I love Chinese sticky rice dumplings. Nono. I freaking ADORE Chinese Sticky Rice Dumplings, I could've ask them to marry me. However, sometimes they remind me of my big fat calves in gladiator sandals, and I'd love my calves even less, but my love for the dumplings remains strong.
I've always wanted to learn how to wrap these little babies, and finally, I had a chance to try when sous chef's mom was preparing a huge batch of this deliciousness. The above savoury dumpling was done by me, marked with a red raffia, so that they could identify which ones I've done, which was absolutely unnecessary. The ugly ones were mine, whereas these cute and perfect little pyramids below were done by the master.
The difference? Like heaven and hell, eh?
Below, I'm gonna illustrate the basic wrapping technique which I've learnt. Why do I always have to illustrate instead of taking photographs?
You've guessed it right.
I. the dumbass. forgot. my camera.
How to Make Chinese Sticky Rice Dumplings
- Sticky rice (soaked overnight)
- Salted egg yolks
- Dry green beans (with no skin, soaked overnight)
- Dried scallops (soaked until softened)
- Pork meat, use cuts which contain some fat, marinate in five spice powder, soy sauce, sugar (alternatively, you can use chicken, sausages, or beef, just choose the ones with some fatty bits, we need the fat to moisturize the dumplings, otherwise we'd end up with dry and dense dumplings)
- Bamboo leafs for wrapping (available in Chinese grocers) and the strings
Feel free to improvise and add other ingredients too! Sous chef suggested adding ribena, the idea was immediately shot down by...everyone (thank God).
I don't think I needed to illustrate the soaking, but while I was at it, I got carried away and it would be such as waste not to post this illustration, so there you go!
1. Lay two leafs, partially overlapping
2. The stacking, layer the ingredients this way:
- 1 heaping tbsp of sticky rice
- 1 heaping tbsp of green beans
- lay the meat in the middle, eggyolk and dried scallop on each side
- add 1 heaping tbsp of green beans on top
- top everything off with 1 heaping tbsp of sticky rice
Remember to allow some space on either side of the leafs
3. Cover the little mountain of ingredients with another piece of leaf
4. Fold both sides of the leafs in to securely cover the ingredients, gather the edges similar to the way you gift wrap...
5. Fold both ends in
6. Tie with a string, it doesn't have to be too tight as the ingredients will swell after cooking, just make sure it is secure and it doesn't leak
I wish mine were as pretty as the illustrations.
After wrapping a batch, boil the batch in a big pot for about 3 hrs, drain and let cool for later consumption. I reheated mine in microwave. Place a dumpling in a bowl, add a bit of water, microwave on high for a couple of minutes, unwrap and enjoy.
Some people eat their sticky rice dumplings with soy sauce, some sprinkle some sugar (which I found weird, but many people love it), some pour both sugar and soy sauce. I devoured mine with soy sauce and chilli sauce.
They may look imperfect, but they are moist, rich, fragrant, flavorful, scrumptuous, succulent, delicious...Help! I am out of yummy adjectives!