Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice (at the dim sum table, call it “hor yip lor mai kai”) blends the Cantonese flavor trinity of Chinese lap cheung sausages, dried shrimp and Shiitake mushrooms. The lotus leaf imparts a wonderful aroma to the rice. If you can get fresh lotus leafs the better, otherwise, head to Chinatown and you can get a stack of two dozen dried leaves for like 99 cents.
The same rice filling makes a wonderful thanksgiving turkey stuffing….skip the lotus leaves, of course.
Chef’s tip: Cut off the stem end of the leaves to make the leaves more pliable. Also, if use a Thai Sticky Rice bamboo steamer to produce the best sticky rice texture.
6 dried lotus Leaves or six 1 cup-ramekins or small heat-proof bowls
1 1/2 cups sweet glutinous rice, soaked 6 hours
1 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups chicken stock
2 pieces boneless chicken thigh,trimmed, skinless, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
½ Tablespoon oyster sauce
½ Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked and drained
1 Chinese sausage, thinly sliced
6 pieces of fresh Shiitake mushroom, sliced
6 slices of char siu ( 4 oz), thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of water
1 sprig green onions, chopped
Preparing the lotus leaves (if using, otherwise, slightly oil 6 ramekins).
1. Snip off the hard stalks ends of the lotus leaf. Soak the lotus leaves in hot water until softened. Cut into 2 if they are large.
Preparing the rice.
2. Wash the rice and cover with water. Set aside at least 6 hours to overnight.
3. Prepare a large pot of water with steamer. Line steamer with cheesecloth. Drain rice. Place rice evenly on the cheesecloth.
4. Place rice in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 20 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl.
5. Mix the oil, sugar, and stock in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour the hot stock into the cooked rice mixture and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to stand 10-15 minutes.
Preparing the filling
6. Marinate the chicken with oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil.
7. In the wok, heat the oil, fry the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage. Set to the side of the wok. Add garlic and saute for half a minute until it becomes light golden then add chicken. Brown the chicken, about 2 minutes. (need not be cooked through).
8. Add mushroom, char siu and toss back the dried shrimp and sausage.
9. Add ½ cup of water and add to the wok. Stir until the sauce is thick and glazes the meat. Remove from heat and toss in the green onions.
10. When rice is done, divide into 12 portions. Divide the filling into 6 portions.
11. Place lotus leave flat on a work surface. Patch any holes with additional leave pieces.
12. Place 1 portion of rice onto the center of the leave. Make a well in the center. Place a portion of the filling. Drizzle in any sauce from the chicken. Top with another portion of rice. Pack it tightly to make a small rectangular mass about 3 inch X 2 inch.
13. Wrap one side of the leaves over the filling, then take the opposite side and overlap like you are folding a business letter into 3. Then take the left third and fold it under the rice middle. Repeat with the opposite side. Place the rice bundle on its folded ends on a steamer.
14. Place lotus parcels in steamer basket over simmering water and steam for 30 minutes. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.
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