Chicken Rice En Papillote

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What is it with food that is wrapped in paper/leaves/dough that makes it taste so amazing?? Chinese have their dumplings and meat buns, Italians have their tortellini and calzones, Thai and Vietnamese spring rolls, and there’s perogies, tamale, samosas… We’d be here all day trying to come with all the delicious wrapped food out there. Not only does the wrapping preserve all the juicy flavours inside, each bite is like a little bundle of surprise waiting to explode in your mouth. Not to mention it is fun make and to serve.

As a sequel to my dimsum rampage… I had to try my hands on another yumcha staple – the sticky rice chicken or 糯米鸡 (Lo-mai-gai).  These are typically seasoned sticky rice stuffed with chicken and other ingredients such as shiitake mushroom, green onion, Chinese sausages, and dried shrimp, all wrapped up lotus leave.

On the other hand, cooking “en papillote” is a French technique in which food, usually fish, is steamed in a parchment paper package in the oven. So when I was wondering where in the world (of online shopping) was I going to find lotus leaves… I had my eureka moment (no, I didn’t run out of the bath naked, this time) and decided to steal from the French and invent my own “poulet Chinois riz en papillote” – or Chicken rice in parchment paper.

ingredients

ingredients

Ingredients: makes 8 bundles
sticky rice 2 cups  – soaked overnight
water 2 cups
shiitake mushrooms 2  – soaked overnight
carrot  1/4 cup  – julienned
Chinese sausage  1/4 cup  – thinly sliced
green onion  1/4 cup  – thinly sliced
chicken thigh 100 g  – cut into bite size
soy sauce 1 tsp
corn starch 1 tsp
cooking wine 1 tsp
bamboo shoots  1/4 cup  – optional
Seasoning:
oyster sauce 2 tbsp
soy sauce 3 tbsp
chicken stock powder 1 tsp
salt 2 tsp
sugar 1 tsp
ginger 1 tbsp  – grated
sesame oil 2 tsp
white pepper 2 tsp
You will also need: parchment paper, 8 retangles about 38cmx25cm in length; cotton strings, about 30cm each; a steamer or a large pot with a good lid.
Method:
1. Wash and soak the rice over night in the fridge.
2. Soak the shiitake over night, reserve the water. Cut into thin slices.
3. Cut chicken into small bites and marinate in soy sauce, cooking wine, and corn starch for 1 hour.
4. Mix the drained rice, water, and the seasonings in a Pyrex pan. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes.*
* I did this to save time and to make sure the rice will be thoroughly cooked. You may presteam the rice for 20 minutes if you are not comfortable with the microwave.
5. Assemble the packages: brush the parchment paper with some oil. Place about 1/2 cup of rice to one side of a sheet of paper. Place toppings evenly on top.
6. Start by folding one corner in to cover the rice, then fold in the next edge while pressing firmly on the rice. Keep folding like a pinwheel until a bundle is formed and the toppings are on top.
7. Tie a piece of cotton string tightly around the bundle and make a one sided loop knot.
8. Place the bundles in a steamer with boiling water. Steam for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Serve with soy sauce.

Now you just have to make these to get the full dimsum experience 🙂

Links:

Other ways to cook “en papillote”

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-cook-food-en-papillote-packages-vegetables-meat-fish.html

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