Friday, July 21, 2006

The Dim Sum Book: Nor Mai Gai (Chinese Mixed Rice in a Lotus Leaf)



I'm all about fried rice, so imagine my surprise when I came across this little bundle of joy.  Seasoned sticky rice mixed with a bunch of fun fillings, steamed a perfect serving packet.  That's about as good as it gets in the dim sum world.

Of course finding a recipe would be much harder.  I pulled this one from a newsgroup or something and it took me nearly forever to figure out where it come from.  Gosh, I just aged myself.  Anyway, I think the ingredient list seems pretty authentic, and I like the results.  Just be prepared to take some time to pull this together.

Nor Mai Gai (Chinese Mixed Rice in a Lotus Leaf)
Adapted from The Dim Sum Book by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Sauce:
3½ tablespoons oyster sauce
3½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1¼ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of white pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup chicken broth
9 dried Chinese black mushrooms, soaked, stems removed, chopped

Filling:
2½ cups water
1 piece star anise
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 inch piece of ginger, mashed
1 scallion, washed, ends discarded, cut in half
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1x2-inch pieces
¼ pound pork butt or 1 double pork chop, cut in ¼x2-inch pieces
¼ pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, dried, and cut in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon white wine

Rice:
2 cups glutinous rice (sweet rice)
2 cups medium-grain rice
2 to 3 Chinese sausages (lapcheong)
2 eggs, beaten
2 ounces barbecue roast pork, cut into 16 slices
3½ tablespoons oyster sauce
3¼ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of white pepper
1½ teaspoons salt
4 large lotus leaves, cut in 4 triangle sections each

Combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.

Bring the water, star anise, baking soda, ginger, and green onion to a boil in a large wok.  Add pork and bring again to a boil.  Add chicken and bring again to a boil.  Add shrimp.  When the shrimp turns pink and curls, remove all ingredients and let them drain in a strainer.  Remove the green onion, star anise, and ginger, and discard.

Wash wok and dry thoroughly.  Heat for 30 seconds over high heat.  Add peanut oil and spread around.  Add blanched meats.  Stir around for about 1 minute.  Add white wine.  Mix thoroughly.  Make a well in the center of the ingredients.  Stir sauce and add to meat.  Mix well and quickly, until the sauce thickens and turns a dark brown.  Transfer to a shallow dish.  Allow to come to room temperature.  Refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Soak lotus leaves in hot water for 1 to 2 hours until soft.

Wash rice 3 to 4 times in cold water and drain.  Place in rice cooker.  Wash sausages and place on top of rice.  Steam.  This will make a lot of rice.  After steaming is complete, cut sausages into 16 slices and set aside.

Fry beaten egg in a little peanut oil into a thin sheet.  Slice into ribbons and set aside.

Place cooked rice in a large mixing bowl; add the oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauces, sesame oil, white pepper, and salt.  Mix well.  Divide filling into 8 equal portions.

Take 2 leaves and overlap one another.  Place 3½ ounces of rice in the center.  Pat it down lightly.  Add 1 portion of filling, 2 slices of barbecue pork, 2 slices of sausage, and a few egg ribbons.  Cover with another 3½ ounces of rice.  Wrap mixture and steam for half an hour.

Bundles cannot be frozen.  Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.  Steam for half an hour to reheat.

Makes 8 bundles

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