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Monday, September 10, 2012

Chinese Sticky Rice

I love Chinese food. Well durr, I'm Chinese! One of my favorite dishes (besides Hainanese steamed chicken and chicken rice) is sticky rice with Chinese sausage, Shiitake mushrooms, and chicken. My mom used to cook this entire meal in just the rice cooker. My rice cooker is tiny so I have to cook most of it in my wok then mix it together when it's done.

Alot of these ingredients may not be found at your local grocery store even if it has an Asian section. I actually buy my Chinese sausage (DO NOT use regular sausage. It is NOT the same!) in bulk when I go visit my sister in Alabama 3 hours away. There is a local Asian market in my town, but it is owned by Taiwanese and Chinese sausage is not part of their cuisine so they don't sell it.

Let me tell you though, this is REAL Chinese food. You probably won't find this at your local Chinese buffet. As I begin my pretentious rant, American Chinese buffet food is NOT real Chinese food. Sure, it's cooked by Chinese people (sometimes) but the food served at buffets are not eaten normally by Chinese people. Plus, China is a HUGE country. There are a lot of different ethnic groups and a lot of different types of cuisine. For example, clam chowder is a dish founded in New England. Fried pickles and everything else fried was founded in the South. Get it?

The food you see in Chinese buffets originated from cuisine in southern China. Northern Chinese food is completely different and I must say that I don't think I've tried any myself. Enough information, onto the recipe!

That's not Corona Extra. It's just sweet tea. 
This is a very long step-by-step photo tutorial on how to cook this. The condensed text recipe will be at the bottom of the post.

Gather your ingredients: 

The first thing you should do before you start prepping and cooking is to take about 10-12 medium to large sized dried shiitake mushrooms and soak them in a bowl with water for a minimum of 1 hour. If you don't, the mushrooms will be very hard and difficult to eat. 

They should look like this after soaking for 1 hour or so.

I usually defrost 2 medium sized skinless chicken breasts in the microwave and chop them up into bit sized chunks and marinate them before cooking. 

The marinade for the chicken consists of rice wine, rice vinegar, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and oyster sauce. You just combine all of the ingredients with the chopped chicken and marinate it for 15 minutes to 1 hour (even overnight) in a bowl in the fridge.

Add marinade ingredients.

Combine and marinate chicken.

Now that the chicken has been marinated and the shiitake mushrooms have been soaked thoroughly, you can start cooking your rice. I used Botan short grain glutinous sticky rice and cook it in my rice cooker. Instead of using water, I used chicken stock to add flavor and yumminess. **NOTE** Do NOT use regular long grain rice! It does NOT end up sticky like short grain.

I used about 2.5 cups with little over 4 cups of chicken stock.
Set to "cook" and forget it! Well, don't literally forget it.

While the rice is starting to cook, get your celery, half a large onion, green onions, and garlic. Dice it up finely. Set aside in a bowl.

Drain the shiitake mushrooms and gently squeeze the mushrooms with your hands to drain some of the water. Remove the chewy stems from the caps of the mushrooms. Discard stems.

Roughly chop up the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Get your Chinese sausage. I used 3. Slice thinly. I slice them diagonally for fanciness. Set aside in bowl.

At this point, your rice should be bubbling and close to being done.

Once your rice is finished cooking, put the sliced sausage on top of the cooked rice and put the lid back on so that the sausage can steam.

Now onto cooking! Grab your wok and pour in a little vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Turn heat on HIGH.

Once the wok is hot, put the marinated chicken in and saute.

Once the chicken is whitish looking and no longer pink, add the onions, celery, and garlic.

When the onion looks translucent/clear-ish, add the mushrooms.

Add a splash (about 1 tablespoon) of rice wine and saute everything about.

Add the Oriental Five Spice and mix/stir.

Oops, added a little too much... still delicious though!
Try not to step on your kitchen assistant.
Add about 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and saute some more on high heat.

Add 1/4 tablespoon of oyster sauce and continue to saute. Decrease heat to medium.

Once everything is all mixed together, add the cooked rice and steamed Chinese sausage. Mix thoroughly!

Serve and enjoy!

Chinese Sticky Rice with Shiitake Mushrooms, Chicken, and Chinese Sausage

Ingredients (About 6 Servings or a butt-load for 1 person)

For the Main Dish
Rice cooker
Wok or large saute pan
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
3 Chinese Pork Sausage links (lap cheung in Cantonese) thinly sliced
10-12 medium/large dried shiitake mushrooms soaked and roughly chopped
Half of a large yellow onion
2 ribs of celery finely diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup of green onions finely chopped
2 1/2 cups short grain glutinous rice (I used Botan brand)
4 cups of chicken stock (mine is homemade, can use store bought)
1/4 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 skinless chicken breasts defrosted and chopped to bite-sized pieces
1/2 tablespoon of oriental five-spice powder
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Chinese cabbage or nappa cabbage (optional, did not use in this recipe)

For the Chicken Marinade
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt


Defrost skinless chicken breasts and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken into a bowl and mix in ingredients for the marinade. Mix thoroughly to coat the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to 1 hour or overnight.

Put the shiitake mushrooms into a medium or large bowl and fill with water until mushrooms are covered. Let mushrooms soak for a minimum of 1 hour or until all mushrooms are soft and spongy to touch.

Rinse and clean rice and put chicken stock into cooking container with the cleaned rice. Set rice cooker to cook.

Finely dice celery and onion. Mince garlic. Set aside into a bowl. 

Once mushrooms are thoroughly soaked, gently squeeze out some of the water from the mushrooms. Carefully remove stems from the cap of the mushrooms and discard stems. Roughly chop mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Thinly slice sausage links and set aside in a bowl.

Once rice is finished cooking, put sliced sausage on top of cooked rice and place lid back on cooker so that the sausage can steam. 

Place wok onto stove, pour in vegetable oil to coat the bottom and turn to high heat. Once the wok is heated, put in the marinated chicken and saute until the chicken is whitish in color and no longer pink. Add green and white onions, celery, and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Place chopped mushrooms in wok and mix while pouring in 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Add the oriental five spice powder, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil, and oyster sauce. Mix well and turn heat down to medium. Add the cooked rice and steamed sausage to wok and thoroughly mix everything together.

Serve hot and enjoy! Delicious authentic Chinese food!

If you have any questions or comments about substitutions, ingredients, or cooking techniques, please leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading! :)

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