call it a sort of fried rice
I made my first attempt at nuòmǐ fàn (糯米飯) today and it turned out pretty well. I think traditionally everything gets steamed together but my mom’s method is essentially a fried rice made with glutenous rice instead of day old jasmine rice and I find it tastier. The result is not AS sticky as the steamed variety. I find the rice to be a bit chewier and less mushy. Sometimes the steamed varieties can be a bit mushy.
Glutenous rice is different from the regular Asian “sticky” rice. It’s sometimes sold as “sweet rice”. The grain is shorter and rounder. The final result of the rice is chewier and stickier than “regular” rice. My “regular” rice is jasmine rice. If you’ve ever had dim sum, lotus leaf wrapped rice parcels are made with glutenous rice.
When Fredrik and I bought our bag of glutenous rice at the Japanese shop, the lady behind the cash cautioned me that it wasn’t sushi rice. I assured her that I knew what I was buying. I guess she’s had more than a few customers purchase this rice assuming that it’s sushi rice and then everything well a bit pear shaped.
Start by washing the rice and then soaking it in water for about an hour. I tried to speed things up by heating the water a little. My mom soaks the rice overnight but since I decided to make it this morning, I just heated the rice and water a couple of times in the microwave. I used 1 cup of glutenous rice. This is also a good time to soak your dried mushrooms, dried shrimp and dried scallops in some hot water. How much “other stuff” is up to you. At restaurants, they’re usually pretty stingy with the “other stuff”. That’s the nice thing about making your own sticky rice at home, you can load it up with all your favorite things.
After soaking the rice, you steam the rice. I spread the rice in an even layer in a sieve and steamed it for 10 minutes in a pot. Turned out pretty well. You can break out your fancy steamer if you’d like. After you steam the rice, remember to give the rice a mix. The soggier rice will come in contact with the drier rice and after a good mix, you’ll end up with an equilibrium of just right rice. Cover the rice with something while you prep the other ingredients, otherwise it’ll start drying out.
“Other stuff” I have in my sticky rice:
Chinese pork sausage
Chinese pork and duck liver sausage
Chop all of it up into small pieces.
The Chinese sausages and bacon can be rather fatty, so I recommend rendering some of the fat on low heat. I soaked up the fat with a paper towel. There’s really no need to add extra oil. Add the other ingredients, starting with the garlic and spring onion. Give it a good stir and let it cook for a couple minutes before adding the rice.
Mix it all up and add soy sauce to season. The soy sauce I’m using is some sort of special soy sauce, the label says “Premium Soy Sauce” but they all say that. My mom instructed me to bring a bottle back from Canada. There are actually a lot of varieties of soy sauce in the market. I’m sure there’s a blog post somewhere that explains all the different varieties. Anyways. After I thoroughly mixed everything, I turned the heat down, put a lid on the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes. I wanted to make sure the mushrooms were cooked. They’re not too tasty when they’re not thoroughly cooked.