Sunday, December 11, 2011
Steamed Glutinous with Chicken and Mushroom (糯米鸡）
Traditionally this dish is eaten strictly during breakfast but I don't see why it can't be a lunch or dinner dish. I tried making this dish a couple times in the past but was not successful in replicating the consistency and taste which I grew up with.
Recently, my good friend over at http://chewsome.wordpress.com/ made this dish and that inspired me to try this dish again. Since then, I cooked this dish twice. I learned a few lessons during the first time and made a few modifications Please check out my friend's blog for the recipe that served as a guide for my own.
Recipe (serves 4-6)
1 cup of Glutinous rice
2-3 pieces of boneless chicken thighs
5-8 pieces of shiitake mushroom
Pinch of salt
A splash of soy sauce
1 tsp five spice. (This is the key to a fragrant authentic taste)
2 tbs oyster sauce (optional)
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of white pepper
a pinch of cornflour or regular flour (This is also key. It will prevent your rice from becoming very oily. Add this only at the end of marination, right before you put the chicken on the rice)
a splash of rice wine
1 tsp thick soy sauce
two splashes of light soy sauce
1 thumb size ginger- grated
a splash of sesame oil
1. Wash the rice and soak it in water for at least 1 hour.
2. Wash the mushroom and soak it in water also for 1 hour.
3. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces and add the chicken seasoning. Remember, do not add the cornflour at this point. Marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
4. Drain the rice and transfer it into a steaming vessel, add the juice from the mushroom.
5. Add the rice seasoning to the rice, add enough water until it covers the rice for about 1/2 inches, and mix everything together.
6. Steam the rice for about 30 minutes until the water is almost completely gone.
7. Slice the mushroom into thin slices and lay it on top of the rice.
8. Add the cornstarch to the chicken and put the chicken on top of the mushroom. (This layering is also very important)
9. Steam this for an additional 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
10. Garnish with scallions.
My second try is definitely miles better than my first trial. I think the ratio of rice to chicken + mushroom is important, since the taste of the mushroom and chicken are infused perfectly into the rice. I also learned the importance of five spice and cornstarch in my second trial.
Overall, I think I have replicated this dish (close to 80%) the way restaurants in Malaysia make them. Here is a very geeky description: The marinade of the chicken not only provides flavor to the chicken, it travels down and gathers the aroma of the mushroom (hence the importance of layering). This heavenly flavor then travels lower into the rice layer and infused itself into the rice grain.
For my readers who do not have access to ready-made 糯米鸡, I hope you will try out this dish. I am pretty sure you will enjoy it as I enjoyed mine.