Friday, May 04, 2007

Loh Mai Kai/Bah Zhang?!

Man, the weather has been gloomy all these week with a bit of a spring rain session, better hope it'll be back to good ol' sunny Cam soon!

Meanwhile, this is what I did a month ago (delayed due to a long post), to celebrate the completion of my dissertation. Suits well with my dim sum craving too :) I had a bag of glutinous rice, mushroom, dried prawns, and lap cheong (chinese sausages), which easily equals Loh Mai Kai (Glutinous Chicken Rice)! This is not difficult to make, it's just lengthy with more steps, so don't be afraid to try it out! Note that I've done it impromptu and the ingredients and recipe may be unconventional, but it still tastes authentic :)

Ok, so here's what you need (tentatively) :

5 chicken drumsticks, deboned and meat sliced into bite size, reserve bones
3 cups of glutinous rice, washed & drained
2 tbsp oil
some chinese mushrooms, soaked & sliced
1-2 chinese sausages, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tbsp fried shallots
A handful of dried prawns, soaked, reserve the 'dried prawns water'

Seasonings A
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger juice
1/4 sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 corn flour
A dash of white pepper

Seasonings B
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp five spice powder

Step-by-Step (Oh Baby! LOL Anyone recall New Kids on the Block? :P)

1. Season chicken slices with Seasonings A for 1 hour
2. Make chicken soup stock by adding the bones into a pot of water with the reserved 'dried prawns water, put to boil or slow cook for 1 hour
3.Heat the wok, and dry fry (i.e. without oil) the chinese sausages till fragant and crispy, set aside
4. Heat (sesame) oil in a wok, and fry the shallots till crispy
5. Add the chicken and Chinese mushrooms, stir fry for a minute or two
6. Add in the glutinous rice and Seasoning B, mix and continue stir frying
7. Finally, use a ladle and scoop some of the homemade chicken stock into the wok, allow rice mixture to boil till cook. Do adjust the amount of liquid carefully that is required for cooking the rice and not add a lot of water in one go!
8. Remember to add the Chinese sausages before you serve!

Here are some illustrative pictures for guidance:

Homemade chicken stock

Dry-frying the chinese sausages (lap cheong)

Soaked and sliced dried mushrooms and dried prawns

Stirfrying the dried prawns in the beginning

Stirfrying the well marinated chi
Adding in the rice to the mixture and mixing them well ...

Add the delicious chicken stock and put to boil ...

A HUGE batch of cooked loh mai kai !

Unfortunately, I added too much water hence the porridge-like consistency :S But nevertheless, the authentic taste is there. In effect, some of my friends said it tastes like Bah Zhang (chinese dumplings), which is probably true, given that the ingredients I've listed is actually more towards the making of the dumplings, LOL. I guess I just improvised what my mom makes at home and didn't know that Loh Mai Kai doesn't come with Chinese sausages!

Note that due to the lack of steaming tools, I did not resort to the original way of steaming the glutinous rice for this dish. Be careful about water estimation, as you've seen how my experience went! I'll definitely make it again, and this time, it'll hopefully be more authentic :D

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