>> Nuan Xin Rice Roll | Eat the World NYC

28 July 2019

Nuan Xin Rice Roll

TAIWAN 🇹🇼

In its most traditional form, the kind of rice roll (fan tuan) served here at Nuan Xin was simple and came from Shanghai. The fried dough eaten for breakfast and known as youtiao was wrapped in glutinous rice and served with either sweet or savory soy milk depending on the preferences of the customer. In recent years, in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, the fan tuan game has been taken to another level, with all types of ingredients, extra wrappers, and so many options.

This wave has started coming to Chinese communities abroad as well, with all types of fan tuan being enjoyed in Chinatowns everywhere. Nuan Xin has come on the scene recently and in a little over a year expanded to four locations already. Two are located in Sunset Park, one in Bensonhurst, and most recently in Manhattan. They describe this location at 8th Avenue and 53rd Street their flagship.


In addition to a menu full of rice roll options, Nuan Xin is good news for bubble tea addicts as well as the quality continues to improve here in New York City. This now seems to be the choice for pairing with the rice rolls both here and back home, although look hard enough and you can get a cup of soy milk as well.

A medium signature milk tea (above) runs $3.25 with a 50 cent charge for tapioca. Grab a cup, a big straw, and order a few rice rolls to explore the menu. Despite being priced from $3.25 to $4.75, these are all dense and full of calories, one can go a long way towards filling you up, especially when paired with bubble tea.

An order of four is ridiculous and will lead to lots of leftovers.

Back in Taiwan, pickled mustard greens have been an ingredient for just about as long as fan tuan have been being created. Meat was not always an accessible and affordable filling, but Nuan Xin pairs their pickled mustard greens with a smooth and slightly sweet braised pork. The braised pork with preserved vegetable rice roll ($3.95, below) might have just been the winner of an initial order, topped off like others with their special cream sauce.

Nuan Xin uses purple sticky rice rather than white, extolling all the supposed virtues and health benefits that come with eating it. Regardless of whether this is true or not, this type of rice is slightly less chewy than the white, has a bit of sweetness and nuttiness, and works better for fan tuan, although certainly there are disagreements here.


The rest of the rice roll menu goes from basic vegetarian options to just about every meat you would want to put inside. One of the newer realities in Taiwan and elsewhere is that people are not so satisfied with simplicity any longer and having access to many choices is always the norm even for purveyors that have been around for some time. One option that has been around longer than most because of its connection to breakfast is bacon ($3.50, not shown), which oddly (for the uninitiated) goes perfectly inside a fan tuan.

The spicy squid rice roll ($4.25, below) was another interesting and enjoyable roll, made "spicy" through the sauce which takes on somewhat of an orange color from whatever they are using as pepper. This roll is close to the high end of the price points but only the eel roll is more expensive at $4.75.


No matter which roll(s) you choose, the experience of the "old ways" is replicated here, as each one is wrapped and packed to order. Seeing as how they soak the rice in water for hours before cooking to get the textures just right, this is essential so that the roll has all the chewiness still perfect when you take that first bite.

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Nuan Xin Rice Roll Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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