In order to make the glutinous rice parcels with pork, there seemed to be lots of ingredients and various processes, and by the time I got to bundling lap cheung-studded rice into soaked lotus leaves, I was pretty much ready to set the whole thing aside and heat up the $2 sticky rice and pork parcel I’d bought at the local Asian grocery and call it a day. However, I persevered. Yes, there was a sense of satisfaction as I lifted plump, leaf-wrapped parcels from my steamer and tore them open to reveal a delicately flavoured meal of rice, chicken and Chinese sausage.
In reality, this was a pretty simple dish, but not one that I had the ingredients for at home – a special trip to the Asian supermarket was required. Which is actually great fun and always turns into a super shopping mission where I discover mysterious crunchy snacks, unusually flavoured sweets, jars of chilli sauce that are eye-wateringly hot, and packets of unidentified things that just look interesting.
And, so, laden with a pantry full of ingredients to snack on, use in a recipe or just arrange on a shelf, I staggered home and began cooking. There are a fair few things that need soaking for this dish, so read through it first to get your timing right, and then begin.
I’d not cooked glutinous rice in a steamer before (or ever, truth be known), so was intrigued to see how it worked. Once I’d stirred the rice into the chicken, sausage and flavourings, I could have stopped there and happily eaten the result. But, no, 30 minutes, four lotus leaves and two metres of kitchen string later, I was enjoying the finished dish – and my nephew even deemed it better than the purchased one.
Are you a lazy cook, or do you enjoy lots of processes and ingredients?
Editor, SBS Feast