chapter V

when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs

made in MyKitchen | loh mai kai / glutinous rice with chicken & mushroom

hubs reminded me the other day that i haven’t made loh mai kai (glutinous rice with chicken and mushroom) in a while..

loh mai kai is a very common dish in most chinese coffee shops that serve steamed dumpling and such, and of course, dim sum eateries.. it’s very similar to bak chang (glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) and another version which is wrapped in lotus leaves (loh mai fun).. the only difference between loh mai kai and bak chang is the way it’s cooked, some ingredients, and the taste of the glutinous rice..bak chang is wrapped in bamboo leaves and boiled for a few hours, while loh mai kai is normally packed into a small bowl and steamed.. both contain glutinous rice, meat and mushroom, but a loh mai kai recipe doesn’t include salted egg yolk, chestnuts or black eyed peas.. loh mai kai components are usually limited to chicken, mushroom and glutinous rice.. as for taste, the glutinous rice in loh mai kai is sweeter than that in bak chang..

like bak chang, preparing loh mai kai can be quite a tedious task.. however, since the main ingredients are not as many, loh mai kai is still much easier AND faster to prepare.. my first homemade loh mai kai years ago was based on Lily ‘s recipe..  have since adjusted it here and there to suit my taste buds and such..

Lily’s recipe requires the glutinous rice to be soaked to soften and then steamed halfway.. i skipped those steps altogether and just cook the rice halfway in a rice cooker instead.. glutinous rice or any other types of rice only needs to be soaked if you’re going to steam it in a steamer.. for cooking in a rice cooker, it’s not needed at all.. using the rice cooker also cuts down the preparation time and steps quite a bit.. before it goes into the rice cooker, i stir fry the rice first in a bit of oil and browned garlic.. the garlic infused oil gives the rice a really fragrant aroma in the end..

for the chicken and mushroom, i prefer to prepare these two components separately.. i like to use deboned chicken leg meat nstead of the usual breast part as breast meat tends to get really dry and quite tasteless most of the time.. to ensure maximum flavor, marinate the meat for at least an hour prior to cooking.. as for mushroom, i prefer to use fresh ones, instead of the dried variety.. i find fresh shiitake mushroom tastes best for loh mai kai.. the texture is silkier and softer, and soaks up the seasonings much better.. nowadays, i like to add salted duck egg yolk in making loh mai kai.. it actually complements the whole dish really well..

some like to eat loh mai kai with chilli sauce, but in my opinion, it’s best eaten plain.. but then again, i prefer to eat any dim sum without dipping it into any sweet or chilli sauce at all.. honestly, if the dim sum is seasoned properly, no additional dipping sauce is needed at all, unless of course, it’s part of the dish..


Ingredients :

  • whole chicken leg/s, deboned and cut into smaller pieces

  • fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
  • glutinous rice
  • salted duck eggs, yolk only
  • garlic, finely minced
  • 5 spice powder
  • ground black pepper
  • corn/potato starch
  • oyster sauce
  • light soy sauce
  • thick soy sauce
  • Shao Hsing cooking rice wine
  • brown sugar
  • sesame oil
  • some water

Method :

  • first, prepare the chicken
  • in a bowl, mix chicken with oyster sauce, a bit of light soy sauce and thick soy sauce, a splash of Shao Hsing wine, a bit of starch and a dash of ground black pepper

  • set the chicken aside to marinade in the fridge for at least half an hour
  • to cook, heat up a bit of oil in a wok
  • stir fry the meat until fully cooked through

  • set aside when done
  • next, the glutinous rice
  • in a wok, heat up a bit of oil and saute minced garlic until fragrant and slightly browned
  • add in glutinous rice, a bit of 5 spice powder and thick soy sauce
  • on low heat, mix everything up well

  • place glutinous rice in a rice cooker and half the amount of water needed to cook it. the rice should be about half cooked when it’s done
  • mix plenty of water with oyster sauce and brown sugar. taste, add more seasonings or water if needed. set aside

  • to assemble,
  • oil the insides of small bowls with a bit of oil
  • arrange chicken, mushrooms and salted egg yolk at the bottom of the bowl

  • on top of that, place a layer of glutinous rice, but don’t let it fill up to the rim
  • use the back of a spoon to pack the rice in and level the surface
  • pour in enough seasoned water to fully cover and submerge the top of the rice

  • last of all, steam on high until the glutinous rice is fully cooked through for about 30 minutes or longer
  • when it’s done, remove the bowls from the steamer
  • turn the bowls over onto small plates, let the loh mai kai drop onto the plates
  • serve, and enjoy

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