Monday, June 20, 2011

Chinese Sticky Rice

Sticky rice is one of my favorite dim sum dishes. For a long time I would buy frozen sticky rice from Chinatown and keep it in the freezer as an emergency dinner or lunch. However there was never any vegetables in the Chinatown versions so I decided to make my own.

Adapted from Flavor Explosions, serves 10

5 dried lotus leaves
2 1/2 cups sweet rice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 pound pork spareribs
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 small eggplant, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

3 Chinese sausages, thinly sliced
6 pieces of dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms. chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Rinse the rice well and place into a bowl. Cover the rice with water and allow to soak for  6 hours to overnight. 

Soak the lotus leaves in hot water until softened, about 1 hour. Snip off the hard stalks in the centre of the lotus leaf.  Cut the leaves into two so each is a half circle. 

Cut the spare ribs into bit size pieces. In a bowl, combine the spareribs, oil, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and pepper. Allow the spareribs to marinade for an hour.
In a separate bowl, combine the zucchini, eggplant, oil, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and pepper. Set aside to marinade. 

Place the dried mushrooms into a third bowl and cover with bowling water. Allow to soak until soft. Once soft, remove the stems and cut into quarters. 

Prepare a large pot with a steamer and enough water to be just below the steamer. Line the steamer with cheesecloth. Drain the water from the rice. Place the rice onto the steamer in an even layer. Bring the water to a boil and steam the rice for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the oil, sugar and stock in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once the rice is done steaming, transfer it to a bowl, pour the hot stock mixture over top and stir to combine. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
In a wok, saute the spareribs until cooked through. Add the sausage and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and eggplant and cook for another 3 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat. Toss in the green onion.

Place the lotus leaves flat on a work surface. Patch any holes in the leaves with additional leave pieces.

Place about 1/20th of the rice, approximately 1/3 cup, onto the center of the lotus leave. 

Place a 1/10th portion of the filling on top of the rice.  

 Top with another portion of rice. Pack the rice tightly to form a small rectangle.

Wrap one side of the leave over the filling. Then fold the opposite side over top so you have essentially folded the leave into thirds with the filling in the middle. 

Repeat in the other direction. With the last fold, tuck the end of the leave under itself to make a neat seam.

Tie the bundle with string or the stalks from the lotus leaves.

Prepare a bamboo steamer basket in a pot over simmering water. Add the parcels to the steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Add water as necessary to ensure the pot does not dry out. 

Serve hot. 


Tip: Make a large batch to keep in the freezer. Allow the parcels to cool and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap before placing in the freezer.

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