- 2 dried lotus leaves (see note)
- 200 gm uncooked prawns, cleaned, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp finely grated ginger
- ¼ tsp potato starch
- 1½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 400 gm white glutinous rice, soaked overnight in cold water
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 50 gm dried pork belly (Chinese bacon; see note), diced
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp (see note), soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained
- 3 tsp light soy sauce
- Few drops of sesame oil
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced, plus extra for scattering
- To serve: thinly sliced ginger
- ¼ cup Chinkiang vinegar (see note)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced, or to taste
- 20 gm (4cm piece) ginger, cut into julienne
- 1Cut a small hole in the centre of each lotus leaf with scissors to remove hard-veined section. Place leaves in a large bowl or sink and cover with hot water, top with a plate so the leaves are gently submerged and soak until leaves are tender and malleable (1 hour). Drain, carefully tear into quarters and set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, combine prawns, ginger, potato starch and half the Shaoxing wine in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate to marinate while you prepare the rice.
- 3Place a quarter of a lotus leaf in a steamer and top with drained rice. Place steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam until rice is tender (30 minutes). Transfer rice to a bowl, add half the oil, season with sea salt flakes and keep warm.
- 4Meanwhile, for dipping sauce, stir ingredients in a bowl to combine and set aside until required.
- 5Heat remaining oil in a wok over high heat, add prawn mixture, pork belly and dried shrimp and stir-fry until prawns are almost cooked through (10-20 seconds). Add soy sauce and remaining Shaoxing wine, stir to combine, add sesame oil and ground white pepper to taste and stir in spring onions.
- 6Working with a piece of lotus leaf at a time, place leaf on a work surface, spoon an eighth of rice into the centre, flatten slightly, top with a quarter of the prawn mixture, then top with the same amount of rice again. Mould the rice into a trianglular shape, ensuring the prawn filling is completely enclosed, then wrap the leaf over to enclose and tie with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining rice and prawn mixture. You will have some lotus leaves left over; these can be used to cover any tears so the parcels are completely enclosed.
- 7Steam parcels in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water until rice is heated through and prawn mixture is cooked through (30 minutes). Open parcels, scatter with ginger and extra spring onion and serve warm with dipping sauce.
Note Dried lotus leaves, dried pork belly and dried shrimp are available from select Asian grocers. Chinkiang vinegar, a fragrant black vinegar, is available from Asian grocers - the Gold Plum brand is one of the best.
Drink Suggestion: Bottle-aged sémillon. Drink suggestion by Max Allen