Fan Tuan 飯糰 or 粢饭 (Cī fàn) is a delicious stuffed rice roll that is popular in Taiwan and Shanghai. It is often eaten as a breakfast or lunch on-the-go and typically serves with a warm bowl of soymilk.
Fan Tuan is one of my favorite breakfast food even before I visited Taiwan. My good friend made us these for lunch when I lived with him. It’s a very convenient finger food and you can fill them with your favorite vegetables.
The typical filling includes something crunchy such as youtiao (fried crueller), protein such as wheat floss, and pickles. The most important ingredient is rice and it is often made using sticky rice.
In today’s recipe, I’m using sushi rice which has a very similar stickiness like sweet rice or glutinous rice.
How to make Fan Tuan (Ci Fan)
Step 1: Cook the rice
Fan Tuan’s rice is made of cooked sticky rice or glutinous rice. The sticky rice has an amazing ‘glue’ that you can mold into any shape that you like. To prepare the sticky rice, please check my Sticky Rice – 2 Ways
Today, I’m using sushi rice which has a very similar stickiness like sticky rice. Sushi rice does me some time as I used a rice cooker to make the rice.
Step 2: Prepare the filling
For the filling, I’m using mashed tofu, sautéed broccoli stems, preserved radish, julienned purple cabbage, and store-bought youtiao.
To make the tofu, simply mash firm tofu in a heated non-stick skillet. Then, pan-fry without oil until slightly dry. Add a splash of oil and continue to sauté until golden brown. Finally, season with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Now, using the same pan, sauté broccoli stems until fully cooked through and season with a pinch of salt.
The last ingredient is preserved radish. There are two versions of packaged radish at the store: sweet and salty. I would normally soak them in water for at least 30 minutes despite the type.
However, the difference is in the method of cooking. For the sweet radish, you’ll simply sauté them in oil and season with a drizzle of soy sauce. On the other hand, the salty version as you may have guessed will need a touch of sugar to balance the flavor. Similar to the other ingredients, set it aside once it’s cooked.
Since my store-bought youtiao comes in the refrigerated section, I like to toast it to make it more crispy. Simply toast 1 youtiao in a preheated toaster for about 3-5 minutes. Then, divide it into 4 pieces.
Step 3: How to roll
Rolling fan tuan is very similar to sushi but you will enclose all the openings so the final product will look like a rounded spring roll. Please check the video to see the step.
First, wrap a sushi mat with plastic wrap or wax paper. If you don’t have a sushi mat, use a square paper towel instead.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds in the middle of the wrap. Scoop about a cup of cooked rice and place it on the wrap. Using the back of a silicone spatula or rice spatula, spread the rice to about 5’x7′ inch square.
Add a heaping tablespoon of tofu mixture in the middle, then top with youtiao and layer with the rest of the ingredients.
Now, bring the long sides to the middle and fold them in a hot dog style. Use the side of the wrapper to push both ends so the rice sticks together.
The wrapping is a little challenging if this is your first time. It took me a few tries to make it perfect, so don’t give up. As long as you can press the rice together and keep the stuffing inside, then you are good.
If you are a rice lover, check out:
This Fan Tuan (Ci Fan) is
- perfect to-go quick meal
- best for make-ahead for meal prep
- Easily customizable; use your favorite fillings
- Tasty and Filling
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Fan Tuan飯糰 (Ci Fan粢饭) – Stuffed Rice Roll
- 3-4 cups cooked sushi rice or use sticky/short grain/black rice
- 7 oz [200g] firm tofu drained, pressed, and mashed
- 1 cup [140g] chopped Gailan stems or use kale or broccoli
- 1 piece YouTiao or use fried wonton skins, croutons, saltine crackers
- ½ cup [80g] salted preserved dried radish or use pickles/relish
- ½ cup finely shredded purple cabbage or use vegetables of choice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- a drizzle of dark soy sauce for color optional
- toasted sesame seeds white and black
- crushed peanuts optional
- oil for cooking
- salt to taste
Prepare the filling
- To prepare the salted preserved radish, soak them in cold water for 30 mins, then rinse.
- Sauté them in a pan with some oil for 1 min, season with ½ teaspoon sugar (omit if using sweetened dried radish/skip this step if using pickles)
- To make the tofu, heat a non-stick pan with 3 teaspoons oil, sauté mashed tofu until golden brown and season with soy sauce. Set aside.
- Using the same pan, sauté Gailan stems until fully cooked through & season with salt. Set aside.
- Cut YouTiao into 3-inch long and bake at 350F until crispy, about 5-8 mins.
How to wrap Fan Tuan (check video)
- To make the stuffed rice rolls, wrap a paper towel or sushi mat with a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Lay the wrapped mat or paper towel on a flat surface, then sprinkle with a pinch of sesame seeds.
- Scoop about ¾ cup of rice and place onto the surface, on top of the sesame seeds.
- Using a silicon or rice spatula, spread the rice to a thin layer by pressing the rice down into a rectangular shape.
- Add a heaping spoon of tofu in the middle and top with youtiao.
- Add a tablespoon of greens, cooked preserved radish, and purple cabbage. Top with a heaping spoon of crushed peanuts if preferred.
- Now, lift both sides of the wrapper up and use your finger to push the filling onto the rice.
- Bring the long sides to the middle and fold them in a hot dog style. Use the side of the wrapper to push both ends so the rice sticks together. (think of how you wrap a candy)
- Then, twist both ends several times so the rice roll is packed like a log. Tip: Transfer roll to a wrap, tighten & keep it wrapped while cutting or serving.
- Sprinkle with more toasted sesame seeds on the outer layer. Serve warm.
- YouTiao comes cooked in the frozen or refrigerated section. I like to warm it up in an oven for a crispier texture.
- It does take a few tries to wrap the fan tuan especially when you are using less sticky rice.