Friday, October 15, 2010

Glutinous Rice Chicken (Lor Mai Kai 糯米雞)

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I'm a lean, mean, cooking machine! Here, I take on yet another Cantonese dim sum classic, glutinous rice chicken or lor mai kai. Seriously, I just pulled this one out of my butt (not literally... gross). I had no recipe to work with, no idea how to make it, and I've never seen it done. So it's just a big kitchen experiment for me. With that caveat, it goes without saying that this is probably not the most authentic product. In fact, I think it's more of a hybrid of lor mai kai and Taiwanese-style zhongzi. Whatever. It's all good.

You'll need:
  • 2 cups of glutinous rice
  • 1 cup of diced vegetarian ham
  • 2 pieces of five-spice tofu curd, diced
  • 3 1/4-inch slices of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing)
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons of five-spice powder
  • 2 sprigs of scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of blanched or roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 4 large dried lotus leaves
  • some twine for tying
Begin by rinsing and soaking glutinous rice in water for at least 2 hours. After 2 hours, drain and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Submerge dried lotus leaves. Turn off heat and cover for 20 minutes to soften leaves.

In a large skillet, saute vegetarian ham, five-spice tofu curd and ginger in canola oil until browned. Stir in water, cooking wine, rice vinegar, soy sauce, five spice powder, vegetarian oyster sauce, salt and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up and add peanuts and glutinous rice. Stir fry until all the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes or so. Discard ginger pieces.

Set up by placing one large lotus leaf flat on the work surface. Place a quarter of the glutinous rice mixture in the center. Fold four sides in tightly like an envelope. Secure with twine. Steam pockets for at least 1.5 hours. Remove. Unwrap and serve with some chopped scallion on top.

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