I love Chinese sticky rice. It contains several of my favorite ingredients — sticky rice, Chinese sausage and mushrooms. I know I'm going to have Hungry Bear's sticky rice at least twice a year, at Thanksgiving dinner and during Lunar New Year (Vietnamese/Chinese New Year) festivities. It's become a traditional dish for us on these holidays.
I really enjoy the rich flavors from the Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, oyster sauce and soy sauce that get infused into the sweet, sticky rice. Chinese-American families often serve sticky rice in place of stuffing during Thanksgiving. It's great with turkey, roasted duck or just by itself. I didn't grow up eating this dish, but I now consider it a comfort food.
Hungry Bear started making Chinese sticky rice using a recipe from Grace Young's The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen. The recipe has dried scallops and shrimp in it, which takes additional time to prepare. Over the years, Hungry Bear has altered Grace Young's recipe, excluding the dried seafood, in order to save prep time. The scallops and shrimp are a little too fishy for my tastes and I prefer my sticky rice without them.
Another common ingredient in sticky rice is chestnuts, which Hungry Bear's mom often includes in her recipe. A frequent reader, Judy, told us that her aunty used bamboo shoots in her sticky rice. Next time, Hungry Bear plans on adding either chestnuts or bamboo shoots for some variety.
Until then, I've included two Chinese sticky rice recipes. The first one is Hungry Bear's and the second recipe with dried seafood is Grace Young's, in case you want all the flavors of traditional sticky rice. I need to warn you that Hungry Bear's version makes a huge amount of rice. She likes to cook in mass quantities and all recipes are bear-size, which means they are quadrupled! Hungry Bear loves leftovers, therefore the need to cook in abundance.
I'll never complain about the large quantities because there's no such thing as too much Chinese sticky rice!
Chinese Sticky Rice Recipe
4 cups sweet rice
2 cups jasmine rice
25 Chinese dried shiitake mushrooms
6 Chinese sausages (lop chong)
1 pound lean Chinese barbecued pork, store-bought
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped cilantro
1) In a bowl, soak the mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes, until softened. In a 6-quart stockpot, wash all the rice in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the combined sweet and jasmine rice for 1 hour in enough cold water to cover.
2) When softened, drain and squeeze dry the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Cut off and discard stems and chop the caps.
3) Chop sausage and barbecued pork and set aside separately.
4) Heat large wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add oil and Chinese sausage, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and barbecued pork, and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, stir to combine, remove from heat, and set aside.
5) Drain rice. Add chicken broth and enough the reserved mushrooms liquid to measure 1 cup, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and quickly scoop Chinese sausage mixture onto top of rice. Immediately cover and continue cooking the rice 25 to 30 minutes, or until broth is completely absorbed and rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, scallions, cilantro and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve and enjoy.
Makes about 4 quarts. Serves 18 to 20 as part of a multicourse meal.
[Recipe adapted from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young]
Flavored Sweet Rice (Naw Mai Fan) Recipe
1/4 cup Chinese dried scallops (gawn yu chee)
1 cup sweet rice
1/2 cup long grain rice
2 tablespoons Chinese dried shrimp
4 Chinese dried mushrooms
1 Chinese sausage (lop chong)
4 ounces Chinese barbecued pork, store-bought or homemade
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
1 1/4 cups homemade chicken broth
2 teaspoons black soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster flavored sauce
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1) In a small bowl, soak the dried scallops in about 1/3 cup cold water for 2 hours, or until softened. In a medium-sized bowl, wash all the rice in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the combined sweet and long rice for 1 hour in enough cold water to cover. Place the shrimp and mushrooms in separate bowls. Pour about 1/4 cup cold water over each ingredient, and soak for about 30 minutes, to soften.
2) When softened, drain all the ingredients except the rice, discarding the shrimp water and reserving the scallop and mushroom liquids. Remove the small hard knob from the side of the scallops and discard. Finely shred the scallops with your hands. Chop shrimp if larger than 1/4 inch. Drain and squeeze dry the mushrooms. Cut off and discard stems and finely chop the caps.
3) Finely chop sausage and barbecued pork and set aside separately.
4) Meanwhile, heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add oil and Chinese sausage, and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add scallops and stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, mushrooms, and barbecued pork, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add thin soy sauce, stir to combine, remove from heat, and set aside.
5) Drain rice and place in a 2-quart saucepan. Add chicken broth and enough of the reserved scallop and mushrooms liquids to measure 1/4 cup, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and quickly scoop Chinese sausage mixture onto top of rice. Immediately cover and continue cooking the rice 25 to 30 minutes, or until broth is completely absorbed and rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the black soy sauce, oyster sauce, scallions, and cilantro, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Makes about 6 cups. Serves 6 to 8 as part of a multicourse meal.
[Recipe via The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young]