Chef Thanawat Bates, The Brown Palace Hotel, Denver: "Being from Thailand, I prefer rice over stuffing and pork over turkey, so it makes sense for me to take these Thai flavors and fit them into the American tradition."
Thanawat Bates uses Japanese sticky rice, but any type of sticky rice will work. You can also use a rice steamer instead of a bamboo one.
Sunset NOVEMBER 2012
1. Soak rice in 2 cups hot water for 1 hour. Drain rice. Line a bamboo steamer with foil and poke small holes all over the foil with a toothpick. Add rice to steamer. Set over a pot of boiling water and steam until rice is moist and tender, 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Whirl 1 tbsp. each ginger and garlic, the lemongrass, cilantro stems, and chiles in a food processor until chopped and blended, about 1 minute. Mix in pork and salt.
3. Melt butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tbsp. each ginger and garlic, the green onions, and onion, cooking until softened, about 3 minutes. Add pork mixture and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add broth, steamed rice, cilantro leaves, basil, eggs, and bread, tossing to combine.
4. Put mixture in a greased 9- by 13-in. baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until hot in the center and browned on top.
*Sticky rice is often labeled "sweet" or sometimes "glutinous"; when cooked, it's dense and, yes, sticky. Find it in Asian markets and some well-stocked grocery stores.
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