Photo: Con Poulos
Joanne Chang says, "A Chinese meal isn't complete without rice; Thanksgiving isn't complete without stuffing. This sticky-rice dressing combines the best of both worlds." Chinese sausage makes the rice deliciously sweet and savory. Chang likes using the Kam Yen Jan brand, which has no MSG; look for it at Asian markets.
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Total: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes
- 6 cups (40 ounces) Chinese sticky or sweet rice
- 1 ounce (about 10 medium) dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 3 (4 ounces) Chinese sausages, coarsely chopped
- 1 can whole water chestnuts, drained and sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 1 package vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
- Put the rice in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water. Let stand overnight.
- Drain the rice. Line a large, wide steamer with a damp kitchen towel. Spread the rice on the towel in an even layer. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in the bottom of the steamer. Add the rice, cover and steam over moderate heat for about 40 minutes, until tender and translucent. Fluff the rice.
- Meanwhile, put the dried shiitake in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Cut off the stems and cut the caps into 1/2-inch pieces. Carefully pour the soaking liquid into a cup, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the fresh shiitake, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the reconstituted shiitake, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the scallions and sausage and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sausage is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and cooked chestnuts and stir to heat through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, 1 cup of the shiitake soaking liquid, the Shaoxing, soy sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the steamed rice and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
- Oil a large, shallow baking dish. Pack the rice into the dish and cover with foil. Put the dish in a large roasting pan. Pour enough water onto the pan to reach halfway up the side of the dish. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the rice is heated through. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve.
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