Sunday, September 4, 2011

Loh Mai Kai

That's Cantonese* for Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken.

When the week-long holiday started, I lamented having nowhere to go and having to spend it all just being at home. So, I declared I'm going to whip stuff up in the kitchen, and my mother, being very supportive, got me all the required ingredients. Such then, I had no choice but to go ahead and do what I, in a moment of frustration, said I was going to do.

First, the glutinous rice had to be soaked overnight, then marinated with oyster sauce, light and dark soy sauce, a little sesame oil and salt, and steamed for about half an hour. The chicken slices were also marinated with the same sauces, plus a little corn or tapioca flour to give them a smooth texture. Mushroom slices needed only some sesame oil and oyster sauce. Other ingredients normally included are char siew (which I didn't have because I used them all up for the char siew paus) and Chinese sausage (which I didn't have either). Instead, I had some dried shrimps. These, I had soaked.

To ensure the rice don't turn out under-cooked, after marinating, it went into the steamer for a good half hour. While the rice was steaming, the chicken and mushroom went into the wok for a quick round of stir-frying, until half-cooked.

Then, it was assembly time. I used regular rice bowls for these. The chicken, mushroom and dried shrimp went in first, then topped by the rice. After that, each bowl was flooded with just enough water (not so much that it covers the rice, since the rice is already half-cooked and wouldn't need that much moisture) and it was off into the steamer again. I guess the amount of time it takes in the steamer depends on how big the portions are... I steamed mine for about 35 minutes.

Pardon the uneven colouring of the rice - it's the inexperience of a first-timer...

To serve, tip the bowl over a plate and the loh mai kai should slide right out effortlessly. Best eaten while still steaming hot, of course...

Reader, I think I'd make a passable food-blogger. What do you say? Ah, but the holiday is over now. It was good while it lasted =)

*I'm not Cantonese and I can hardly speak Cantonese. When I do, my bestfriend says I sound like a Westerner attempting it.

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