It was 3am and I was feeling peckish. Luckily, I had some assorted rice cakes in the fridge. I picked the sapin sapin. It’s not something I’m particularly fond of — I’m more of a biko and cuchinta kind of girl — but a nice, warm rice cake always makes a lovely snack.
Since it’s been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, the sapin sapin was cold. I had a microwave but you don’t want to just pop it in the microwave because that always leads to a dry, unevenly warmed rice cake. I did have an electric steamer but I didn’t want to have to deal with the cleanup. Luckily, my mom taught me a microwave hack that works nicely with heating up rice cakes. It actually works for various starchy food like rice and pasta.
You put the sapin sapin in a bowl. Make sure the sides of the bowl is high enough that if you cover the opening with a wet paper towel, the paper towel doesn’t touch the sapin sapin. And then you take a paper towel, wet it with clean water— I like to fold it and run it under the tap, then unfold it — and cover the opening of the bowl. Stick the whole thing in the microwave and warm it for a minute and a half on 50% or until the sapin sapin is hot.
The result? Warm and gooey sapin sapin.
My mom taught me this as a way of heating up steamed rice but like I said, it works with any starchy food like pasta and dry noodles. It also works great for dimsum, which is usually steam-cooked.
Now go forth and never eat dry rice cakes ever again.