I love rice rolls aka cheung fun. It’s a must get for me everytime I go to dim sum and you’re not dim summing correctly if you don’t get any rice rolls. I have looked up recipes to see how it’s made and it’s actually quite easy. Get some rice flour batter, pour it onto a pan (like a crepe) and steam it. When it’s done, just roll it. But of course this all sounds so easy but to make good rice roll is hard. Good rice roll is silky, smooth with a slight chewiness to it and firm enough to hold whatever ingredient is inside.
I have heard that in Sunset Park there is a rice roll cart but I haven’t seen the cart at all. And of course if you want rice rolls and hate the dim sum crowds you can always just order from the take out station which many dim sum places have. The down side to that is, you don’t know how long the rice rolls have been sitting. So of course you know how excited I got when I found THIS place! Sunkist Bakery, just around the corner from the F East Broadway stop, makes fresh rice rolls. Have they always had fresh rice rolls before? How come I’ve only noticed it now?!
This place was tiny like room enough for 3 people tiny. There was a counter with a bottle of sriracha and soy sauce and 2 stools if you prefer to dine-in. On the menu, besides the regular rice rolls filling like beef, shrimp and roast pork, there were choices like corn, egg, preserved veggies and pork, lettuce, chicken and mushroom, ham and corn, curry and pork skin (I’m curious about this one) and more. The prices range from $1.50 for plain to $2.50 for the fancier ones.
I obviously went for my favorite rice roll filling, roast pork. The lady behind the counter gave the bucket of rice flour batter a quick stir before ladling the batter on to the tray. Then she sprinkled some roast pork onto the tray/batter and stuck the tray into the metal steam box. She then asked if I wanted cilantro and I said, yes please. She took the tray out and sprinkled a handful of cilantro and put the tray back in. After a short moment, she took the tray out and used a dough spatula to cut the rice roll in half and scooped it into a container.
Yes she didn’t roll it like at dim sum places but I was fine with that. As long as it was delicious, I didn’t really care. With a nice squirt of soy sauce and hot sauce, oh man nothing really beats freshly made rice rolls. This was silky and smooth, it was perfect! I may not crave going to dim sum as much now that I can just go here and get rice rolls. Forget about the crowds! Forget about waking up early!
– Sunkist Bakery 160 E. Broadway