* Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice

Posted on September 22nd, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Cantonese, Chicken, Chinese sausages, Course, Cuisine, Dim Sum, Entree, Glutinuous Rice, Mushrooms.

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.

Serves: 6

Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice

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10 Responses to “Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice”

  1. AC Says:

    I tried this wonderful recipe and I highly recommend it as it’s close to the ones you eat at the restuarant, less the grease and MSG. Mind you the oyster sauce does contain MSG so I’ll try cutting it down next time.

  2. Ryan Says:

    Hi AC,
    If you look carefully at the ingredients, it is possible to find oyster sauce without the MSG. One brand we have found that does not have MSG is “Treasure Brand”. But there are a few others as well. Just examine the ingredients carefully. You may have to go to several groceries to find them, but they do exist! Good luck!

  3. Freda Says:


    I just want to say I have tried several recipes for Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, but this is by far is the best recipe and is exactly the same as I had in the best Dim Sum restaurants.


  4. mary-anne Says:

    I make Hor Yip Lor mai Gai almost the same, but usually add some sliced Thai chiles – Dragon or Bird chiled (Phrik Kee Nu or Phrik Chee fa).

    I always use Thai Oyster Sauce (no MSG) Nahm Man Hoi. The Thai oyster sauces are less salty and have a more pronounced rich oyster flavor. The brands I like best are Dragon Fly and also Mae Kera brand which has a lady cooking on the red bordered label.

    I love the Thai Oyster sauce for it’s richness and far less salt. I use it to make Chicken Chile Fried Rice (Khao Phat Gai Phrik Kee Nue) and also Drunkard’s Noodles (Pad Khee Mao/Gkuay Dtiow Pad Khee Mao).

    I love the fragrance of lotus leaves and sticky rice steaming in a bamboo steamer – true comfort food.

  5. lucky bamboo plants garden lover Says:

    Thank you for this blog post. I think it’s important for people to read you.

  6. Cristin Brueske Says:

    A A wonderful Blog about how to cook FLEXTARIAN dishes.

  7. weirdcombos Says:

    wow another recipe that looks delish!
    I had something like this made vegetarian in Toronto back in September. I love the taste that the lotus leaf imparts to the rice. It doesn’t seem very difficult to make. I’ve got to try this one too 🙂

  8. Christine Says:

    This was a great recipe, very close to what you get at a dim sum restaurant. I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and doubled the recipe. Came out perfect. I had to make a few substitutions because some of the guests were vegetarian but it was still delicious. Can’t wait to make the full meat version!

  9. Kieran Says:

    I’ve been making these for a few years now and only now get around to thanking you for the recipe. I’ve made a few substitutions – I use turkey leg meat rather than chicken, I leave out the oyster sauce and I use well browned and seasoned ground pork rather than char siu. I’m not sure that these are improvements or not but I do love the taste!

    One thing about your recipe, though is that I find I have to quadruple the amount of rice to be able to use up all the filling.

  10. lotus leaf sticky rice « n E X t ? Says:

    […] (Recipe from: Flavor Explosions – Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice) […]

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