Last updated 25 Feb 2016

The Healthier Version of Steamed Rice Cakes

I learned cooking from my mother who was a great and very intuitive Nyonya cook. I have fond memories of her steaming rice cakes on top of a wood fire stove, and the aroma of steamed rice cake with taro yam would permeate the air. Here is an old-fashioned steamed rice cake to share with you. Hope you enjoy with a happy and grounded mood.

Steamed brown rice cake with taro yam (gluten-free)

The following recipe make 2 kg of rice cakes.

Organic ingredients:

  • Taro Yam 700g
  • Brown rice cooking oil 2 tablespoons
  • Cambodian long grain brown rice, cooked 450g
  • Radiant activated garbanzo beans, cooked 45g
  • Filtered water 1 litre
  • Unsui corn starch 65g
  • Unsui Jyoshinko rice flour 100g
  • Radiant brown rice flour 200g


  • Unsui pure Kombu shiitake dashi powder     10g
  • Unsui Macrobiotic Sea Salt    8g
  • Unsui freshly crushed pepper powder    ¼ teaspoon


  • Unsui vegan sambal chili paste
  • Unsui pure sesame oil, toasted
  • Radiant peanuts with skin, toasted and chopped
  • Unsui nori strips
  • Optional: Chopped and toasted garlic or shallots


  • Coriander leaves


  1. Peel taro and cut into 1cm cubes. Cook the cubes in warm brown rice oil for 5-8 minutes until slightly translucent. Add a pinch of sea salt. Mix well. Remove from fire, let cool.
  2. Add water to the cooked brown rice and garbanzo and puree in a blender until smooth. Add brown rice flour, corn starch, Jyoshinko rice flour, and the seasoning. Mix well. Transfer to a ceramic earthen pot. Cook until puree appears thick and heavy, about 70% cooked.  Stir while cooking.
  3. Transfer to a glass container, level the surface with a spatula moistened with water. Steam over rapid boiling water for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.
  4. Serve with toasted chopped peanut, sambal chili and drizzle with toasted sesame oil, nori strips and garnish with coriander leaves.



  1. Taro yam grows at higher altitudes. It is drier and contains less carbohydrates and is thus more Yang in energy. It helps heal the inflammation of internal organs.
  2. Macrobiotic sea salt is dried under the sun and washed, hence contains less minerals than grey sea salt. As such macrobiotic sea salt is less burdening on the kidneys.
  3. Adding garbanzo beans to the cooked brown rice creates a complete protein combination.
  4. Unsui sambal is prepared with okara (organic soybean puree), shiro miso, shoyu, macrobiotic sea salt, herbs and spices. This combination creates a neutral and slightly Yin characteristics.
  5. Instead of taro, daikon radish or even carrot could be added for different energy and tastes.

By June Ka Lim, macrobiotic vegan chef

Copyrights reserved 2015