Many versions of dumplings are wrapped in leaves - banana, bamboo, pandan or lotus, as in this recipe. The leaves help the filling to steam and impart a subtle aroma when you unwrap them.
- 6 lotus leaves (see note)
- 400 gm (2 cups) glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 15 gm ginger, finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 60 gm lap cheong (about 3), thinly sliced (see note)
- 20 gm dried prawns, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 80 gm dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained, stalks trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 2½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 4 salted duck eggs, yolks only, coarsely crumbled (see note)
- To taste: freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp each grapeseed oil and rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp each sesame oil and caster sugar
- 1Cut central stalk from each lotus leaf with scissors. Place the leaves in the sink, cover with hot water and soak until softened and malleable (2-3 hours). Drain before using.
- 2Drain rice, spread in a large steamer basket lined with muslin, cover with a lid and steam over a saucepan of simmering water until tender (40-45 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally with a flat wooden spoon to break up clusters.
- 3Heat oil in a wok over high heat, add ginger, garlic, chicken, lap cheong and prawns and stir-fry until chicken is opaque (2-3 minutes). Add shiitake and Shaoxing, and stir-fry until liquid evaporates (1 minute). Add rice, stir, then add soy, sesame oil and sugar, and stir-fry until combined. Remove from heat, add spring onions and salted egg yolk, and season to taste with white pepper.
- 4Place a lotus leaf on a work surface, then take a sixth of the sticky rice mixture and, with wet hands, shape into a rough 5cm x 10cm rectangle, place on the leaf and wrap, folding in sides to enclose, and secure with kitchen string. Repeat to make 6 bundles. Place in a large steamer over a large saucepan of simmering water and steam until fragrant and soft to touch (20-25 minutes).
- 5Meanwhile, for roast chilli vinegar, combine ingredients in a bowl and serve alongside hot sticky rice lotus dumplings.
Note Lotus leaves, lap cheong and salted duck eggs are available from Chinese grocers. If lotus leaves aren't available, substitute blanched Chinese cabbage, though you won't get the same fragrance. Lap cheong are dried Chinese pork sausages that don't need refrigeration after opening.
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied textural pinot blanc. Drink suggestion by Max Allen