Lotus leaves

img_05891One of my favourite clients recently asked my test kitchen team  to create a classic rice and barbecued pork stuffed lotus leaf recipe for her publication. I’d never made this dim sum classic before so, I got right on the job, researching a variety of recipes and buying a prepared sample from T&T supermarket to compare to our test kitchen results.

Although I’m by no means a dim sum expert, my family loved the finished recipe so much that I’ve made variations of the original at home a couple of times already. Once I combined the sticky rice with pieces of Chinese roasted duck blended with gingery mushroom
stir-fry and once I made a vegetarian version that combined rice with teriyaki sauced stir-fried vegetables.

While we like the flavours and that’s reason enough to make these little bundles again soon, I also still have quite a few dried lotus leaves to finish up (one leaf makes four bundles – they are huge!). Another good reason to make rice stuffed lotus leaves is that these yummy bundles can be made a day or two in advance and steamed any time – a bonus for busy parents and hosts who like make ahead recipes!

Although I can’t give you the detailed recipe yet (my client hasn’t published the original), here are the basic steps to follow when stuffing lotus leaves:

• Quarter dried lotus leaves
• Soak in hot water for 1 hour
• Blot dry and cut into quarters
• Lay leaves  dark green side down
• Mound some cooked sticky rice on each leaf. Top with stir-fried yummies of your choice

• Top with another mound of rice and mold using wet hands
• Wrap leaf tightly around food
• Refrigerate until ready to heat in a parchment paper- or cabbage leaf-lined bamboo or other steamer.

Until I found this video, I was cutting my lotus leaf bundles open with scissors. Looks like I still have more to learn!

6 Responses to Lotus leaves

  1. Beth says:

    This sounds like very adventurous cooking for me. I wouldn’t even know where to get those leaves!

  2. If you can’t give the recipe for dim sum, I’ll settle for the details of roast duck with gingery mushrooms.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Me, too, Charmian! I love, love, love this dim sum dish, and now that you mention it, it’s been forever since I’ve had any dim sum at all. Dana, I’d be very excited to see the full recipe when it’s published, so please let us know and provide a link.

  4. I like to wrap fish in lotus leaves before steaming. Here’s a recipe for Steamed Whole Fish Wrapped in Lotus Leaves

    3 tablespoons oil
    3/4 cup pickled mustard greens, drained
    3 green onions, shredded
    3 slices ginger, shredded.
    2 small fresh red chilies, seeded and shredded
    2 tablespoons light soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice wine
    2 tablespoons chicken broth
    1 tablespoon sugar
    4 lotus leaves
    1 whole fish, about 2 pounds
    dark soy sauce

    1. Heat oil in a wok and briefly stir-fry mustard greens, onions, ginger and chilies. Add light soy sauce, wine, broth and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    2. Soak lotus leaves in warm water for at least ten minutes. Clean fish. Trim stems from leaves and arrange leaves so that they are interleaved and at least a double layer. Place fish in the crease of the leaves and rub with dark soy sauce.

    3. Coat both sides of the fish with the cooked seasonings. Tuck the ends of the leaves in about the fish and completely wrap the fish with the leaves. Secure with string.

    4. Place the wrapped fish in a steamer and steam for 25 minutes.

  5. Natashya says:

    Wow! I have never had anything like this. Looks wonderful. Dim Sum is on my learn to make list.

  6. Thanks fpr posting yoru recipe Peter – it sounds delish!

    Charmian, here’s the duck and mushroom recipe. I just buy the duck at T&T so I hope you aren’t disappointed!

    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp each soy sauce and mirin
    2 tsp minced ginger
    1/4 cup chicken broth or water
    1 tsp cornstarch (5 mL)
    1 cup chopped Chinese roasted chicken, about 8 oz
    1 thinly sliced green onion

    Heat the vegetable oil in a wok set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until browned. Whisk the soy sauce with the mirin, water, ginger and cornstarch. Stir into the mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring, until glossy and thickened; stir in the chopped duck and green onion and heat through.

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