Rich variety of Guizhou glutinous rice delicacies

Gourmet

Rich variety of Guizhou glutinous rice delicacies

by Live in Guizhou


PUBLISHED Nov 11, 2021 • 4MIN READ

Glutinous rice is a popular mainstay in Guizhou’s diet, none more popular and versatile than the “Ciba” or black sesame rice cake. Ciba comes in all shapes and sizes depending on the region and who’s making it. There can be as many as 20 different varieties. Baba is tied closely with the local history and culture. Some are made with sweetgrass, some with corn, some with stuffing, some are shaped like a box, and some are stuffed with tofu. Try out the different types while you’re here, and see which one’s your favorite!

Ciba-wrapped tofu 

Ciba-wrapped tofu as shown in the picture is the specialty of Qianxi County. Tofu is first marinated and pan-baked until its juices flow out. Next, the tofu is crushed and mixed with a fried mixture of kohlrabi, ground pork, pepper, and fish mint to bring more texture to the filling. The Ciba dough is then kneaded into a flat-bread shape and fried until it’s golden before wrapping the filling. The sticky rice bread will form strings if served fresh out of the pan, reminiscent of oven-baked mozzarella. The stuffing is spicy and textured, with a complex aftertaste.

Weijing’s mini Ciba 

Weijing’s mini Ciba is a signature dish that made its way into the official Dictionary of Chinese Food Culture. The dough for this Ciba is from local buckwheat. The filling used is local ham, tofu, salted vegetable, leek, garlic, and pepper. The mini Ciba is wrapped to shape like a crescent moon before fried golden. Properly prepared, the top bread will be soft and juicy but not sticky, the bottom will be crispy, and the filling will be a perfectly balanced taste of salty and spicy.

Box Ciba 

Box Ciba is a specialty of Xingren County. It is so named because of its molded shape. This Ciba is made with a special rice paste made from a mixture of three jasmine rice varieties, soybean, and eggs. The rice paste is then placed in a mold and stuffed with fresh pork and diced green onion before fried to perfection. There are two ways to enjoy this dish. You can cut it in half and dip it in chili sauce. You can also chop it into tiny pieces, add soy milk and drink it as soup. Whichever way you choose, you can’t go wrong with this crispy treat.

Ash Ciba 

Shown here is the Ash Ciba, the name comes from the rice ash used in its preparation. Rice stalks are burned to ashes, boiled in water, and filtered. The remaining alkali solution, called “ash water” is very common in Chinese food preparation for improving flavor. Rice is then soaked overnight in the ash water, before washed and ground to paste, and boiled until it’s 80% cooked. The paste is then cooled before needed into a dough and steamed for around 40 minutes into a bread. The flavor and aroma are unique for this bread, which can be served freshly steamed, or fried with pepper, ginger, and green onion.

The “Fermented Ciba” 

The “Fermented Ciba” is a fermented variety found in Zhijin. Locally grown short-grain rice ground into a paste, needed into a dough, and fermented. This rice dough is then steamed for one hour and the resulting silver bread is topped with white sesame. The slightly soft and fluffy bread is complemented with the taste of sesame and is definitively worth going back for seconds.

Piggy Ciba 

The “Piggy Ciba” is so named because of its cutesy look. Made in Chishui, the Ciba uses short-grained rice flour dough wrapped around pork, tofu, and pickled veggies. Fully steamed, this snack takes on a soft-white texture that looks like a cute piggy. It is soft, squishy, and tastes as good as it looks.

Flower Ciba 

The “Flower Ciba” is shown below in its long-form. When served, the Ciba is cut horizontally to reveal patterns beneath. The pattern could be made into the shape of a flower, butterfly, or even Chinese characters. To make sure that the pattern is uniform throughout the bread, the dough must be carefully prepared and evenly shaped. The final snack is sliced before served with rice wine, roasted, or fried.