Anyone who loves dim sum will have eaten lo mai gai which is a lotus leaf wrapped around glutinous, sticky rice mixed with meat, mushrooms and egg. This delicious combination is a fantastic breakfast dish and one of the first Chinese dishes that my kids fell in love with. It’s not easy to find lotus leaves and Chinese sausage in UK supermarkets so to get our lo mai gai fix I decided to experiment with ingredients I could get hold of easily then wrap everything in regular greaseproof paper. These sausage and egg rice parcels are not complicated to make but they do need sticky rice which holds everything together. You can buy this at big supermarkets or Asian markets. Soaking the rice overnight is a must to get the best texture and flavour out of your rice. I make big batches then freeze individual parcels to defrost whenever I need a lo mai gai inspired breakfast.
Makes 4 parcels
350g sticky rice
200g chorizo or kabanos (Polish sausage)
115g shitake or chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine or white wine vinegar
1 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
- The night before making the rice parcels wash the rice then leave the washed rice in a bowl of water until you’re ready to cook (at least 12 hours).
- Line a steamer basket (bamboo or stainless steel) with greaseproof paper then brush over a little vegetable oil. Drain the rice then tip it into the lined basket and put the lid on. Put a heatproof plate or small colander into a large cooking pot then place the steamer basket on top. Pour in water up to 2cm below the steamer then place a lid on the pot. Bring the water to a gentle boil (slow moving bubbles) and steam for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Finely chop the mushrooms, spring onions and sausage then whisk the egg in a small bowl. In another small bowl mix together the soy sauce, oyster, sesame oil and sugar.
- Fry the sausage until it starts to crisp up a little then add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes then add the Chinese 5 spice and stir using chopsticks. Add the chopped spring onion and the soy sauce mixture then cook for 1 minute before adding the whisked egg and stirring rapidly with the chopsticks until it is cooked. Add the cooked rice and use the chopsticks to break it up and mix with the other ingredients. At this point you can serve the dish immediately with roasted chilli oil or you can make up parcels that are re-heated another day.
- Brush a little vegetable oil onto a 20x30cm piece of greaseproof paper. Spoon the rice mixture into the centre of the paper (about the volume of 2 packs of cards on top of each other).
- Fold the paper over lengthways first then pull over the bottom and top halves. Flip the parcel over to stop the paper moving and repeat until you have a stack of parcels. These can be frozen (slide into a plastic bag before freezing) or stored in the fridge until ready to be re-steamed.
- Take your de-frosted parcels and place 2-4 inside a steamer basket and secure the lid. Place the basket on top of a pan with about 5cm of water and steam for 15-20 minutes until the parcels are piping hot.