This stuffing is based on both the savory tamales that are made around summer's Dragon Boat Festival and Taiwanese sticky rice, with a few favorite flavors thrown in for good measure. I developed this recipe over 20 years ago because my Chinese husband and family wanted some Chinese flavors in their Thanksgiving dinner. The stuffing is quite versatile and forgiving, and you can add pretty much whatever you want to it to fit your taste. I usually stuff it in the turkey, with extra going into a casserole dish, and then I baste the turkey in soy sauce, roasted sesame oil, and Shaoxing rice wine; this ends up making a great jus to serve alongside the stuffing and turkey. —chinagirl
enough for a medium-sized turkey
glutinous (sticky) rice
Shaoxing rice wine
shiitake mushrooms (dried or fresh)
Boiling water as needed
shelled chestnuts (fresh, frozen, or dried)
Chinese sausages (try duck liver and Cantonese sausages)
roasted sesame oil
Hot chicken stock, as needed
vegetable or peanut oil
edamame (green soybeans)
light soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper
More soy sauce, rice wine, salt to taste
In This Recipe
Place the rice in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Soak the rice overnight, or at least 8 hours. Steam the rice until done. Rinse the hot, cooked rice in a sieve to break up the clumps and cool down the rice. Drain the rice thoroughly and place it in a large, clean work bowl.
Place the dried shrimp in a small, heatproof bowl and cover the shrimp with boiling water. Let them soak until they are pliable. Drain the shrimp, pick them over for any debris, and then soak them in the rice wine until you're ready to use them.
If you're using dried mushrooms and/or chestnuts, cover them with boiling water for at least an hour to plump them up. Remove the stems from the fresh or reconstituted mushrooms and slice the caps into thin pieces; set aside. Pick over the chestnuts and remove any brown skin that remains. Roughly chop the chestnuts so that they are still at least 1/2 inch across; add to the mushrooms.
Remove the casings from the sausages and cut the sausages lengthwise into four strips. Cut across the strips to form 1/4 inch cubes. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer and add the sausages. Gently stir-fry the sausages until they start to render their fat, and then add the mushrooms and chestnuts. Lightly fold the ingredients while they fry so that they don't break up. As soon as the sausages are lightly browned, add the roasted sesame oil and heat it until it shimmers before adding the drained rice. Once again, gently toss everything together for about 5 minutes. Remove everything to your large work bowl.
Clean and dry the turkey giblets and cut them into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat the vegetable or peanut oil in the wok over medium-high heat and add the giblets to the wok. Gently stir-fry the giblets until they are lightly browned. Pour the giblets and any fat in the wok into the bowl with the rice.
Drain the shrimp and add both the shrimp and the edamame to the rice, along with the sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and pepper. Toss the rice well and add enough hot stock so that the rice is slightly soupy. (It will absorb the stock as it steams in the turkey.) Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning with more soy sauce, rice wine, or salt as needed.
Stuff the turkey very loosely, as the rice will swell, and place any extra stuffing in a greased casserole dish. Truss up the turkey and baste with a combination of soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil; bake it as you normally would. Cover the casserole with an oiled piece of foil and bake it after you take out the turkey; it will need around 30 minutes, depending upon the amount of stuffing and the size of the dish, so just taste it to see if it's done.