The gooey sticky rice wrapped in fragrant lotus leaf with delectable meat filling is one of my favorite dim sum items. Why make dim sum at home when you can go to a dim sum restaurant and be eating a wide array of steamed and fried dumplings, custard cups, bean curd rolls, puffs, and sesame balls off metal carts pushed by salty Asian ladies within 5 minutes of sitting down and pay approximately $10 per person? For one, I live in Davis and there are no dim sum restaurants in town. Also, Yuan was cooking for a dim sum dinner party (even though dim sum is technically breakfast/brunch food) and wanted to try out some menu items before his event. I did not object to being the guinea pig for his dim sum trials.
Although it is in no way a 30 minute meal, this was a fun afternoon cooking project and best of all, freezes extremely well for future snacking. Of course, I was eating for two and ate six or seven of them in one sitting leaving very little leftovers for freezing. Whatever, they were delicious! Here is the recipe we used:
Lotus Leaf Rice (Lor Mai Gai)
- 1.25 lb sticky rice (sometimes labeled glutinous rice)
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 4 large lotus leaves
- 2 tbsp dried shrimp
- 4 dried shitake mushrooms
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 lb chicken or pork (we used pork belly, but chicken thighs would also be good)
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 2 Chinese sausages (lap cheong) thinly sliced
- 2 scallion stalks sliced
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp corn starch
Put rice in a large bowl, cover with cold water and soy sauce and soak overnight. Drain rice and steam so the rice is slightly underdone.
Soak lotus leaves in boiling water for 1 hour. Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, squeeze out excess water, then coarsely chop. Soak dried shrimps in warm water for 1 hour. Yes, it is a lot of soaking.
For the filling, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or large non-stick pan until hot. Stir fry meat cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add shrimp, mushroom, garlic, sausage and scallions and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and toss well. Combine corn starch with 3/4 cup water and add the slurry into the filling mixture. Simmer until sauce is thickened.
Make rice into balls about the size of a golf ball and flatten slightly. Cut the lotus leaves in half. Place one rice ball on the leaf, put filling in middle, and cover with another rice ball. Wrap rice in the lotus leaf like a burrito and tie together. Steam for 30 minutes.
These delectable packages can be frozen and steamed for 40 minutes.