Stir-Fry

Fusion Sticky Rice with Star Anise Chicken, Shiitake, Edamame, and Sunchokes

January  6, 2016
Photo by LE BEC FIN
Author Notes

This dish is very different from the sticky rice you would be likely to have in our local Chinatown. My goal with this was to really punch up the flavors and the nutrition. Flavoring elements- ginger, scallion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock and coconut milk- were all used liberally, not just in dabs. (The resulting brown color in the photo- tells the story.) In addition, I have now improved it further with the addition of shreds of Star Anise Chicken, which can sub for or supplement -the pork sausage. The result is a very robustly flavored "bowl-in- one" of protein, starch and veg. I hope you will adapt it and make it your own!
This dish was one that I had long aspired to try because it is My Love's favorite dim sum. Practically, it was part of the wave of cooking inspired by 52's Emptying Out the Fridge contest. I had a good amount of leftover Italian sweet sausage and Jerusalem Artichokes,and while I knew that Chinese sausage is very different from Italian, I also knew that their flavors were similar (fennel seed vs. anise)and that I never really liked Chinese sausage. The crunch of Jerusalem artichokes( North American origin) is as good as any canned water chestnut, with an added nuttiness. Edamame has Chinese origins but is used here in a Japanese way. And then there's the liquids used to cook the rice- coconut milk, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chili paste- all hailing from different parts of Asia. I do love the unique chewiness of sticky rice, but I have made a New Year's pact with myself to steer away from white rice and white flour and use more whole grain alternatives. I will be experimenting more with Thai black sticky rice, which is a whole grain (and stickier than short grain brown rice) and I hope to update this recipe accordingly.

LE BEC FIN

  • Serves 6- 10
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Japanese sticky/sweet rice (soaked in water to cover by 2 inches, 4 hours or overnight, then drained)
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 3 T. minced peeled ginger
  • 6 T. minced light green and white scallion parts
  • 3/4- 1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps
  • 5 ou. Sweet Italian sausage(pierced with fork a few places to keep from exploding)
  • 1 cup chopped unpeeled Jerusalem artichoke , alone or combined with julienned sweet fried tofu skin (aburaage) and julienned Japanese flat omelet
  • 1 cup cooked shelled edamame
  • 13 ou. coconut milk (I prefer Nuoc Cot Dua) )
  • 1 cup +heated chicken stock (that 1 tsp. Lapsang Souchong has steeped in 30-60 minutes, then strained)
  • 3 T. oyster sauce ( Hop Ling Sung is excellent)
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. dry cocktail sherry or sake or Chinese rice wine
  • 2/3 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Add chili paste to taste if you wish, but I don't use it here
  • STAR ANISE CHICKEN (optional)
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry (not "cooking sherry")
  • 4 thin quarter sized peeled slices fresh ginger, smashed with side of knife and chopped
  • 3 whole star anise or equivalent pieces
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup o.j. or 3 T. frozen OJ concentrate plus 2 T. water
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat oil til hot, add ginger, then scallion, and stir fry a few minutes. Add shiitakes and saute 5 minutes til soft.
  2. Remove ginger- shiitakes. Over medium heat, saute sausages til done. cool and cut lengthwise into quarters and then slice across in 1/3 inch slices.
  3. Return shiitakes, scallions and ginger to sausage pan. Mix well. Add Jerusalem artichoke and edamame and mix well. Pour coconut milk and stock over rice, then soy sauce through salt, stirring to coat well. Bring to boil.
  4. Turn heat to simmer, cover, til liquid is absorbed. Taste (rice should be chewy)but if not ready, add more coconut milk, stock, or water;cover and let cook til rice is chewy/al dente.) Add shredded cooked chicken to taste, somewhere near the end of the rice cooking.
  5. Taste and add more seasonings as needed. Serve as is or stuffed into Inari (fried tofu skin pockets.)
  6. CHICKEN: In a saucepan just big enough to fit four bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, heat a little canola oil to hot. For ~ 4 minutes, sear chicken thighs, skin side down..Turn over and sear 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Add to pan soy through o.j.. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, turn to simmer. Return thighs to pan, turn to coat with sauce., cover on low simmer for 20-30 minutes, turning once more, til meat easily pulls away from bone. Turn off, remove thighs from pot and let cool ~ 5-10 minutes. Discard skin and bones and put into upright narrow container. Top with sauce and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove and discard the layer of solid fat that has settled on the top. Shred the chicken into small pieces. Reheat the chicken with sauce, remove the chicken from the sauce (reserve to cook with later) and fold the chicken into the completed sticky rice. Serve.
  7. **When reheating sticky rice, you need water or liquid to create steam; otherwise the rice will be hard.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.