The 8-element rice, or literally eight-treasure rice, is a favored dessert dish in Yunnan, visible at weddings and funerals, in common restaurants, or even sold as a snack at roadside stalls.
In central Yunnan Yuxi city, the folk chief of Jin Nuohua has been dedicated to making the 8-element rice snack for decades. Jin embarked on the cooking career in 1988. For her, the 8 elements refer to the ginkgo nut, white sugar, pork lard, sesame seed, peanut, preserved date, candied melon and carrot.
By adding the eight ingredients to the glutinous rice, Jin has created a dish of special sweetness and aroma, with its fully round shape signifying unity and harmony at marrying occasions. Jin steps to prepare her 8-element rice dish are as follows:
First, wash the glutinous rice and soak it for an hour, while cutting the carrot and candied melon into rhombus pieces.
Second, fire the soaked rice at great heat and put it into a wooden rice steamer for steaming when half cooked.
Third, put into a bowl the fried sesame seeds, the cut pieces, the nuts, as well as the mixture of sugar and steamed rice, layer over layer to for intended patterns.
Finally, steam the full bowl of ingredients for more than 10 minutes, and put it upside down on a dish. Take away the bowl for the beautiful sweet dish that will surely stir your taste bud.