savory sticky rice

Savory Sticky Rice

did you guys see
Fresh Off the Boat last week?
i don’t like the show
(it gives me a vague sense
that i’m being side-eyed
and laughed at)
there was one scene
that rang true:
the lunch scene.
it was common that my lunch
consisted of
whatever was leftover
from the dinner table the night before.
which you can imagine,
while super tasty at home
did not translate in the school cafeteria.
i got side eyed
and one time
an entire table left,
after making a fuss.
that was high school.
(specifically, freshman year,
2nd semester where i was the NEW KID,
fresh from ethiopia
and in deep culture shock,

this particular dish
was something i brought to school
in third grade.
i was so excited.
i was too young to realize that
pb&jelly sandwiches were de rigueur
and when i busted this sticky rice
out of its wrapper
and offered it to my bff
she wrinkled her nose.
i was crestfallen,
though i rallied and figured:
more for me.
(just kidding.
i threw it away)
but thus began my
battle with home brought lunches.
the struggle was real people.

Savory Sticky Rice

xôi or 糯米饭 no mi fan, or, Savory Sticky Rice
from memory, and a combination of woks of life and le jus d’orange

*note: nowadays, i have an office i can hide in if my food is on the strong side, though i do err on the side of safe foods. (there was that one time, years ago at another job, i brought dumplings and the odor caused my coworkers to pause. i was so embarrassed.) you won’t ever find fish in my lunch box. this, thankfully, did not disrupt anybody’s olfactory senses the week i brought it for noshing.

3 cups of brown sticky rice, soaked overnight
5 lap xuoung links, chinese pork sausage, sliced on a diagonal
3 garlic cloves, minced fine
2 cups worth of fresh shiitake mushroom caps, (reserve the caps in a freezer bag to make stock), sliced
1 cups worth of dried wood ear mushroom, sliced (reconstituted in hot water)
1 cups worth of enokie mushrooms, cut in half
2 cups of liquid, you can use stock for flavor or leftover water from soaking the mushroom, or just water
1/2 dried shrimp, reconstituted in hot water
4 stalks of green onions, sliced on a diagonal, divided, half to cook and half for garnish

light/thin soy sauce
dark soy sauce
shaoxing wine
sesame oil
oyster sauce

night before, soak the rice.

when ready, prepare your mis en place:
for the sauce, refer to the links for exact measurements. i won’t lie, i winged the proportions and guessed on amount. basically, shoot for a tablespoon of each, except for the sesame oil. mix it all together and taste, add more of whatever you want until you reach desired flavor. you’re aiming for salty sweet. add in the sesame oil last, my guess: about 1/2 TBL. set aside.

have all your components ready sliced/minced/soaked and close at hand. strain the soaked rice.

in a large skillet, cook up the lap xuoung, it is going to give up so much fat. don’t be alarmed. when sufficiently cooked through, remove from pan onto paper napkins. pour out excess oil/fat, leaving behind about a tablespoon. throw in a handful of sliced scallions and garlic, mix. next add in the mushrooms and dried shrimp, and mix. remove from heat and last, add the rice and sauce. mix it all thoroughly together.

transfer entire contents of the pan to a rice cooker. we have a fancy rice cooker that has a STICKY RICE feature. if you’re incensed that i’m using a rice cooker, or you don’t have a rice cooker with that feature, or you want something more authentic, refer to the links of the original recipes for those instructions.

add in two cups of liquid (we used a combo of water and leftover mushroom water) and set timer accordingly. i think it was done after about an hour.

when cooked through, adjust seasoning to taste. serve garnished with leftover green scallions.


Savory Sticky Rice

other asian delights, or stank food:
vietnamese bò kho – beef stew
Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl {bun thit ga nuong}