Sticky Rice in a Lotus Leaf

From issue #7.
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sticky Rice in a Lotus Leaf

Serves: 4


2 dried lotus leaves

1 cup glutinous rice
¼ cup long grain rice
1 ¼ cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

6 dried Chinese mushrooms (shiitake)
200 grams skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 Chinese sausages (lop cheong)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour


Soak the lotus leaves in warm water for 30 minutes. Trim off any hard edges and the stem and cut each leaf in half.

Rice: Put both the rices in a bowl and wash under cold running water until it is clear then leave to soak in the water for 30 minutes. Drain well. Put the rice, chicken stock and salt in a pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to its lowest setting, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and sit, without uncovering, for 5 minutes.

Filling: Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, squeeze out the water and finely chop. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Slice the sausages ½ cm thick.

Marinade: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir through the mushrooms and chicken. Heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok, add the sausages and cook until well coloured. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Tip in the marinated mixture and stir-fry, over a high heat, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Divide the rice and filling into 4 portions. Lay out the lotus leaves, put the rice in the centre and top with the filling. Fold the rice over the filling to enclose. Wrap the leaf to make a parcel and tie with string. Place in a steamer and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with small dishes of soy sauce. Makes 4

Glutinous Rice: a short grain rice that sticks together when cooked. It does not contain gluten.

Lotus leaves: the large leaf of a water lily used to wrap sweet and savoury mixtures.

Lop Cheong: a dried, smoked, highly seasoned sausage made from pork.

Shaoxing Rice wine: derived from glutinous rice, has a soft, rich flavour like a fine sherry, although wine specified for cooking is rather harsh in comparison. The flavour enriches braised dishes and marinades.