Vegan Fan Tuan or Ci Fan (Sticky Rice Rolls)

Vegan Fan Tuan or Ci Fan (Sticky Rice Rolls)

Classic, simple breakfasts like sticky rice rolls or fan tuan will never go out of style and their long lasting popularity is not without good reason. Despite its simplicity, this Taiwanese and Chinese staple found in everything from convenience stores to mom-and-pop shops to street vendors is a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures that will have you scarfing them down like you haven't eaten in days. When one imagines what the flavors of Taiwan and China are like, fan tuan will always be included.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Assembly Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (rice cup) of rice (ideally sushi rice, otherwise short grained rice - if you have neither, no worries - it'll still mostly stick if you cook it with a little more water so that it's softer/more mushy; for black/purple rice rolls use short grain or glutinous purple rice)
  • 1 cup (rice cup) of water (again, just a smidge more if you're not using sushi or short grained rice)
  • 4 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • Vegan Chinese fried dough (you tiao)
  • Chinese preserved vegetable of choice (we use preserved mustard greens)
  • Vegan Pork Floss (Seaweed or Kelp)

Prepping & Cooking Instructions:

  1. Wash rice (Place your rice in a large bowl and fill with water until all grains are covered by about half an inch to an inch of water. Using your hand, swirl the rice around until the water becomes cloudy. Drain the water and make sure all of the rice grains stay in the bowl. Repeat until the water is clear (about three to four rinses).
  2. Put clean rice in rice cooker pot and pour in water. Shake the pot around to make sure the rice is even in the pot. Most rice cookers also need the pot completely dry on the outside so as to not burn the pot so you may want to wipe down the outside of the pot as well to make sure it is completely dry.
  3. Start the rice cooker.
  4. While the rice cooks, prep the filling.
  5. If your you tiao is not yet fried, you can fry it up now.
  6. Rinse off the preserved vegetables and chop into small pieces.
  7. Prepare any other sauce or filling you'd like to include.
  8. As the rice is finishing up, mix the vinegar and sugar for the rice together in a small pot or pan. Heat up and stir over low heat without letting the vinegar boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove it from the heat.
  9. Once the rice is done and has slightly cooled, pour the vinegar and sugar mix into the rice as you gently fold the rice with a spatula. Continue gently folding the rice until the vinegar is completely mixed in. Let the rice cool.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Mix some salt into a bowl of warm water.
  2. Lay out the bamboo rolling mat so that the sticks are parallel to your body and you can roll it up away from your body. (This is optional. You can make this dish without the mat as we did, it will just be a slight bit more difficult)
  3. Lay a plastic wrap out over the rolling mat.
  4. Moisten your hands with the salt water.
  5. Scoop rice onto the plastic wrap and spread it out evenly over the wrap. Leave about an inch or two of space along the edges of the wrap.
  6. Place the you tiao in the middle, parallel to your body.
  7. Spread the preserved vegetable right along the side of the you tiao.
  8. Spread some Vegan Pork Floss (Seaweed or Kelp) right along the other side of the you tiao.
  9. Lift up the edge closest to you with the rolling mat and roll it tightly over the filling. Continue to roll until you form a tight roll.
  10. Overlap the plastic wrap edges and gently squeeze the roll throughout to even it out. Tightly twist the plastic wrap at the ends to seal off the roll. Cut in half to enjoy!
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