Eight-Treasure Rice (八寶飯)

by Yi on January 23, 2012 · 25 comments

Post image for Eight-Treasure Rice (八寶飯)

Happy Chinese New Year, the Year of Dragon!

Unlike my last minute celebration from last year, I started this year’s celebration a lot earlier with some of my New Year special dishes. Find them here and here if you haven’t checked them out.

Looking back, year 2011 has been quite an exciting year for this site. Not only I got to experiment new ingredients and learn new cuisines, I also got to meet so many like-minded foodies and home chefs whom I have learned so much from.

In celebrating the beginning of another exciting year, I have compiled a small list of dishes I did last year that are definite worth trying (if you have not done so)!

Eight-Treasure Rice Recipe (八寶飯)

Eight-Treasure Rice Recipe (八寶飯

 

 

 

On to today’s recipe.

Eight-Treasure Rice is traditional served during Chinese New Year celebration and festival banquets.

The wonderful origin of Eight-Treasure Rice traces back to Western Zhuou Dynasty in ancient China. That’s over 2000 years in making of history!

The dish is common made from glutinous rice and a combination of with eight fruits that, according to Chinese medicine, are meant to provide therapeutic effect. The commonly used treasures are: dried red dates, lotus seeds, candied plums, sweetened winter melon, dried longan, red bean paste, assorted beans, assorted nuts, and etc.

Like many other Chinese dishes with long histories, the Eight-Treasure Rice has seen many variations and regional flavors. In the recipe I am sharing, I use butter instead of lard that’s normally used… I also have to skip the sweetened winter melon because it was sold out at the store I shopped…and I am also missing one or two traditional ingredients that are not available here…..

The point is, if this recipe looks very different from the Eight-Treasure Rice you had at that 200 year restaurant during your last trip to China, it is perfectly fine. No two Eight-Treasure Rice dishes are the same but they are all delicious!

Step-by-Step Illustrations

Steam the soaked gluteus rice for 30 minutes

Soak the lotus seeds and dried dates

Mix the steamed rice with butter and 1 tbsp of sugar

Assemble the rice and treasures in a serving bowl. If you are a talented decorator this will be a fun step for you

Steam the flip into a serving plate

Make the syrup and pour the syrup on top of the eight-treasure rice

Eight-Treasure Rice (八寶飯)
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Yi
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 13 hours
Serves: 4
Eight-Treasure Rice is a traditional Chinese festival dish.
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cup Glutinous rice
  • 2 tbsp sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Butter or lard
  • 1 tsp Goji berry
  • 10 Lotus seeds
  • 10 Dried red dates
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 3 tbsp Red bean paste
  • 15 Candied mandarin orange
  • 10 Candied cherry
  • Candied winter melon (optional not shown)
Instructions
  1. Soak the glutinous rice overnight in water. Before steaming, drain all the water and add about 3 tbsp of water to the rice. Steam for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  2. Soak the lotus seeds and dried dates in warm water for at least 2 hours. You can do this one day in advance. Cut the dates in halves
  3. While the steamed glutinous rice is still warm, mix in the butter and 1 tbsp of sugar. Taste the rice to make sure it’s not too dry. Mix in some warm water if the rice is too dry.
  4. Assemble the rice and treasures in a serving bowl to your liking. If you like to decorate, you’ll find this step FUN. The rule of thumb is separate each layer of treasures with a layer of glutinous rice. Try to keep the pretty ingredients on the bottom and around side of the bowl. Finish the top layer with rice.
  5. Steam the assembly with the serving bowl rim facing up for 30 minutes. Flip the bowl onto a serving plate. Generally remove the bowl.
  6. Make syrup by combining the rest of the sugar with 1/3 cup of boiling water. Thicken the syrup with a little corn starch. Evenly pour the syrup on top of the eight treasures rice.

Happy Chinese New Year and I look forward to more exciting dishes!

Eight-Treasure Rice Recipe (八寶飯

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Drucilla February 2, 2014 at 9:42 am

I googled Chinese New Year and found your recipt. I’m making it today for my Taoist Tai Chi class tomorrow night. I hope my turns out half as pretty as yours! Thank you.

Reply

2 Drucilla February 2, 2014 at 9:49 am

Too bad I didn’t proof my typing before posting. That should read, “…found your recipe…” and “…I hope mine…” Let’s only hope my Eight Treasure Rice tastes better than I type.

Reply

3 Yi February 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hello Drucilla, thanks for checking out the eight treasure rice dish. I am sure yours has/would turn out just as pretty!! If you are interested in more Chinese New Year recipes, please check out my Chinese New Year Cookbook. It’s totally free!!

Reply

4 Janet March 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

Yu, are the candied fruits the same as fruits in syrup? Thank you.

Reply

5 Yi March 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Hi Janet, they are pretty much the same. Fruits in syrup will work in this recipe. Thanks.

Reply

6 Yves February 23, 2012 at 3:32 am

Oh interesting. So that’s what you had for New year. Looks good.

Reply

7 Yi February 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm

thanks Yves. It’s nice to hear from you!

Reply

8 Jobless Girl January 31, 2012 at 1:04 am

Happy Chinese New Year to you. This is sweet and nice.

Reply

9 Yi January 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

Happy New Year to you!Thanks for the shout out!

Reply

10 Nami | Just One Cookbook January 27, 2012 at 12:57 am

What a gorgeous dish!!! That’s right, yay for loooong history of making this dish AND people like you who continue making it. This looks so pretty. I didn’t recognize it’s upside down until I started checking step by step. Absolutely beautiful!

Reply

11 Yi January 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Thanks Nami! It’s really amazing to learn how long some of these dishes have been in existence.

Reply

12 Juliana January 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Yi, I love this dessert, I only made it once…yours looks delicious and very pretty. Happy Chinese New Year and hope you are having a fantastic week :)

Reply

13 Yi January 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thanks for stopping by! I actually eat this dish as a main course but yeah it’d make a perfect warm dessert as well:)

Reply

14 Biren @ Roti n Rice January 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

Your eight-treasure rice is beautiful! I have not eaten this before but I can imagine what it tastes like. I am surprised this is a sweet dish. When I read the title, I thought of a rich savory dish. I will have to give it a try one of these days. Happy Chinese New Year!

Reply

15 Yi January 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Thanks Biren! Please let me know if you do get to try it.

Reply

16 Simply Tia January 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I would love to try this! It looks so colorful and delicious.
Happy Chinese New Year to you!

Reply

17 Yi January 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks Tia! Happy New Year to you as well!

Reply

18 tigerfish January 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

That is the most beautiful 八寶飯 I have seen.

Happy Chinese New Year of Dragon to you and your family.

Reply

19 Yi January 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Thank you and Happy New Year to you!

Reply

20 Jeno @ Week Nite Meals January 23, 2012 at 9:30 am

Happy Chinese New Year Yi! This posting brought back so many warm memories for me! My parents used to make eight treasured rice from time to time, though since we moved to the US, this doesn’t happen as often. I remember digging into the red bean paste was always the best part, thank you for sharing!

Reply

21 Yi January 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hi Jeno, thanks for stopping by. Yes the red bean paste is definitely my favorite part as well!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: