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Lotus leaf wraps
- Serves 8
- 4 lotus leaves, cut in half
- 1¼ cups glutinous rice (sticky rice)
- 4 Chinese dried black mushrooms
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, 6 ounces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 Chinese sausages (lop cheong)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Chinese or Japanese rice wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying, or as needed
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
- One hour ahead of time, prepare the rice and lotus leaves: soak the lotus leaves in hot water for 1 hour.
- Pat dry.
- Cover the rice with water and let soak for 1 hour.
- Next, steam the rice.
- Line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper or cabbage leaf.
- Fill a wok approximately to the half-way point with water so that the steamer will be sitting above the water without touching.
- Bring the water to a boil cover the rice and steam for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the rice, cover and keep warm while preparing the remainder of the ingredients.
- Soften the dried mushrooms by soaking in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Squeeze out any excess water, remove the stems and finely chop.
- Cut the chicken into small cubes about the size of a postage stamp.
- Add the salt, 1 tablespoon rice wine and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
- Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.
- Finely chop the sausages.
- Peel and chop the garlic.
- In a small bowl, combine the rice wine, light soy and dark soy sauce.
- In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water, and whisk into the sauce.
- Heat a wok and add 2 tablespoons oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
- Add the chicken cubes.
- Stir-fry until they turn white and are 80 percent cooked through.
- Add the sausages and the mushrooms.
- Stir-fry for a minute.
- Give the sauce mixture a quick re-stir then add in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken.
- Season with pepper, to taste.
- Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes to mix everything together and heat through.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.
- To make the wraps, separate the rice and the filling into 8 equal sections, 1 section for each wrap.
- Lay out a lotus leaf in front of you.
- Place a portion of the rice mixture into the center of a lotus leaf.
- Add the meat and vegetable mixture over top, shaping the rice with your hands so that it forms a ring around the filling.
- Add more rice to cover.
- Form a square parcel with the lotus leaf and tie it up with twine.
- Repeat with the remaining lotus leaves.
- Steam the lotus leaf parcels, covered, on a heatproof plate in a bamboo steamer for 15 minutes, or until they are done.