Mama Meals: How to Prepare Sticky Rice
In the first in our new video cooking series, a BU student prepares a breakfast dish popular in her hometown of Wenzhou, China
In our new video cooking series Mama Meals, BU students cook a dish that reminds them of home—with the help and under the watchful eye—via Zoom—of family members. Our first installment features Luyi Chen (Sargent’22), from Wenzhou, China, preparing sticky rice, a popular breakfast treat there. She gets some virtual assistance from dad Lianguo Chen and mom Juhua Zhu.
The delicious dish is topped with slices of youtiao (a long Chinese fried dough), rousong (a fluffy, savory meat floss made of dried pork), scallions, pickled mustard greens, and an à la minute self-described “soup” of pork belly and shiitake mushrooms. And what is the Chen family’s signature flourish that they add to the dish? Green peas are mixed into, and steamed with, the sticky rice to provide additional flavor. You can’t go wrong with more vegetables.
Wenzhounese Sticky Rice
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
- ¼ lb. pork belly, diced and tenderized
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 3 tsp cooking wine
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp umami powder (or MSG)
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 cups sticky (glutinous) rice
- ¼ cup green peas
- 1 youtiao (Chinese deep-fried dough), sliced into ⅛” pieces
- ¼ cup rousong (dried meat floss)
- ¼ cup Chinese pickled mustard greens
- ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
Rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking them in water overnight. Rinse the sticky rice three times. In a large bowl, add the rice and enough water to cover it to the top. Soak the rice for 2 to 12 hours (overnight is best).
Drain the water from the soaked sticky rice, and move the rice and the peas into a non-perforated steamer insert, or a dish that can be used in a steamer. Steam for 30 minutes.
Dice the rehydrated mushrooms into small pieces. Then dice the pork belly into small pieces (similar in size to the mushrooms), and tenderize the meat by pounding it several times with your knife.
Heat a large frying pan or wok. Add 2 tsp of cooking oil. Then add the diced mushrooms to the pan. Once you smell the fragrance of the mushrooms, add the diced pork belly. Add salt and sugar. Stir fry the pork until it is cooked to medium. Add cooking wine, soy sauce, and warm water. After two minutes, add oyster sauce and umami powder (or MSG), and boil the soup for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
To serve, first add ½ cup of cooked sticky rice to a small bowl or plate. Top with a few pieces of youtiao, a spoonful or two of rousong, a spoonful of Chinese pickled mustard greens, and a spoonful or two of scallions. To enjoy the dish, use a spoon. Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon and enjoy.