Mushroom Lo Mai Gai (素糯米鸡)

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 50 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Lo mai gai literally translates to glutinous rice chick’un, and that’s pretty much what it is. This vegan lo mai gai uses shiitake mushrooms and lion’s mane mushrooms instead of animal meat or sausage. This dish has its origins in Guangdong, China. In the original version, a variety of meat, mushrooms, and nuts are wrapped in lotus leaves and steamed. This preparation was simplified when it moved to Southeast Asia.

In Singapore and Malaysia, we have lo mai gai as breakfast, a snack, or part of a dim sum meal. The glutinous rice is packed in convenient single-serve bowls and served hot straight out of the steamer. This was one of the yummiest snacks for me from the school canteen! Because glutinous rice is considered fairly hard to digest, it is normally a daytime dish.

A couple of pointers for preparing the ingredients for this dish. I like to soak the glutinous rice overnight, so it helps the rice grains cook in a more uniformed fashion, instead of being hard on the inside and mushy on the outside. When frying the rice in the pan, make sure every grain is coated with sauce and oil so that when they cook the grains will not mush together and become unsightly.

Soak the mushrooms overnight in cool water in the fridge, instead of soaking them in warm/hot water on the day. This rehydrates them more thoroughly and does not cook the fine fibres around the outside of the lion’s mane mushrooms. Soak the shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms separately. Lion’s manes are bitter at the beginning, so their soaking water cannot be used. After soaking, squeeze and rinse the lion’s manes at least twice to get rid of the bitterness.

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Ingredients

0/15 Ingredients
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  • Marinade
  • Flavouring

Instructions

0/9 Instructions
  • Soak the mushrooms overnight, squeeze gently and rinse thoroughly. Cut the lion's mane mushrooms into thin slices. Marinate the mushrooms in the marinade, then pan-fry them in a little oil until slightly brown on either side.
  • Arrange the mushrooms at the bottom of the steaming bowl. Remember that this will be upside down when you serve!
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the red onions until a little bit golden. Not too much or it will be bitter instead of sweet later.
  • Add the rice to the pan and the flavourings on top.
  • Mix well until every grain of rice is nicely coated with sauce.
  • Pack the rice tightly on top of the mushrooms in the steaming bowl. Try to keep the top level.
  • Carefully spoon 3 tbsp of mushroom soaking water over each bowl of packed rice.
  • Steam covered from cold water. Start on high flame for 10 minutes then turn down to low. Steam for about 45 minutes in total, or until rice is cooked and soft.
  • Tip the bowl upside down over a plate and serve hot with some chilli sauce.

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