Juicy buns have become quite the ubiquitous metropolitan appetizer. I mentioned before that I can be quite lazy, which is why even though I love love love Juicy Buns, I usually refrain from ordering them… Because I cannot seem to hold a normal conversation with my friends while eating them, half the time I’m just worried my tongue will burn or I’ll have this embarrassing moment where all the juices will splash out at the wrong time and place (I told you I have really strange paranoid fears). Twice last year I went with my buddies, they say..what’s wrong you only had one Ji??? Yes because it’s just like too much pressure, god I barely made it out alive the first time around. Let’s not talk about the dexterity required when you have to carefully hold a piping hot juicy bun in one hand, and then you have to reach for those ginger shreds to place on top of those buns………
My favorite thing to order though, that doesn’t require any kind of balancing act are lotus wrapped sticky rice. This is definitely the kind of food that I love, because you just dig in and it’s like Christmas time all over again. Lots of goodies hidden inside this sticky rice, sausage and bacon..EGG…if you’re lucky..CRAB MEAT! What I noticed about Americans eating this is that..well lots of them don’t. I mean it’s the rice’s texture that does it, very sticky and I don’t think they get it. It’s got the same texture of those Mochi Ice Cream nuggets, that chewiness that kind of sticks to your teeth. If you’re not used to something like this it can definitely be frightening so I understand that….but it’s so delicious that I couldn’t help but share. And to add a lil’ disclaimer here I’m not Chinese so please don’t get offended by my recipe. You know I just make do and get by.
What you start off with are these lotus leaves. And you know what I found is that whilst soaking them in water, one side just won’t get wet. Well this repellent side is the outer, so you’ll place the rice on the inside (wet side). Some cured meats you’ll need are these, chinese bacon and sausage. I can’t describe these flavors but they have a sweetness to them that I love. And it’s the perfect thing to put inside the rice packets because all that fat just melts into it..uhm..yum! But again I’m unsure, do you put the repellent side up when you wrap them? I don’t know.
Chinese bacon, looks all too familiar but also different! At first I thought it was a tree bark.
And some other things I add, mushrooms and egg yolk. And crab meat…You are actually supposed to use chinese 1000 year eggs or something but for some reason I never got accustomed to the flavor of it..
And you also add dried shrimp to the rice as well. I grated the dried shrimp. You can see little pinkish flakes.
Here comes the lotus wrap. And then you start with the sticky rice (it has been soaked in water for at least 30 mins) and add those goodies.
I like to be generous with these. The problem I found with some restaurants serving this is that there is too much rice and not enough presents. I mean sometimes I order one and I keep searching…I get sad when there is hardly anything to be found in there.
I put everything here and I just top it with nice pieces of crab meat. I prefer to use dungeness crab but those are hard to come by..
Put the rice on top to kind of hide all those flavorings you put inside.
Wrap these up and pop them in the steamer for about 1 hour. This is also the perfect thing to make in advance, place in the freezer and re-heat. You don’t have to worry too much about over cooking this rice, because it’s not like pasta…the rice will hold up in texture the second time around. You can find pre-made ones at grocery stores. Might I suggest you stay away from these and make your own. They are so easy, kind of like making tacos. And it will be so much better flavor wise.
Serve with cilantro soy, hot pepper oil with soy..(the kind I use is this crunchy hot pepper kind it is very spicy) and black truffle if you like.
I noticed that sometimes the rice is pre-flavored, I just added some oyster sauce right before closing the wraps. I like to add sauce on the side..
Lotus wrapped sticky rice glistens with rice that has been soaked with sausage and bacon fat……..
You can see that this is not the most photogenic food, but typically it makes for the most delicious dishes in the world. Out of all the steamed dumplings and fried goodies you get at a typical dim sum joint..this is something I never ever forget to order.
Thanks for reading. XX.