even though I grew up cbc (canadian born chinese), cooking cantonese always seemed so technical and intimidating, until I realized that it can actually be pretty simple.
sure, some dishes can have a lot of components, but simple dishes are really simple. and that’s how my mom likes her food. hot and simple.
once I figured out that all it takes is a hot wok, I mean screaming hot, and a little flick of the wrist (practice makes perfect with uncooked rice in a pan, see here), I knew how to make food that she’d truly enjoy.
see, she’s a chinese immigrant who’s worked super hard to give her kids a better life in north america, but her tastebuds will forever stay OG chinese. so any compliment from my mom on my cooking is the best compliment ever, ‘cause this lady’s got some high standards! (I will honestly be the same at her age, I don’t blame her)
and for that reason, I took one of my favourite childhood dishes and made it even simpler to execute! she loves it! and so does my paps!
what makes it easier? not having to soak sticky rice overnight, and using short grain taiwanese white rice instead. it cooks just as jasmine would, but has a much better chew - that awesome ‘qq’ quality that all us a-z-n’s love so damn much. they’re often sold in smaller packages at asian grocery stores, and are almost always organic.
if you can’t find it, jasmine would do just fine, or you could go through the effort of cooking sticky rice and it’ll be closer to the original dish anyway! you do you!
plus, finding a gf version of ‘lap cheong’ or chinese sausage was super exciting as I am now able to share with reid a food that means a lot to me. eating it reminds me of my grandpa as he’d often stroll to the market and bring back dried links of cured sausage to have on hand at home.
this one’s for my fam.
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side dish
1 rice cooker cup (equivalent to 3/4 standard US cup) uncooked white rice (we LOVE the organic taiwanese rice as the grains are shorter and chewier)
~ 1 1/2 cups water
4 dried shiitakes, soaked in room temperature water for 30 minutes, sliced thinly
neutral oil, anything with a high smoke point
2 links chinese sausage, small diced (T&T carries a house brand sausage that doesn’t contain wheat or soy sauce, double check ingredients of other brands)
1/4 cup dried shrimp
1/2 medium onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1-inch knob ginger, minced or grated
1 1/2 tsps. sesame oil
1 tbsp. gf tamari
green onions, chopped for garnish
black sesame seeds, for garnish
cilantro, chopped for garnish
toasted pine nuts, for garnish
Cook rice following the 2:1 water-to-rice ratio in your rice cooker or in a pot on the stove.
Once rice is cooked, spread out on a baking sheet until cool and slightly dry.
Bring a wok to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to barely coat the bottom of your pan. The chinese sausage will release some fat as well when it is heated. Turn the heat up to high. Do not walk away from the wok!
Add chinese sausage, dried shrimp and shiitakes, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until slightly blistered. Stir frequently. Toss in onions, garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add cooked rice and toss until well incorporated. It helps to break it apart with a spatula.
Finish with sesame oil and gf tamari and toss a couple more times to combine.
Top with garnishes and serve immediately.