soak in warm water for 10 minutes. After draining, roughly chop them.
  2. Sauté the shrimp with oil for 2 minutes. Add salt and scallions, stir, and set aside. If skipping shrimp, sauté only the scallions.
  3. Prepare the rice noodles as instructed. Spread the shrimp and scallion mix on the noodle surface, followed by sesame seeds. Carefully roll the noodle tightly.
  4. Transfer to a board, slicing into 1-2 inch segments. Serve garnished with additional sesame seeds, scallions, and the prepared sauce.

Fried Dough Rolls:

  1. Toast two crullers until crisp, as per package guidelines. Separate each into halves.
  2. Use the prepared rice noodles to envelop each cruller half. Slice into desired segments and serve with the dipping sauce. Adjust thickness based on preference.

Now that you have these delectable recipes, enjoy the art of crafting homemade cheung fun and share the joy with others!

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