Stuck on Sticky Rice (Gnaw Mai Fan)
When the holidays roll around and the feasting begins, you can find me eyeing the array of side dishes on the table. Yep, scoop me some sweet potatoes, pour on the creamed spinach and pile on the mashed potatoes. While everyone oohs and ahs over the turkey I’ll definitely be focused on the sides especially the STUFFING. I adore stuffing. As much as I love traditional bread stuffings my favorite is actually a rice stuffing. It’s called Gnaw Mai Fan. Sounds delicious right? No? Also known as Sticky Rice Dressing, it has become the Asian contribution to the Thanksgving or holiday table. It starts with sweet (glutinous) rice to which fragrant shiitake mushrooms, sweet, salty Chinese sausage aka lop cheung, and green onions are added.
Above is the primer for Sweet Rice Dressing. I like to mix the glutinous rice with regular long grain rice to lighten the rice component. Working from left to right is long grain rice, green onions, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and dried shiitake or black mushrooms. Behind the mushrooms is the the short grain sweet rice (or glutinous rice) and in the back are bottles of oyster sauce and soy sauce used to flavor the rice. All of these ingredients can be found in most Asian markets. The dried shrimp and sausage can be found in the refrigerator case.
Soak the dried mushrooms and shrimp in warm water for approximately 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and reserve the soaking water from the mushrooms and shrimp. This will be added to the liquid used to cook the rice. Wash your long grain rice and drain. Add the glutinous rice and long grain to your rice cooker. Yes, your rice cooker. I have absolutely no idea how to cook rice in anything else but a rice cooker. Add chicken stock, and reserved liquid from mushrooms and shrimp to the corresponding water line on the pot. Place Chinese sausage on top of the rice and cook.
While the rice is cooking, prep the other ingredients to be added. Optional additions include ground seasoned pork, char siu (bbq pork), celery, bacon and roasted chestnuts. It’s your rice dish, go crazy. I usually add ground pork or chicken. You can play with the ratio of long grain rice to sweet rice to get to the consistency you like.
In a pickle, I have used Japanese short grain or sushi rice in place of the glutinous and long grain rice. Shhh, don’t tell my Mom!
This dressing works well as stuffing for turkey or chicken, use it just like any bread stuffing. If served on the side, add some of the pan drippings to the rice for a flavor boost.
Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 cups sweet rice
- 4 lop cheung, steamed with rice, removed and diced
- Reduce lop cheung to 3 and substitute 1/2 cup diced barbecue pork (char siu)
- 4 black mushrooms, soaked in warm water until soft, diced, reserve soaking liquid
- 1/3 cup dried shrimp, soaked in warm water with black mushrooms
- 1/3 cup ground pork or chicken
- 1 tsp each sherry, oyster sauce, soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- pinch of pepper, salt
- 3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce (Kikkoman or Premium Chinese Soy Sauce)
- 1-2 tsp oyster sauce
- Green onion
- Cook rice in rice cooker with reserved soaking liquid from mushrooms and shrimp and chicken broth.
- Marinade ground pork for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat pan, sauté shrimp and ground pork. Add 1 t water, sauté 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms and lop cheung. Sauté additional minute or two.
- Add green onions,
- Pour rice into large mixing bowl. Fold in sautéed ingredients, mix soy sauce and oyster sauce together and add to rice. You may need more, use a 1:1 ratio of soy sauce to oyster sauce.
- Mix thoroughly.
- If you plan to stuff turkey with this, decrease sweet rice to 1 cup for every 2 cups of long grain rice. and double recipe.