Thursday, 16 July 2015

Easy Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice with Chicken/Loh Mai Kai 简单荷香糯米鸡


If you are a fan of glutinous rice, this is definitely a must have. There are many ways and many versions to this. You can serve this in a big portion to be shared, or in individual dainty parcels like what am doing here. Most of the time, you would get the big ones in Chinese restaurants and the small ones from dim sum outlets. Now, with this easy recipe, you could make it at home with half the time and effort.





The most common ingredients used to make a good dish of glutinous rice with chicken are Chinese sausage, mushroom and dried shrimp. Of course, we must not forget the kai (chicken) in our loh mai kai. Other than this, you could vary your ingredients to include wax meat (蜡肉), Chinese ham(火腿), dried oyster (蚝豉) and even dried scallop (干贝).

Traditionally, the glutinous rice with chicken or loh mai kai is soaked and steamed (sometimes stir-fried) until cooked before being wrapped in lotus leaf. This loh mai kai is then steamed again when serving. Steaming the rice would ensure perfectly grained rice that is fluffy and evenly cooked. But lets face it, this method is cumbersome and time consuming to say the least. Therefore, I am suggesting an alternative that is easy and almost effortless - cooking the rice in the rice cooker. No soaking needed, no adding water to rice while steaming, no continuous stirring! Does it work? Beautifully!

Most Asians are accustomed to the rice cooker. Therefore, it is just a matter of dumping everything into the rice cooker and cooking it to perfection. It is still doable if you don't have a rice cooker. Just cook like you would normally cook rice. The trick is to close the cooking rice with a lid when the water dries up and let the steam continue to cook the rice. You would get the perfectly grained glutinous rice that is chewy to the bite but not soggy or lumpy.

Easy Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice with Chicken 简单荷香糯米鸡

Makes 6-8 small parcels

Ingredients

2 pieces lotus leaves, soak and quartered
3-4 salted egg yolks (cut into 1/2 or 1/3)

Marinated Chicken

1 whole leg of chicken (200g) , deboned and cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Shao Xing rice wine
a few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp tapioca starch
1 tsp water

Rice

5 shiitake mushroom. soaked
1 1/2 cup (300g) glutinous rice
2 pcs Chinese sausage (lap cheong), sliced
2 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked briefly
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots
2 1/4 cups water (soaking water from dried shrimp and mushroom)
3 tbsp oil

Seasoning

1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp Shao Xing rice wine
a few drops sesame oil


Cooking Instruction


1. Soak dried shrimp briefly. Soak mushroom until soft, cut into halves. Marinade chicken by combining all the ingredients in chicken marinade. Remove the whites from the salted eggs.



2. Add oil into a wok and sautee garlic and shallot. Add in dried shrimp, Chinese sausage and mushroom and fry until fragrant. Once done, remove sausage, and mushroom from wok (only necessary if you want to put these on top of rice, otherwise, just fry together with rice).


3. Add glutinous rice with the remaining oil and fry until well combined. Add water and bring to boil. Once boiled, remove from fire and put everything into rice cooker. Put salted egg yolks to be steamed together. I cover the steam vent with wet towel when cooking this rice so that the steam remains inside to make the rice fluffier. Stir rice after 5 mins and continue to cook. Leave the rice in the rice cooker for another 10 mins after rice is cooked before scooping rice out. Do not open the cover.



4. While rice is boiling, boil some water in a wok. Once water is bubbling, put lotus leaf in. Switch off fire and soak until softened. Remove, drain and wash leaves. Cut leaves into quarters and brush insides with a little oil. Set aside for later use.





5. Divide cooked glutinous rice into 8 portions (or 6 portions if you want the parcels to be bigger). Put rice on top of a piece of oiled lotus leaf. Arrange mushroom, Chinese sausage, chicken and salted egg yolk on top of rice. Wrap rice with lotus leaf. Note: if you intend to present this bottom up, then put the ingredients in first before your rice. It is ok is your rice is slightly undercooked as you would be steaming it again. Just add another 10 mins of steaming time.


6. Steam parcels for 10-15 mins before serving. Alternatively, freeze it for later use. If frozen, steam for 20 mins in high heat. Serve hot.


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