Cheung Fun and exciting times in South China
Yet another glutinous (not gluttonous – well, maybe) addition to ‘Food in Southern China’. Served with a sweet and mysterious sauce called Timzheong or Sweet Black Sauce, Cheung Fun is yet another strange looking taste sensation which defies all explanation. How can something that looks so unappetising taste so wonderful?
Rice Noodle Roll is so incredibly simple, yet it rouses the most complex sensations. When prepared in the correct way, Cheung Fun is delicate on the tongue and a little sticky on your chopsticks. Drizzled with dark soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, it makes the perfect vegetarian option at any dim sum restaurant in China.
So “Whaat” the Hell is Cheung Fun?
Other travellers may not agree but for me, Cantonese food is the tastiest Chinese cuisine. I admit that it can be very hard to tell the difference, but food in Southern China can often seem much more simplistic.
The unfussy combination of rice flour, glutinous flour and water makes the Rice Noodle Roll foundation, but what really makes the creamy mixture blossom is the way it’s lovingly steamed for the perfect consistency.
When cooked to perfection, the Chinese will refer to the dish as “haung” and “whaat”, meaning “fragrant” and “smooth”. Cheung Fun should feel like silk in your mouth and should have a soft (yet slightly bouncy) texture when you bite into it.
Rock n (Rice Noodle) Roll with Shrimp, Beef or Pork
Cheung Fun is served with a selection of savoury fillings, but I prefer it plain with a good dollop of Sweet Black Sauce on the side.
Rice Noodle Roll is pretty disappointing without its accompaniments, but with sprinklings of chopped spring onion and lashings of dark soy, it can make a very comforting supper. You will find Cheung Fun in all dim sum restaurants, on street stalls, in supermarkets and in the fridges of millions of South China’s households.
Served in the original steamed rice noodle roll formation, or sliced up for the speedy fork-to-mouth consumption (my favourite), Cheung Fun Rice Noodle Roll represents the simple yet satisfying cooking style of delicious food in Southern China.