Ha Long Bay, a world heritage site, is well-known not only for its particularly delicious seafood because of low salinity of the sea but also for another outstanding produce: Tien Yen’s hill chickens. This is a kind of chicken that wanders on the slopes of the hills to look for food in the daytime and comes back and sleeps on the trees’ branches at night. Therefore, whenever entering a cooking contest, the four-star restaurant chefs of Saigon-Halong Hotel always use this unique kind of chicken to create dishes. But if there is no Tien Yen’s hill chicken? Chef Tran Van Tuyet answered smilingly, “If there is no Tien Yen’s hill chicken, there must be a talented chef! Try cooking Lotus Seeds and Steamed Glutinous Rice Rolled in Chicken Skin; with the same techniques, if you are careful enough to leave the chicken absorb all the spices, you will have a firm chicken stuffing that blends well with the glutinous rice and lotus seeds. The outstanding feature of this dish is its aroma with a nutty flavor of the glutinous rice steamed with condensed coconut milk; therefore, with a little meticulousness, you will create a magnificent dish without the presence of Tien Yen’s hill chickens….”
LOTUS SEEDS & STEAMED GLUTINOUS RICE ROLLED IN CHICKEN SKINPrint This
- 300g chicken
- 200g chicken skin
- 300g glutinous rice
- (of the North)
- 100g fresh lotus seeds
- 50g shiitake mushrooms
- 50g shallots
- 10ml cooking oil
- 150ml coconut milk
- 2g salt
- 3g seasoning powder
- 10g sugar
- 2g ground black pepper
- 1 roll of aluminum foil paper
Preparation: Rinse the glutinous rice in a few changes of water and soak it in water for 4 hours. Crack the lotus seeds in half, remove the lotus embryos, bring them to a boil for 10 minutes, take out and drain it in a colander. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms until they swell. Trim their ends and boil them for 20 minutes then take out, thoroughly clean them, wring out excess water, dice them or cut into short shoestrings. Peel the shallots, finely slice them.
Cut the chicken meat into big cubes; marinate them with 3g seasoning powder, 1g salt, 5g sugar, 2g ground pepper, combine all the ingredients together for 15 minutes so that everything is coated in a delicious spice mix. Thoroughly clean the chicken skin and pat it dry with paper towels.
Cook the sticky rice: Soak the glutinous rice in water until it swells, take it out and drain it. Mix it with boiled lotus seeds and 1g salt. Then put them into the steamer, steam them for 15 minutes on high heat, when the rice becomes translucent, slowly spoon over 150ml coconut milk, stir the rice so that the top layer is at the bottom of the steamer and vice versa, and then close the lid. After steaming it for 30 more minutes, check the glutinous rice. If it is cooked through, add 5g sugar, turn it over, and turn off the oven. Place the glutinous rice on small plates and let it cool down. Put the pan over the heat for a couple of minutes, then add 10ml cooking oil and the shallots, fry it until it is slightly golden then add the chicken, roast it until it’s firm. Add the shiitake mushroom and stir-fry it, season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to stir-fry the chicken until it becomes dry. Put the stir-fried chicken onto the steamed glutinous rice and mix them until well combined.
Roll the steamed glutinous rice and roast the chicken: Lay the chicken skin on the cutting board, skin side down, place the mixture of steamed glutinous rice and chicken onto it and roll the skin around it. After that wrap the roll tightly in the aluminum foil, then roast it on the charcoal or put it in the oven at 2000C for about 30minutes.
When the chicken is cooked, remove the aluminum foil, cut it into small bite-sized pieces, place them on a plate and serve with oil and vinegar salad.
The steamed sticky rice should be cooked through, be tender and sticky but not watery and coated in a delicious spice mix. The chicken meat should not be watery. The dish has the fragrance of lotus seeds and the greasiness of condensed coconut milk. The steamed glutinous rice rolls should be equal and have a firm structure. The chicken skin should be golden brown.
When you steam the glutinous rice, you should slowly spoon over the condensed coconut milk so that the rice will not be watery; you should use “Sap” glutinous rice or Vietnamese big grain glutinous rice so that the glutinous rice will be sticky and hold together well.
Roasting the rolls on the charcoal grill is better than roasting them in the oven: the rolls will be more aromatic.
If the chicken skin is not golden brown enough, you should sauté it to have a more eye-catching golden color.
The glutinous rice can be soaked with warm water for no more than 3 hours.
EFFECTS OF THIS DISH
This dish is very useful for people with asthenia, nervous system problems, damaged immune system, decreased body resistance, inflammation susceptibility, loss of appetite, insomnia and memory decline. Because this dish is very high in carbohydrates and lipid, people with diabetes, high blood fat and blood people should avoid eating it.
TRAN VAN TUYET Saigon Halong Hotel (Quang Ninh Province) Runner-up of the Northern semi-final round of the Golden Spoon Awards 2013