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Muah Chee or 麻糍 in Chinese is a popular local snack in Singapore that can be found commonly in many food centres. Vendors will often provide a toothpick with the snack, which you will use to poke and pop into your mouth. It is a sticky dough made of glutinous rice flour, typically coated with sugar and fine roasted peanuts. In recent years, vendors are getting more creative by offering toppings such as black sesame and pistachio nuts. It has a similar sticky chewy texture like the Japanese mochi, in fact the mochiko flour used in making mochi is also made of glutinous rice and can be used interchangeable when making muah chee.
Muah Chee originate from the southern part of China, Fujian or Hokkien (福建). The recipe was brought to Southeast Asia by the Hokkien community during the good old days. The snack is eaten for breakfast or tea break during the day.
In this recipe, I am sharing two ways to cook the snack – pan frying on the stove, and steaming. You can also microwave but I am not a big fan of using the microwave and thus have not tried it before. Plus, I don’t have a microwave at home. Between pan frying and steaming, I prefer the latter as the resulting muah chee is softer. Since the snack is made of glutinous rice flour, it gets very sticky and chewy when cooked. Thus eat it in smaller portions and in moderation, I have heard of young kids having the snack stuck in the throat and old people had their dentures stuck with it too.
The ingredients used to make muah chee are really simple. The same ingredients can be used to make tang yuan (汤圆, Chinese sweet glutinous rice balls eaten during the Winter Solstice) or jian dui (煎堆, peanut paste wrapped with glutinous rice dough and coated with sesame seeds).
- Glutinous rice flour – Not to be mistaken as rice flour, they are two different types of flour. You can use the Japanese mochiko flour. Glutinous rice flour is naturally gluten free and is made from glutinous rice. The end result is a very sticky dough.
- Water – In this recipe, I used 100g glutinous rice flour to 150g water. I find this is the perfect texture. If you add more flour, the dough ends up a little tough. If you want a much much soften dough, you can add another 10% more water.
- Salt – Just a little to ‘lift’ the flavour.
- Shallot oil – Use vegetable oil if you don’t have shallot oil. You can easily make shallot oil but frying sliced shallots in vegetable oil until crispy and golden brown. This adds a level of ‘fragrance’ to the muah chee. Shallot oil can also be added to vegetables, noodle dishes and soups for the extra yumminess.
- Coating – You can toast some peanuts or black sesame seeds and grind them into a fine powder texture. The mix with stevia sweetener before coating the muah chee. Alternatively, you can also use ready-to-use store bought peanut powder or black sesame powder.
- Stevia sweetener – Used as a sugar substitute and added to the ground peanuts or ground black sesame seeds for some sweet profiles.
Watch how to make Muah Chee / Mochi on YouTube
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Muah Chee / Mochi / 麻糍 with Peanuts and Black Sesame (Steamed or Fried)
Make the topping (peanut and black sesame)
- Toast 100 g peanuts over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes in a non-stick pan. Keep stirring and flipping the peanuts to ensure even toasting until the nutty aroma is released. Remove peanuts and let it cool completely.Note: If using toasted peanuts, you can skip this step.100 g peanuts
- Transfer into a food processor and grind into fine sandy texture. Note: Take note not to overgrind the peanuts, if not it turns into peanut butter.
- Mix 2 tbsp stevia sweetener with the ground peanuts evenly.2 tbsp stevia sweetener
- Toast 100 g black sesame seeds over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes in a non-stick pan. Keep stirring and flipping the black sesame seeds to ensure even toasting until the nutty aroma is released. Remove black sesame seeds from pan and let it cool completely.100 g black sesame seeds
- Transfer into a food processor and into fine sandy texture. Note: Take note not to overgrind the black sesame seeds, if not it turns into paste texture.
- Mix 2 tbsp stevia sweetener with the ground black sesame evenly.2 tbsp stevia sweetener
Make the muah chee / mochi (pan-fry or steam method)
- Mix 100 g glutinous rice flour, 1/8 tsp salt and 150 ml water. Stir into smooth batter.Then add 1 tbsp shallot oil and mix well. Batter should be smooth and slightly runny.100 g glutinous rice flour, 1/8 tsp salt, 150 ml water, 1 tbsp shallot oil
- Frying method:Use a non-stick pan over low heat. Pour in the batter and allow it to cook. Keep stirring the mixture with a spatula as the batter thickens. Keep stirring and folding until the batter turns into a slightly translucent, sticky and soft muah chee. Then turn off the heat.The cooking process takes about 10 min. Cover and let it cool down slightly.
- Steaming method:Boil water in a steamer over high heat. Pour the batter into a heat-proof dish. Cover and steam for about 15 minutes.Halfway during the steaming, use a spatula to fold the muah chee a few times. Note: I did this twice during steaming.
- Once it turns into a slightly translucent, sticky and soft muah chee, turn off heat. Cover and let it cool slightly.
Assemble the muah chee
- Use a pair of greased scissors and tongs to handle the muah chee as it's very sticky.
- Put a slab of the muah chee and coat it with the peanut mixture or black sesame mixture.Then cut into bite-sized pieces. Roll each piece with the peanut or black sesame mixture until evenly coated.
- Enjoy the snack within the day.