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Sichuan Noodles with Peppery Sauce

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Fluffy Rice

1 lb. glutinous rice
1/2 lb. assorted candied fruit
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons white and clean lard

1) Wash rice and soak it for 2 hours.

Cut candied fruit into cubelets of about the same size.

2) Heat water in a pot. When it boils, put in rice and boil until the grains are no longer hard at the cores. Strain rice and transfer it to a small pot. Add 2/5 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lard. Mix and let it cool.

3) Get two bowls (each large enough to hold 1 lb. of rice). Grease their inner walls evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard. Arrange part of the cubelets of candied fruit in a pattern at the bottom of each bowl. Mix the rest of the cubelets with the rice and fill the bowls. (While doing this, see that the pattern at the bottom is not disturbed.) Steam the filled bowls in a closed steamer for 1.1/2 hours.

4) Dissolve the remaining 3/5 cup of sugar in 2/3 cup of water. Bring this to a boil on high flame and then simmer it till it becomes a thickened syrup. Remove from fire.

Upturn the bowls and transfer the steamed rice, bottom-side up, in serving dishes. Pour syrup over rice and serve.

Notes:

(1) Instead of candied fruit, an assortment made up of walnut meat, lotus seeds, melon seeds (shelled), raisins, candied prunes, dates, candied strips of melon and orange rind, and/or cherries may be used as garnishes.

The lard used for this dish must be clean and white and without any smell. The bowls used for steaming should be well greased inside with lard, or the steamed rice may stick to the bottom or walls.

(2) In preparing the syrup, a little amount each of bee honey, haw jelly and the mash of osmanthus flowers (or of roses) may be added in the following manner. First add the mash to the sugar syrup, keep boiling a little while and then remove the dregs with a strainer. Haw jelly, if used, should also be mashed before adding in the syrup.

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© 2008 Chinese Recipes