Sticky Rice

September 13, 2009

Here’s a stab at reproducing my grandmother’s sticky rice.  The concept is similar to fried rice except the ingredients are different.

  • 2 cups sticky rice
  • 1/3 cup regular (jasmine) rice
  • two small taro roots
  • three chinese sausages
  • dried mushrooms, about 15
  • two stalks green onion
  • dried shrimp (about 2 tbsp)

Here are some of the elements which make this dish:

  • The dried mushroom must be soaked for at least 2 or 3 hours to reconstitute them; otherwise they will still be hard on the inside.  You can soak them for much longer if you want.
  • The sticky rice needs to be soaked for at least an hour in ample water.  When you are ready to cook, drain off the water.
  • The dried shrimp should be soaked in a sparing amount of water to reconstitute its moisture.  Don’t soak the shrimp for more than half an hour, since their flavor will leech into the water and be lost.

Given these constraints, I usually do the following: 3 hours before I want to eat, start soaking the mushrooms and rice.

Begin cooking in earnest by peeling the taro and chopping into half-centimeter cubes.

Pause from chopping and begin to soak the dried shrimp.  Drain the sticky rice, mix in the regular rice, and pour in 2.5 cups of the mushroom water, and a sprinkle of chicken powder.  Start rice cooker.

Slice chinese sausages once lengthwise, then chop into quarter-cm slices.

Remove stems from mushrooms, discard.  Chop mushrooms into cubes (smaller than the taro cubes).

Heat up wok until very hot.  Pour in 1.5 tbsp of oil, and toss in three slices of ginger.  After about 15 seconds, toss in the taro plus a sprinkle of salt, and cook until slightly browned (this will take a couple of minutes).  You can pour in a couple dashes of water to help steam the taro, but not so much water so that the taro is boiling and loses its crust.

Add chinese sausages, and cook until the white fat becomes clear (about 1 minute).

Add mushrooms.  Add a bit of reserved mushroom liquid if the wok is too dry.  When the mushrooms are cooked, season by adding a bit more salt and about 3 tbsp of soy sauce — the mixture should be salty.

Add rice (which should have just finished cooking).  Toss to evenly mix.  Turn off flame.

Add chopped green onion, toss, and serve.