Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Steamed Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaf 荷葉蒸雞飯

This is a dish that is relatively easy to cook, even though it sounds complex. The lotus leaf I use is dried and is available at Chinese grocery stores. It's a pity there aren't any fresh lotus leaves around to buy; it will greatly enhance the flavor and aroma of the rice. If you can get any fresh lotus leaf, by all means use it.

This is one of those dishes where you don't really have to go by a "recipe" because it can't really go wrong if you don't exactly follow the steps. Let your creativity and sense of taste be your guide. You can substitute chicken with any meat. Marinate it the way you want (usually with salt, sugar, cornstarch and oil). Instead of using water to cook the rice, you can use chicken broth for more flavor.

1 big lotus leaf
steamed rice
chicken, dry mushroom, carrots, etc

1)  Cook rice using water or chicken broth.
2)  Dice chicken (or other meat) and marinate.
3)  Thoroughly soak mushrooms. Squeeze out water and dice.
4)  Dice carrots or other vegetables like celery or corn.
5)  Boil a big pan of water and put in the dry lotus leaf for 10-15 seconds until it is soft.

6) Stir fry the chicken, mushroom and carrot until it's cooked through. Mix it in with the cooked rice.
7) Line a big plate with the lotus leaf. Brush with some oil and add the rice, chicken, mushroom and carrot.
8) Wrap it together and either use a toothpick to hold the leaf together or put a small plate on top to hold it in place.

9)  Steam for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

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