Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sticky Rice "Lor Mai Fan"

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Sticky Rice is a dish true to its name. It's also referred to as "Lor Mai Fan" if you go for Dim Sum. This recipe is fairly easy but you'll need 2 days to make it. In addition, there's a lot of prep work, and a rice cooker is also necessary to cook the rice.  A reader dutifully noted that this recipe is gluten-free provided that tamarind sauce is substituted for soy (thanks Mike!)

  • Glutinous Rice (2 kg bag)
  • 5 links of Chinese Sausage
  • Bag of dried cuttlefish / squid
  • Several Shiitake mushrooms
  • Some dried prawns
  • Several stalks of green onions
  • 4-5 strips of bacon
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • Dark Soy Sauce
You can be fairly liberal in terms of the quantity and type of each ingredient you decide to incorporate in your rice, however, you should maintain roughly a ratio of 1 cup of raw rice to 1 cup of toppings. Keeping this ratio will provide more of a visual appeal in your final product.

Preparing the Rice:
  1. Empty the glutinous rice into a large pot and fill to the top with lukewarm water. Leave overnight. This allows the rice to soak up some water and soften up a bit. If you omit this step, be prepared for some chewy rice.
  2. The next day, drain off the water and place the rice into the rice cooker. Fill with water until level with the rice. In contrast to making steamed rice, do NOT put extra water. Keep in mind that we already soaked the rice overnight. Adding more water will only result in a soggy rice when done.
  3. Press the cook button on the rice cooker. You can probably cook the rice manually over a stove, but you would need to babysit it to ensure it cooks evenly and does not stick.
Preparing the Topping:
  1. Beat the eggs lightly and cook to make an omelette. Finely chop and set aside until the very end.
  2. Finely chop all of the other ingredients
  3. Heat up the wok again, on medium heat. Add oil, and then stirfry the ingredients from those that require the most cooking time to the least. For example, I have raw bacon and chinese pork sausage, so I added those in first, then added the other ingredients once the bacon and sausage was half-cooked.
  4. Once the topping has been cooked, remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Mix the egg in with the other toppings, and then little by little, proceed to add the topping mixture evenly into the rice.
  6. At this point, you may add dark soy sauce to provide a richer dark colour, but there should be no need for additional sauces to enhance the natural flavours of the toppings.
  7. If you're entertaining guests, you may scoop out some of the rice into a bowl, then invert it onto a plate to achieve a nice mound of rice. Garnish with green onion as desired.

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