Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves

shutterstock_1491470242013_7_Lotus Leave Rice

This week I decided to make something that I haven’t tried to cook with before – lotus leaves. I see and hear a lot about lotus in Chinese arts and culture from watching gazillion of Chinese historical dramas growing up and I’ve seen it used in some Chinese cooking. Lotus leaves gives off a subtle nice aroma once it’s steamed.

Lotus leaves, interestingly enough, also used in Chinese medicine. It is known to have properties that help with hypertension, facial redness, stops bleeding, dizziness and others. Not only that, modern scientific research is confirming that lotus leaf extract exerts positive effects on the body’s fat metabolism. But this post is not about weight loss by any means. Haha…. it is far from it. I made a common Cantonese style dimsum dish –Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves.

Legend has it the use of lotus leaves happened by accident. In the old days, vendors would make the filling in bulk, carry it in a container then use lotus leaves as wrapper for convenience only. Later, the Chinese vendors found that wrapping in advance is more convenient and gives off a wonderful aroma that clings to the sticky rice filling.

Lotus leaves comes in fresh or dried versions. The fresh one would be moist and soft, while the dried one would tend to break easily. Brush the dried leaves with water to soften it. This makes it easier to handle when wrapping.

Making the Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves was not difficult, you just have to follow the directions step by step and I can almost guarantee its no fail. The bigger challenge is finding the ingredients if you are not near a well-stocked Chinese grocery where you can find fermented bean curd, lotus leaves, salted egg yolks and Chinese bacon. I couldn’t find the salted egg yolks and Chinese bacon, so I did not include it in my version. But if you have access to it, by all means add it to make your Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves authentic. Plus, the egg yolk does bring good flavor to the dish overall.

Here are the some of the ingredients to start making Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves:

2013_7_Lotus Leaf  Rice5

2013_7_Lotus Leaf  Rice4

Mix chopped chicken, chicken powder and fermented bean curd in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Fermented bean curd (see picture below the post) are used in many Chinese cooking and comes in a variety, but in general, they are quite salty.  I used about 3 pieces of the bean curd and some juice.

Sticky Rice
The sticky rice need to be first soaked in water for about 20 – 40 minutes. This process helps soften the rice and cook faster.  Drain the water after soaking.   Then, add 4 cups of water in a steamer and place cheese cloth on the steam rack. Add the drained sticky rice. Turn on heat and steam for 10 – 15 minutes.

2013_6_SugarVinegar Pork2In a medium pan, add oil and stir fry the marinated chicken until it’s 60% cooked. Remove from pan. 2013_Lotus_stepby stepCut the sharper corner of the lotus leaves (see picture above).  This makes it easier to wrap the dumpling later. Then, take 1 leaf and start adding the fillings and wrap accordingly.

2013_7_Lotus Leaves Sticky Rice1Steam the dumplings for 20 minutes.

Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaves

Ingredients:

1/2 lb chicken (dark meat), chopped in small pieces
1 piece of Chinese sausage, sliced thin
1 piece of Chinese bacon, sliced thin
1 salted egg yolk
2 cups of sticky/glutinous rice, pre-soak for 1 hour in a bowl then drain water.
5 pieces of shitake mushrooms, minced*
lotus leaves
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp fermented bean curd*
cheese cloth

1. Mix chopped chicken, chicken powder and fermented bean curd in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Add 4 cups of water in a steamer and place cheese cloth on the steam rack. Add the drained sticky rice. Turn on heat and steam for 10 – 15 minutes.
3. In a medium pan, add oil and stir fry the marinated chicken until it’s 60% cooked. Remove from pan.
4. Cut the sharper corner of the lotus leaves. This makes it easier to wrap the dumpling later.
5. Take 1 leaf and start adding the fillings and wrap.
4. Steam the dumplings for 20 minutes.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like