Updated: Jul 25
Chicken and rice is always a winner, with an addition of sticky rice and steamed in a dim sum way its one of those dishes that I'm sure you will constantly come back to. Lo Gai Mai is a Chinese dim sum dish that originates from the Guangdong province. Traditionally this dish is steamed in a lotus leaf however its quite possible to recreate in a bowl instead. This recipe is fairly straight forward and I'm sure there are plenty of variations that can be made with the dish however I wanted to keep the recipe fairly close to the traditional way. With all that said let's make Lo Gai Mai...
To serve 4
3 chicken thighs
50g Chinese sausage or 50g salami
8 dry shiitake mushrooms
1 red chilli (optional)
spring onions or chives
1 tsp ginger
2 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp black rice vinegar or rice vinegar
400g glutinous sticky rice
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp dark soy
2 tbsp light soy
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp chicken stock powder
100ml shiitake stock
Firstly we need to wash and soak the sticky rice for the dish. Ideally this should be done the night before, however, at least 4 hours before cooking should be fine. Wash the rice with running cold water until the water starts to run clear. When washed place into a container and fill with water. Soak the rice over night if possible.
2. To begin the dish start with the marinade for the meat and shiitake mushrooms. Place 8 dry shiitake mushrooms into a small bowl then cover with approximately 100ml of warm water. Leave the shiitake mushrooms to sit in the water to form a stock and soften the mushrooms for 20 minutes. Whilst we are waiting on the mushrooms, take 3 chicken thighs and remove the central bone. Now slice into even strips and place into a bowl. When the shitake mushrooms have softened remove from the water (keeping the water for later) then take off the stems of the mushrooms. Add to the bowl of sliced chicken and set to one side.
3. To make a marinade for the chicken and mushrooms, in a separate bowl add 1 tsp finely chopped ginger, 2 tbsps light soy, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp corn flour, 1 tsp black rice vinegar and 1 tsp of white sugar. Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken and mushrooms then mix well and leave to marinade for 20-30 minutes.
4. For the Chinese sausage, peel of the outer skin then slice into thin pieces. Fry the Chinese sausage in a pan with a small drizzle of oil until slightly seared and fragrant. When ready place to one side along with the marinaded chicken and mushrooms for now.
5. Now we can move on to the sticky rice, pass the rice through a strainer and set aside. Now in a large pan add a generous drizzle of oil then add 2 finely chopped shallots and 3 finely crushed garlic cloves. Fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes until fragrant and translucent in colour. Next add the drained rice, 1 tbsp dark soy, 2 tbsps light soy, 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, 1 tsp of chicken stock powder and approximately 100ml of the shiitake stock that we soaked the mushrooms in earlier.
6. Fry the rice on a medium heat until the rice absorbs all of the liquid. When the rice has become almost dry place the rice into a large baking dish and spread into the dish so that its nice and even. Place into a bamboo steamer then steam for 30-45 minutes (depending on the rice used). If you do not have a bamboo steamer then you can simply add the baking tray to a large pan with a small amount of water and cover with a lid. This method will also act in the same way as a steamer.
7. Whilst we are waiting on the rice to cook we can cook the chicken to save us some time. Add the marinated chicken, mushrooms and fried chinese sausage to a pan with a small drizzle of oil. Fry on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. To loosen the mix add 50 ml of water to the pan to form more of a gravy. The sauce will thicken due to the cornflour, when ready remove from the heat and place to one side to slightly cool.
8. Now we are ready to build the dish, divide pieces of the chicken, mushrooms and chinese sausage into 4 small bowls. Place evenly into the bottom of the bowl. Then when the rice is cooked add on top of each of the bowls and pat down evenly. Add a small drizzle of the gravy that we made earlier over the rice then cover the bowls in tinfoil. Place each bowl back into the bamboo steamer and steam one last time for 20 minutes.
9. Now to serve, remove the bowls from the steamer and place upside down onto a plate. Carefully lift off the bowls and we are set. Top with some chilli oil, chopped chives and fresh chillis if you wish...hope u like making Lo Mai Gai!
Instead of using chicken you could also add beef or pork belly to this dish. If you find it difficult to find Chinese sausage then salami or another meaty dense type of sausage would work as well or simply leave it out of the recipe. Another way to prepare this dish would be to steam the raw rice and raw chicken together, however, I did find that way takes slightly longer to steam. Have fun making Lo Gai Mai!!