Sticky Rice Dressing Betty -Servings: 8-10
This delicious rice dressing can be served any time of year – but is often served by Asian families in place of, or in addition to, bread dressing during Thanksgiving.
4 cups Chinese Sweet Rice, rinsed and drained
5-6 medium dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup high smoke point vegetable oil such as peanut, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped scallions, about 6 scallions
1 ½ T finely minced or grated ginger
8-10 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 Chinese sausages (Lop Chong) diced (cut sausages in quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise ¼” pcs
1/2 cup diced water chestnuts, (buy canned slices, drain and dice to ¼” pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 T dry vermouth or dry sherry
2 T soy sauce
2 T good quality oyster sauce, preferably Lee Kum Kee Premium
2 T reserved mushroom soaking liquid
Optional: 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted chestnuts (available vacuum packed)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Garnish: 1/3cup slivered almonds, toasted, cilantro sprigs and grated carrots
Place rice in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water and let stand 4-6 hours. Drain the rice. Line a wide steamer with damp cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel. Spread the rice evenly on the cheesecloth or towel. Add an inch or two of water to the bottom of steamer and bring to a boil. Place the steamer rack containing the rice and place over the boiling water making sure the bottom of the steamer does not touch the boiling water. Cover tightly and steam over moderate heat for about 35-40 minutes, until translucent and tender. Gently fluff the rice. [NOTE: If you have a rice cooker, eliminate steaming step; place rinsed rice in the rice cooker in a one to one proportion of water to rice –in this recipe use 4 cups water to 4 cups sweet rice (sweet rice does not require as much water as long grain or other rice varieties) and cook per rice cooker directions for sweet rice.]
Meanwhile, place dry shiitakes in a bowl and pour enough very hot water to cover mushrooms and soak for 15-20 mins (or microwave the dried mushrooms in water for a couple of minutes). When cool enough to handle, discard the stems squeeze out water and cut caps into 1/4-inch dice. Pour the clear top part of the soaking liquid into a small bowl and reserve 2 T. Discard the gritty residue remaining at the bottom.
Heat a wok or large non- stick skillet till hot. Add the oil. Swirl to coat bottom of wok or skillet. Add the shallots, scallions, and ginger and cook, stirring over moderate heat till fragrant. Add the rehydrated and fresh shiitake, Chinese sausage, and water chestnuts. Stir to heat through about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper and vermouth. Stir in the cooked rice. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and mushroom soaking liquid. Stir quickly to incorporate all the ingredients evenly. Stir in the roasted chestnuts, if using, (can be made ahead up to this point). Just before serving stir in the chopped cilantro. Top with toasted almonds and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and grated carrots. Serve hot.
Do Ahead Note: Prepare everything up through adding the roasted chestnuts. Pack rice into an oiled shallow baking dish. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring the rice to room temperature before reheating in microwave or in oven as directly below.
To Reheat in oven: Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and place in a larger roasting pan filled with enough hot water to reach halfway up the outside of the baking dish. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes till rice is heated thoroughly. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Top with toasted almonds and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and grated carrots. Serve hot.