Chicken Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf

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Chicken Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf is a classic Cantonese Dim Sum dish. All the mouthwatering ingredients like sticky rice, chicken, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, and dried shrimps are wrapped in lotus leaves and then stream until the fragrant of lotus leaves penetrate its filling.

It is said that Chicken Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus leaf was born in the night market of Guangzhou before the 1950s. Originally, the sticky rice and bite-size chicken pieces were packed in porcelain bowls and then steamed.

Later on, the hawkers packed the sticky rice and its fillings in lotus leaves for the convenience in carrying them around. This adjustment brought about at least two benefits.

First, the lotus leaves added a distinctive floral scent to the sticky rice and its fillings.

Second, the portion of the sticky rice and its fillings are no longer limited to the size of the bowls. So on top of the sticky rice and the chicken, the vendors started to incorporate more savory ingredients such as Chinese sausage, dried shrimps, and mushrooms. Some even added char siu, dried scallops, and salty egg yolks in it as well for an additional layer of flavors.

For our recipe today, we rehydrated the lotus leaves the night before. Then steam the presoaked sticky rice until cooked. Meanwhile, stir-fry together, marinated chicken and Chinese sausage, and other rehydrated ingredients — dried shrimps and shiitake mushrooms. Add a flavorsome sauce to both the fillings and the cooked sticky rice.

To assemble, scoop the sticky rice and the toothsome fillings in the center of lotus leaves. Fold the lotus leaves into a pocket.

Lastly, steam the pockets until the floral aroma of lotus leaves permeate your entire room.

Serves: 6 people
Prep time: overnight and 2 hours
Cook time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

3 lotus leaves, quartered, rehydrated in water overnight
2 cups sticky rice, presoak in water for 2 hours
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water for 2 hours, sliced
2 tablespoons dried shrimps, rehydrated in water for 2 hours
2 Chinese sausage, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced

For the chicken:
2 chicken thigh, skinless, boneless, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Pinch of five-spice powder
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of salt

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of five-spice powder
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of salt

Drain the presoaked sticky rice. Transfer it in the pot of an electronic rice cooker. Then add water in the pot to the same level as the sticky rice, or for about 1 1/4 cups. Use the setting for rice and cook.

As an alternative, if you don’t have a rice cooker, boil water in a large pot, add a steamer in it. Transfer the sticky rice on a tray and put it on the steamer. Cover the lid and steam on high heat for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken pieces and combine together. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, add all the seasonings and whisk together.

In a wok, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the Chinese sausage, dried shrimps, shiitake mushrooms and stir fry on low heat until the aroma comes out for about 1 minute. Put aside.

In the same wok, add another tablespoon of oil in it. Add the minced garlic and the marinated chicken and cook over high heat until medium well for about 3 minutes. Transfer in the cooked Chinese sausage, dried shrimps, and shiitake mushrooms. Now put in half of the sauce. Mix well. Take them out and set aside.

After the rice is done, add the other half of the sauce. Combine until all the rice is colored evenly.

Place a lotus leaf on a flat surface. Pat dry the lotus leaf. Place another lotus leaf over it. Pat dry. Place 1/2 cup of sticky rice in the center and create a rectangular shape. Then place 2 tablespoons of the fillings over the rice. Add another 1/2 cup of rice on the fillings.

To fold it into a pocket, first, fold the bottom of the lotus leaves upward. Then fold the right side inward. Fold the left side inward. Roll it upward until it becomes a pocket. Do the same with the rest.

Boil water in a large pot. Add a steamer in the pot. Put the pockets on the steamer. Cover the lid and steam on high heat for 1 hour. Watch the water level as you cook. Add more boiled water if needed.


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