I figured if I’m making gac sticky rice, I wanted to do it the traditional way, steamed with banana leaf.
Prep time: 6 hours
Cook time: 20-45 minutes – See Steaming Note
Steaming Note: Steaming time varies anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes depending on how long the rice was soaked, amount of rice being steamed, and how much liquid is absorbed in the rice. My first half took about 35 minutes because it has more rice and my second half took me about 25 minutes for it to cooked thoroughly.
Thanks to Amy Vo from the Vietnamese Home Cooking Enthusiasts Facebook group for giving me the tips and tricks to steam this gac sticky rice. Thanks to my friend, LisaMarie, for allowing us the umlimited access to her banana leaves. I have a lot of recipes in the future that requires banana leaves I’ve always wanted to learn to make. This is an adventure for us threesome as we walked to our friend’s house down half a block on a very rainy day to get a banana leaf.
2 cups of uncooked sweet rice (gao nep)
1/2 cup or about 100 mL coconut milk
1 banana leaf with no tear
1 gac fruit AKA baby jackfruit (or about 2/3 cup frozen gac paste)
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white cooking wine
Note: I used a banh bao steamer and a dome shaped ceramic plate.
1. Rinse the sweet rice three times until the water is clear. Then soak the rice overnight. (I soaked it for 5 hours.)
2. Cut open the gac fruit, put the seeds into a bowl with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of white cooking wine. Separate the aril from the seeds. The aril is the red part that attaches to the seeds.
3. After soaking the rice, strain the rice in a colander.
4. Put the sweet rice in a large mixing bowl and add the gac paste and coconut milk. Sugar supposed to be added in near the end of steaming but we added the sugar in at this time.
5. Mix the sticky rice mixture up until blended well.
6. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water two inches high. Turn on high heat to bring it to a boil.
7. Strip the spine from the banana leaf off and cut it into 6 large pieces. Wash and wipe the cut leaf carefully trying not to tear it up.
8. Place the leaf in the steamer leaving some holes visible. We tried that but the rice fell through the steamer’s holes so we placed about 3 cut leaf parts onto a dome shaped ceramic plate instead.
9. Pour about half of the sweet rice mixture on top of the banana leaf cuts on the plate. Place it in the steamer. Cover the lid and steam for 15 minutes. Then fold the rice and steam again for about 10 minutes or until rice are cooked evenly.
Note: Steaming time varies anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes depending on how long the rice was soaked, amount of rice being steamed, and how much liquid is absorbed in the rice. My first half took about 35 minutes because it has more rice and my second half took me about 25 minutes for it to cooked thoroughly.
Important: Make sure to not let the condensed water from the lid drips onto the rice or else the rice will be soggy. I wiped the lid every ten or fifteen minutes. A towel can be placed over the steamer before closing the lid to soak up the water instead.
10. Transfer gac sticky rice onto plate and serve or you can press it tightly into silicon molds like we did. Enjoy!