I love Thanksgiving. During my childhood, my parents would celebrate by cooking a feast that included American classics such as roasted turkey, candied sweet potatoes and flaky biscuits. Because we only had one small oven, mom and dad would prepare the rest of the side dishes on the stove top, including a Chinese favorite, sticky rice. I use equal parts short grain rice and short grain brown rice for a nutty texture, and boil them in chicken broth for a deeper flavor. Dried cranberries add a sweet and tart bite, and the vibrant green flecks of pistachio lend a lovely crunch.
Sticky Rice Stuffing
Recipe Courtesy of Irene Wong, Award-Winning Food Network Producer
Yield: 7 cups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
3 ounces (about 6) large dried black mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of short grain rice (also known as sweet rice)
1 1/2 cups of short grain brown rice
4 cups of chicken stock
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ounces (about 2 links) Chinese Sausage, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
3 medium-sized shallots, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) dried cranberries
1/2 cup of lightly toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1. In a shallow bowl, reconstitute the dried black mushrooms with hot water. Be sure to submerge them occasionally as they plump. This should take about 30 minutes. The mushrooms are ready when you are able to squeeze the caps and not feel any hard spots inside. Remove and discard the stems, squeeze the caps until all the excess water has been removed and then cut them into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.
2. In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the short grain rice, short grain brown rice, 4 cups of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook the rice mixture for 20 minutes, stirring with a chopstick once halfway through cooking to fluff the rice. Turn the heat off and let it rest covered for another 15 minutes.
3. While the rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the Chinese sausage and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the Chinese sausage and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of peanut oil and add the garlic and shallots. Sauté until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the black mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and cooked rice. Gently stir until well combined. Add the dried cranberries and return the pan to the stove. Over medium high heat, stir the sticky rice stuffing until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If serving right away, transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the pistachios. If making ahead of time, transfer the sticky rice stuffing to a baking dish, cover with foil and refrigerate up to 2 days. Place the foil-covered sticky rice stuffing into a preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes.