Kanom Tian (sweet and savory pyramid shaped snack)
6 hours 30 mins
This is a snack that my grandma makes every Chinese New Year. She usually makes a big batch that the neighbors have to help with and then she takes it to the temple, but this recipe is smaller for the family that you can manage yourself.
Make the dough: Melt the palm sugar into the water and cool to room temperature. Slowly work the syrup into the glutinous rice flour until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed. You will probably not need all of the syrup. It can be used for other recipes. Let this dough rest cover for 3 hours, or over night.
Make the filling: Steam the soaked mung beans in cheesecloth over a steamer until soft. Smash the beans in a mortar and pestle. Fry the garlic and shallots separately until crispy.
Place the smashed beans, garlic, shallots, minced pork, white pepper and caster sugar into a wok and slowly cook the mixture until the pork is rendered, about 30- 45 minutes. Keep a close eye on the mixture as it will burn easily. When finished, the mixture should be able to stick together into balls. Taste the mixture and add more sugar or white pepper if needed. Roll the filling into 2-3 cm diameter balls.
Get the banana leaves ready: Gently wash the banana leaves and cut into two rounded sizes with scissors- 30 each 16-18cm in diameter and 30 each 12-14cm in diameter. The banana leaves have a shiny side and a dull side. Place a large leaf and a small leaf together with the dull sides facing each other. Do this for all the leaves that you cut out.
Next stuff the glutinous rice dough: Oil your hand. Roll a 3cm chunk of dough into a ball and flatten it into a circle. Place a ball of filling into the dough.
Gently fold the dough around the filling and pinch the seams. This will take practice. Place the dough balls into a dish with a 1/2 cup of vegetable oil so they do not stick togther.
Next make the banana leaf pyramids: Fold one end of the banana leaf into a cone and drop in the stuffed dough ball.
Fold over the shorter seam side of the cone.
Fold over both sides of the banana leaf perpendicular to the cone seam. This will leave you with a long tail to tuck into a little slot you just created.
Fold over the long tail that is left over into the slot and crease the folds of the pyramid a bit to make it sturdy.
Place all of the pyramids in a single layer into a steamer and steam 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how big your steamer is, you may have to steam in batches. Let the pyramids cool a bit and eat.