Being Chinese and growing up eating white rice my whole life, I really can’t imagine not eating it…ever. Rice is my automatic go to side and it goes with pretty much everything. Nothing is faster than pouring the washed rice in to a rice cooker and getting perfectly cooked rice in less than 20 minutes. It’s something that has almost become automatic at my house after a long day at work, walk through door, rice in cooker, it’s almost synonymous.
It seems rice has gotten a bad rap lately with all the diets that are banishing white rice. I agree that brown rice has more fiber since the bran is still intact. However, there are definitely ways where you can incorporate white rice in to your meals and still have it be healthy. It all depends on the sides that you’re serving your rice with. But if you’re concerned, there are different types of rice out there to try like basmati.
Rice is a lot more versatile then just being served to accompany the meal. It can be a meal in itself (no, I’m not telling anybody to just eat plain rice). Risottos are a great example of how Italians have turned rice into a star featured dish, with very simple ingredients and lots of yummy ricey goodness. The Chinese has something similar in sticky rice.
Sticky rice uses glutinous rice, which has a high amount of amylopectin or starch giving it the “sticky” quality once it’s cooked. Don’t be fooled by the word glutinous because this rice doesn’t actually contain any gluten, so it’s safe for those who are allergic to it. Sticky rice in asian cuisine is featured in all forms ranging from dim sum, main dishes and dessert. It’s great in all its variations but something about the sticky quality and saltiness just seems to pair delectably for my palate.
Sticky Rice Recipe adapted from here
This sticky rice recipe does use Chinese sausage (something that just brings back childhood memories for me), but if you wanted to keep it healthier, substitute pork or chicken. Just cook the pork or chicken with some salt and pepper to taste and cut it into little chunks.
Ingredients:5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 links Chinese sausage, diced
1/4 cup dried shrimp, diced
2 cups glutinous rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
2 green onion stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Cilantro for garnish
Preparation:Soak the glutinous rice for at least an hour.
Soak mushrooms in a small bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes. Once they are soft, squeeze out the water and dice. Reserve the water to cook the rice.
In a pan over medium heat, cook the garlic, mushrooms, Chinese sausage and dried shrimp.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice and place it in a rice cooker (or pot), add in 4 cups of water, including the water used to soak the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce and wine.
Pour in the soy sauce mixture in to the rice cooker or pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.
When the rice is done cooking, add in the mushroom mixture in to the rice.
You may add the green onions in to the cooked rice or serve it over top with the cilantro as garnish.
Serve and enjoy!