This fuzzy, out-of-focus picture of a bowl of rice and random stuff probably doesn’t look too appealing. But I promise, it is so delicious! It is one of my favorite things to eat. It has definite comfort food qualities and ranks right up there with macaroni and cheese on my list, but it’s so much easier to make.
This is what I would consider a traditional sticky rice. It’s wrapped in bamboo leaves and has a tetrahedral shape:
Some restaurants, to save time or money, will wrap it in lotus leaves:
I actually like this kind much less, as the lotus leaves impart an odd flavor, in my opinion. I also tend to love food the way I ate them growing up, which explains my love of some embarrassing foods, but also why I think sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves is infinitely better. Both my grandmas made it that way and if it is good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for me. 🙂
Because my grandmothers aren’t making sticky rice anymore and I have yet to master the fine art of folding them myself, my dad taught me how to make this cheater’s sticky rice. He makes this himself and the first time he made it, I … well, first I ate a giant plate of it. Then I asked how he did it, expecting a long (really long) response. But all it takes is 4 ingredients and a pot or rice cooker!
Sweet Rice: a short-grained rice. It is incredibly sticky when cooked, hence why the dish is called what it is. 🙂 I have never found it in a typical grocery store, but I know it can be found in Asian markets.
Chinese sausage, or “lap chong”: This is the pink, super-fatty-looking sausage that you can find in Asian grocery stores. Martin and I once spotted it at Costco! It looks disgusting, but tastes slightly sweet and delicious when heated.
Dried Shitake Mushrooms: Hydrate them before use.
Chinese bacon, or “lop yuk”: I feel like if Martin were here, he would make some kind of funny punny about Chinese bacon and the yuk part. This bacon isn’t like what you’d consider bacon, like what you eat for breakfast. It’s hard, super dry, and really fatty. (Okay, that last part is like bacon, like what you’d eat for breakfast).
So here’s what you do: Thinly slice 3 sausages. Thinly slice the bacon. Hydrate a handful of mushrooms, then thinly slice. Are you getting the picture? 🙂 Combine in the pot of your rice cooker (or just a pot) and just cover with water. Cook until all the water has evaporated. Then you will have a bowl of pure deliciousness. If you want, you can sprinkle green onions on top. Eat. And most of all, enjoy! Gan bei!