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How to make rice cakes (not the Quaker ones…)

Rice cakes in Laos on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Ok, I have to admit I am not a big fan of processed rice cakes so when we had the opportunity to see the real thing being made in Laos this summer, we were very excited. I am not sure what happens in the Quaker factory but the ones you buy taste so… well… artificial. I mean – check out these flavours – Cracker Jack butter toffee???? For goodness sakes!!!

Neil hates them (I went through a brief phase of having them in the house) so he was a bit skeptical to try the Lao ones. He loved them.

So how do you make them?

First, you steam the rice:


Then you leave the rice to cool:


Until it’s good and sticky:


Then you start to form the cakes:


And leave them to cool and eventually dry:




Then they’re baked – we didn’t see this step but the finished product looks like this:


With just a hint of salt, these are the ultimate rice cake. And actually the ultimate snack food. Now if only I had the time to make my own… (sigh)

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41 Responses to How to make rice cakes (not the Quaker ones…)

  1. Barbara October 3, 2009 at 13:42 #

    Really a fascinating post accompanied by great photos! I would love to have tasted those!

  2. Kate at Serendipity October 3, 2009 at 14:17 #

    These look amazing. I have a question, though: the 'after' photo looks like the rice is puffed, but in the 'before' photo it looks like it's steamed. Does it dry that way? Lucky you to get to see this!

  3. eatlivetravelwrite October 3, 2009 at 14:31 #

    Barbara – thanks – it was pretty fun to watch…

    Kate – the rice is steamed and then – yes they were baked (toasted). I just edited the post to reflect that step too! Sorry!

  4. Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 3, 2009 at 14:59 #

    Oh dear… yet another thing that's infinitely better when you make it yourself yet I can't be arsed to do it.

  5. Simply Life October 3, 2009 at 17:42 #

    WOW, what a fun experience! Those look great!

  6. Miriam October 3, 2009 at 18:28 #

    Very interesting post. Therefore the real cakes have no binding agent, no colourings, no preserving agents… just plain rice.

  7. eatlivetravelwrite October 3, 2009 at 18:30 #

    Miriam – yup, sticky rice does the trick apparently!

    Simply life – thanks!

    Conor – LOL!

  8. Megan Gordon October 3, 2009 at 19:04 #

    Um, wow! This is so awesome. I'm plagued by never being able to get sticky rice right–looks like a necessity here, huh?

    Your photos, as usual, are lovely.

    AND, why did I not know you were coming to Blogher Food? I couldn't make it unfortunately, but heard it rocked! Next time you're in the Bay Area (or I'm up your way), let's try and meet up…

  9. K a b l o o e y October 3, 2009 at 20:02 #

    I love the very first photo, of those rice steamers. That is one shot that clearly establishes you are far from home. I'm also in Neil's camp regarding the styrofoam rice cakes they sell in supermarket. What a phony food. Def. somehing I'll only eat when dieting and I want VOLUME.

  10. Alicia October 3, 2009 at 20:23 #

    How cool is that!

  11. Cocina Savant October 3, 2009 at 20:48 #

    I have never contemplated making my own rice cakes since the store bought are so unappetizing. This makes them seem much more appealing and attainable.

  12. Lori Lynn October 3, 2009 at 23:08 #

    Cool post. Good to know how it is done. I am certain I would like the authentic variety.
    LL

  13. eatlivetravelwrite October 4, 2009 at 00:37 #

    Megan – the sticky rice is a tricky thing, for sure. (I also emailed you re: BlogHer…)

    Kablooey – there was nothing styrofoam like about these ones, that's for sure.

    Cocina – I wonder how easy it would be to make them in a normal kitchen…

    Lori – yes it was great to watch it up close.

  14. eatlivetravelwrite October 4, 2009 at 00:37 #

    Alicia – indeed!

  15. Chow and Chatter October 4, 2009 at 02:21 #

    oh I am loving your blog so much fun love these and the ladies face he he

  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 4, 2009 at 02:36 #

    Chow – thanks! The lady didn't look like she was having too much fun, you're right. I can imagine that doing that all day would be extremely tedious, not to mention HOT!

  17. TasteHongKong October 4, 2009 at 03:37 #

    Impressive again, thanks.

  18. penny aka jeroxie October 4, 2009 at 03:51 #

    I love the steamers in the beginning and how all the rice patties are lined up. It must be great fun visitng this place and learning about the process.

  19. Divina Pe October 4, 2009 at 06:38 #

    They do look like the Quaker rice cakes but the real ones. They look gorgeous when they're lined up. Now, I know how they're made.

  20. zurin October 4, 2009 at 11:58 #

    Very interesting post. beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing :))

  21. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 4, 2009 at 13:35 #

    Taste – thanks!

    Penny – the steamers are lovely, yes!

    Divina – yes, they look like the original rice cakes before we started flavouring them beyond recognition!

    Zurin – you're welcome!

  22. traveleatlove October 5, 2009 at 00:42 #

    Wow! That's really cool. I just love all of your photos from that trip!

  23. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 5, 2009 at 02:00 #

    Traveleatlove – thanks! I enjoyed taking them!

  24. The Duo Dishes October 5, 2009 at 18:05 #

    Wow, talk about diy. It seems too easy not to try it.

  25. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 6, 2009 at 01:08 #

    Duo – it really does seem so simple….

  26. Neil C. Phillips October 7, 2009 at 12:01 #

    Mardi is right n- these ones were actually edible. Tasty, even.

  27. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 7, 2009 at 12:47 #

    Neil – well there's a turnup for the books!

  28. The Best Family October 19, 2009 at 21:24 #

    how cool to see how they're made! and these do look tasty – no comparison with those awful quaker ones in the stores.

  29. Mike May 2, 2010 at 13:53 #

    Do you know how long and at what temp. they are baked for?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 2, 2010 at 14:39 #

      Unfortunately no, as you can see they are not baked in conventional ovens at all…

      • anna August 8, 2010 at 19:38 #

        If you are not using a conventional oven, so what type of oven are you using? Can you be specific?

  30. Debbie August 21, 2010 at 14:49 #

    I just ended up here because my daughter wanted to know how rice cakes are made… Very cool — we are going to try next week.

  31. Kim October 6, 2010 at 22:12 #

    I am cooking challenged so I have a few questions about how to make these:

    1) what kind of rice do you use
    2) can i use a rice cooker or do you need a bamboo steamer
    3) at what temperature do you bake them
    4) have you added any flavors and if so, what & how do you make them flavored?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 7, 2010 at 06:42 #

      I don’t actually have a recipe, sorry! I merely wanted to show how they make rice cakes in Laos!

  32. Des September 30, 2012 at 01:44 #

    Do you think I can make these in my own home? This is amazing! Thanks for sharing! :)

  33. Sha nay nay November 14, 2012 at 15:43 #

    About how long does it take for them to dry????? These look good, and rice is so cheap I could get down dollar store kind and make these. My family LOVES rice cakes

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