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Recipe: Chinese-Style Sticky Rice "Stuffing"

This moist, dense "stuffing" — traditionally wrapped in lotus or bamboo leaves — contains plenty of ingredients, which can be increased or decreased to taste.


2 cups glutinous rice (also called "sweet" rice)

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4-5 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup diced ham or Chinese sausage

6-8 medium-sized dried shiitakes, rehydrated and minced with stems removed

2 tablespoons small dried shrimp (optional)

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 3/4 - 3 cups light turkey or chicken stock or broth

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (See note)

Thinly sliced green onion (optional garnish)


Heat a large pot with tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil as needed to lightly coat pot's surface and quickly sauté the garlic until aromatic but not browned. Add diced ham or sausage (if using the sausage, first cook separately to render the fat) then the rice, minced shiitakes, and dried shrimp if using, plus 1-2 tablespoons more oil as needed. Briefly stir-fry a minute or two (risotto-style) before adding the wine; cook until the wine is absorbed before adding the 2 3/4 cup of stock (start with the lesser amount then add more at the end if needed), oyster sauce, soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stir in the chopped chestnuts, cover and reduce heat to low. Steam for 20 minutes until fully cooked; remove pot from the heat and allow to sit- covered – for at least 5 minutes. Remove cover and quickly stir. If rice seems too dry, add some of the very hot stock, recover the pot and allow to sit another 10 minutes.

The rice stuffing can be made ahead but should be reheated before stuffing it into the turkey. Make sure the stuffing reaches 165 degrees, which should be the final internal temperature of the turkey. Before serving, garnish stuffing with sliced green onion if desired.

Note: Glutinous rice, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp can be found in Asian markets. Possible sources for ready-to-use chestnuts include Asian stores (in pre-packaged in foil bags) and specialty culinary stores (canned or jarred). Yields a generous 8 cups.

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