These are tim sum (or yum cha) that we grew up eating. I made a little more luxurious today, just because I didn’t really want to fed my kids lots of glutinous rice.
A note about glutinous rice: I noticed that kids like it more than basmati or jasmine rice. They are also called sweet rice. Perhaps it is because it is more fragrant?
It is a very flexible rice: eaten sweet or salty. They are seen a lot cooked sweet. For example, in Thailand we see it desserts like in mango sticky rice. Sticky rice , or khao niao (ข้าวเหนียว) is actually just glutinous rice. There are the black or purplish ones, red, blue and white ones. They taste wonderful.
I was told once that glutinous rice is popular in IndoChina because it keeps us full longer, and those parts of Asia were poorer just not too long ago, and food is not really in abundant.
So here is my version of lor mai gai, which was invented in Guangdong (广东). It is a common dish in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and restaurants in every Chinatown in the world. If you have tim sum (点心) or yumcha (饮茶, as we call it in Australia), you’d see them wrapped in lotus leaves.
They are great. This version is slightly less involved because I just have no time to fuss over food.
250g chicken meat (thigh or breast sliced thinly 1/2 inch by 1 inch)
2 cups glutinous rice
1/2 cup of stock (or 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cube of bullion)
1/2 cup of Chinese sausages
6 dried whole shitake mushrooms, reconstituted
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced into halves (it takes more than 9 minutes to cook a hard boiled egg) or use 3 salted egg yolks sliced into halves
5 cloves of garlic
1 thumbsize Ginger finely julienned
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp rice wine
1 Tbsp ginger juice (use the mortar and pestle on ginger until all broken down, then squeeze the juice)
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp sesame oil
- Wash the rice three times and soak it with water for at least 4 hours.
- Put all the ingredients of the seasoning together and mix well.
- Divide the sauce into two portions, and season the chicken with one portion of the sauce.
- Season the rice with the other half of the sauce.
- Set the chicken aside.
- Heat up a wok and then add the cooking oil.
- At medium heat, fry the garlic and the ginger.
- Fish out the garlic and ginger and set them aside as toppings later.
- Add the rice and stir fry until it becomes sticky.
- Add the stock into the rice and stir until the water is absorbed.
- Arrange the mushroom, egg or salted egg yolk, sausages and chicken in six bowls equally and be artistic about it!
- Divide the glutinous rice into the six bowls.
- Cover the bowls with foil and steam for 45 minutes.
- To serve, remove the foil and turn the bowl upside down onto the plate and release the food.
- Serve with toppings!