Sticky Rice Stuffing
You know you've found a good recipe when you look forward to eating the leftovers. This, my friends, is that recipe. Sticky. Rice. Stuffing. Boom. Yes. It's a real thing and it's absolutely magical, especially if you're a member of the 'I hate stuffing' club. Don't mistake me, I'm not a member of that club but, and get ready cause this is a huge but, I am a member of the 'I prefer Stove Top to fancy shmancy homemade stuffing' club.
Gah. Was that something I should have kept to myself? We all have our vices, some people smoke, others bite their nails, and I like Stove Top! And furthermore, I'm not that someone who snubs their nose at boxed cake mixes, slice and bake cookie logs, or freezer food (aka hot pockets and yes, toaster strudels). Life's all about moderation and every now and then a good ole log of cookie dough and a bottle of wine just need to happen. Or maybe just Stove Top Stuffing. I L O V E I T ! ! So much so that I used to beg my mom to make me my own special stuffing instead of the homemade Italian sausage version she made for everyone else. Where am I going with this?
This year, I decided that it's time for a change. If I'm going to break my Stove Top habits and add a little Asian flair to the T-day meal, sticky rice stuffing is pretty much a requirement. As it's a new dish to me, I didn't stray very far from Joanne Chang's original recipe. In fact, the only thing I've added is a bit of freshly grated ginger and after making the full recipe, decided to chop the recipe in half because I'm feeding a small family this year, not a football team. So, if you'd like to feed a large crowd or love leftovers, please double this recipe. Moses and I ate tons of sticky rice fried rice and threw an egg on top. I baked it into a pastry crust with all the other leftovers, Craftsman and Wolves style, and I ate it by itself as a mid-afternoon snack. And now I've convinced myself that maybe Joanne knew what was up when she crafted her recipe. Happy Wednesday, friends! Also, now's officially a good time to start your Thanksgiving countdown!
Sticky Rice Stuffing
Barely adapted from Joanne Chang
Serves 4 - 6 people
- 3 c. Chinese sticky or sweet rice (20 ounces)
- 1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms (about 5 medium)
- 3/4 c. boiling water
- 2 Tbsp. plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided, plus more for greasing
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 3 Chinese sausages (4 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 1" fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 4 oz. whole water chestnuts in water, drained and sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 2 oz. cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
- Large bowl
- Clean tea towels
- Shallow baking dish
- Large roasting pan
- Large heavy bottomed pan, with lid
- Sharp knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Put the rice in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water. Let stand overnight.
- Drain the rice. Line a large, wide steamer with a damp kitchen towel. Spread the rice on the towel in an even layer. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in the bottom of the steamer. Add the rice, cover and steam over moderate heat for about 40 minutes, until tender and translucent. Fluff the rice.
- Meanwhile, put the dried shiitake in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Cut off the stems and cut the caps into 1/2-inch pieces. Carefully pour the soaking liquid into a cup, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the fresh shiitake, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the reconstituted shiitake, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the scallions and sausage and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sausage is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, and cooked chestnuts and stir to heat through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 cup of the shiitake soaking liquid, the Shaoxing, soy sauce ,and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the steamed rice and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
- Oil a large, shallow baking dish. Pack the rice into the dish and cover with foil. Put the dish in a large roasting pan. Pour enough water onto the pan to reach halfway up the side of the dish. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the rice is heated through. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve.
Note: The recipe can be prepared through Step 5, packed into the baking dish and refrigerated overnight. Bring the rice to room temperature before baking.