Chinese sausage & rice

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ cup Raw white rice
3 cups Water
1 Or 2 Chinese sausages

The MOST typical use of sausage is (hold your hat - another strange locution but slightly more comprehensible) steamed on rice. Plain.

Poor people's food (actually, a poor people's special treat) but quite satisfying: Bring the rice to a boil in 2½ c of the water. Lower heat to low and cook 10 min. Meanwhile, slice sausages into thin diagonal strips. Add rest of water to rice and cover top of rice with sausage strips. Some people add scallion or ginger but I prefer the flavor pristine. Raise heat to the boil again and then lower to low again. Steam until sausage fat is transparent and rice is done, 5 minutes or so more. Serve with soy sauce on the side.

To take this dish one step up, use sticky ("glutinous" or "sweet") rice in the usual way (requires somewhat more water and more careful cooking). To take this dish to its artisanly conclusion, cook the sticky rice separately; let it cool; cut it into 8 portions and spread 4 portions flat on the center part of a lotus or other large, tough, nonpoisonous leaf. Take the sausage strips and cut them into smaller pieces, and top each portion of rice with a portion of sausage. Add a small amount of chopped bamboo shoot, chopped scallion, and chopped dried shrimp (previously soaked in sherry for ½ hour) to each serving. Make a sauce from 2 T soy sauce and 1 T broth boiled together and thickened with ½ t cornstarch (mixed into ¾ t water). Apply two teaspoons of this sauce to the top of your dish. Top this mess with the other 4 portions of rice and crimp the edges together. Now: carefully bring the sides of the leaf up to make an envelope, and tie with twine. Steam for 5 minutes or so and serve.

From: Michael Loo

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