Friday, May 14, 2010

Sticky Rice and Chicken Bundles (Nuo Mi Ji)

Ok- I didn't use the lotus leaves.  But I have to say that this recipe is so awesome that I will be making it again and probably next time I'll use the lotus leaves.

A couple of notes: I would use a rice cooker next time to prepare the rice.  I tried it their way - steaming it in a cloth-lined steamer basket, pouring water over and stirring every so often - but when time was up there were still rock hard rice kernels in there.  I cooked it a second time and it was still undercooked at the end.  They said the rice was supposed to be a little undercooked, so I thought that was okay, but in the final dish the rice was still a little hard.  And I have had something like this at dim sum and the rice was incredibly gooey and sticky, not hard at all.

I also omitted the hard-boiled egg and sausage.  In the end the filling was made of marinated chicken, dried shrimp, shiitakes, chopped bamboo shoots and scallions.  Dried shrimp smells horribly fishy by itself, and I was worried that the whole thing was going to taste horribly fishy, but it turns out that dried shrimp is one of those amazing condiments like anchovies and fish sauce that are disgusting on their own but make other things taste good.  I had read about dried shrimp's ability to impart the sought-after umami flavor and until now I wasn't quite sure it was true, but now I know.

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