If I say that I have been so unlucky lately, my darling husband and brother will strongly object, as they would say, that is life, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you would come cross problems, when you are lucky, you enjoy it; when you are not, you deal with the problems then get on with life.
I guess they are perfectly right, after all this is life. Probably if you have that kind of lucky fate all the time, you don’t even know what is sorrow, and you could miss out an interesting part of life. — Unfortunately I have never been so positive, however, fortunately, I have them here supporting me, whenever I am down.
But I do wonder, how many time you can really experience ‘unluckiness’ before it can crash your confidence completely. I am definetly not a very strong person, and probably did not choose the right path towards my dreams in life. :(
So let me cook something to cheer up — a nice lotus leaves wrap filled with ‘rice mix’.
This is not a northeast Chinese recipe, not at all. I suppose it originates from mid or southern China, and because of its unique style, it became popular everywhere. I had been hearing of it for a long time; however, the first time I saw it, was in a chain restaurant specialized in soya milk, it is more like Chinese style fast food place.
Unfortunately, the fillings of the rice wrap they sell come with either pork or chicken — which I cannot eat and never a big fan anyway. Thanks to my friends, they understand me so well, they never ordered and had it in front of me, otherwise, I could be … my mouth could be watering, and the ‘water’ could drop…
So I decided to try to make it myself. The good thing is that ingredients like lotus leaves are easy to buy from the Chinese supermarket here in England, while in northeast China, it could be a bit difficult.
The filling is actually easy, it is just half boiled rice (mixed with glutinous rice) with cooked meat pieces (optional) and vegetables. Then wrap it up with a big piece of lotus leaf, and finish the cooking by steaming it. The original recipe has its great ‘health’ benefit, for example, lotus leaves are good for cooling down the ‘body heat’ and ‘dampness’, and helping with detoxing, and so on.
The whole thing is quite similar to southern ‘Zongzi’. In fact, in the photos below, I used bamboo leaves, rather then lotus leaves, since I was too lazy to go out buy lotus leaves. But if you can, do try it with lotus leaves, the fragrance is totally different.
For the filling — I obviously changed the recipe a little bit, especially the meat part, but you can use pork if you like, I heard that ‘charsiu’, for example, is a very good ingredient for this recipe.
Anyway, here is how I made it.
rice (I prefer Chinese, Korean or Japanese rice, because they are ‘sticky’, easy for holding together. If not, I guess pudding rice is also doable. )
Beef (but you can use other meat or even sausage instead), different vegetables (I used green and red peppers, button mushroom, carrot, onion, but you can use others if you prefer.)
Oil, salt, light soy sauce (optional), MSG or mushroom/vegetable/chicken essence (optional)
Preparation and cooking:
1) Soak the rice and glutinous rice for at least half an hour, then boil it with water, until it is 60% done — not totally cooked. (Alternatively, you can soak the rice over night.)
2) Chop the vegetables into small pieces.
3) If you are like me, using beef as one of the ingredients, the best is to use pre-cooked beef (see recipe post ), or stir fry beef in thin pieces with oil and light soy sauce. Either way, cooked beef needs to be chopped into smallest pieces.
4) Soak and boil the lotus leaves.
5) Mix chopped beef pieces (or sausages) and freshly chopped vegetable pieces with half-way cooked rice. Add in a small handful of salt.
The rice will have the fragrance influenced by the lotus leaves, while the taste is mixed with vegetables and meat.
Ooook, in the end, wish everyone the best luck in the world, and enjoy every single bite of food. :))
- Glutinous rice
- Vegetables (green and red peppers, button mushroom, carrot, onion.)
- Light soy sauce (optional)
- MSG or mushroom/vegetable/chicken essence (optional)
- Soak the rice and glutinous rice for at least half an hour, then boil it with water, until it is half done (not totally cooked).
- Chop the vegetables into small pieces.
- Pre-cook the beef and chop it into smallest pieces.
- Soak and boil the lotus leaves.
- Mix chopped beef pieces and freshly chopped vegetable pieces with half-way cooked rice.
- Add in a small handful of salt.
- Place the mix on a big piece of lotus leaf.
- Wrap it up.
- Place the wraps in the steamer and steam with medium to strong fire for half an hour.