Joyful…

Hee pan (喜粄) is the traditional Hakka steamed rice cake made from rice milk (米浆) and red sugar that gives the hee pan its distinctive red colouring, chewy texture and sweet taste.

Traditionally, red hee pan is prepared for important festivals such as Chinese New Year and weddings. The name hee pan is a combination of “喜” and “粄 ” and together, they mean “joyful rice cake”. It is considered to be auspicious and is believed to bring prosperity, luck, and fortune but nowadays, hee pan is more commonly consumed as a pastry and no longer restricted to any special occasion.

Well, it so happened that the other day, my sister brought us a few…

…to try except that the ones she brought were made from pumpkin and were, therefore, yellow in colour, not red. She left specific instructions that we must boil the water first before putting them into the wok/steamer to steam.

I went and googled and I found a whole lot of videos including this one showing how to make hee pan. Gee!!! Seeing how many there are, it sure does not look like this hee pan thing is all that rare, not at all. Probably this is the case in our predominantly-Foochow town of Sibu here in Sarawak only.

We steamed the ones my sister gave us…

…and had them for tea that afternoon.

Yes, we thought they were all right, something like a cross between bread and steamed pao skin…

…and probably because of the ingredients used in the making, it was a little bit sweet and a little bit oily with a hint of the banana leaf used to line the bottom. Personally, I think I would enjoy it more if there had been a bit of filling inside, crushed peanut perhaps.