01 of 10
Gather Together Your Ingredients.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 6-7 single-portion dumplings):
- 1 pkg. banana leaves (if frozen, thaw for 1 hour) - available at Asian/Chinese food stores
- 2 cups Thai sweet rice (see picture) - also known as "sticky rice", available at Asian/Chinese food stores
- 3 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- some toothpicks, twine, satay sticks, or string to secure the dumplings
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces or smaller
- 1 tsp. cornstarch stirred into 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms,... diced
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated or cut into matchstick pieces
- 1/4 cup white wine or sherry (or cooking wine/sherry)
Continue to 2 of 10 below.
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce, available at Asian food stores
- 1-3 tsp. chili sauce, minced (depending on how spicy you like it - omit altogether for very mild dumplings)
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
For a 1-page printable version of this step-by-step recipe, see: Thai Sticky Rice Chicken Dumplings Recipe (Condensed Version).
02 of 10
Soak and Cook the Sticky Rice
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
- Place 3+3/4 cups water in a pot. Add 2 cups Thai sweet rice. Stir and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. (Sweet rice has a hard outer shell that needs to soften before cooking.)In the meantime, prepare the chicken, mushrooms, sauce, and other ingredients for stir-frying.
- After 20 (or more) minutes, add 1/4 tsp. salt and give the rice another stir. Place the pot over high heat.
- When rice-water comes to a bubbling boil, reduce heat to medium-low (around 2.5 on the dial), so that rice-water... continues to boil gently.
- Place a lid askew so that it is 3/4 covering the pot (while allowing steam to escape). Cook like this for 10 minutes, or until all (or most) the rice-water has been absorbed.
- Now turn off the heat and cover completely with lid. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. If you're planning to make the dumplings immediately, place the pot in the refrigerator to cool.
03 of 10
Stir-Fry the Chicken-Mushroom Filling.
Continue to 4 of 10 below.
- Mix 1 tsp. cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. soy sauce until cornstarch dissolves. Pour over 2 chopped chicken breasts in a small mixing bowl. Stir well.
- Place a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), grated or cut into matchstick-like pieces. Stir-fry 30 seconds, then add the chicken (together with the soy sauce/cornstarch).
- Tip: As you stir-fry, add 1 Tbsp. wine or cooking wine (instead of more oil) whenever the... wok/pan becomes dry. After about 2 minutes (when chicken looks cooked), add the mushrooms and stir-fry another 1-2 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened.
- Add the stir-fry sauce (1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. fish sauce, 1-3 tsp. chili sauce - depending on how spicy you want it, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 tsp. dark soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce).
- Turn heat down to low while you stir the sauce in. Do a taste-test, adding more lime juice if too salty for your taste, more sugar if too sour, or more chili sauce if not spicy enough. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
04 of 10
Prepare the Banana Leaves.Unfold banana leaves (if using frozen, be sure to thaw the leaves first). Using scissors, cut one large rectangular piece (approx. 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet). Then cut a smaller piece to go inside (approx. 8-10 inch rectangle). The smaller piece is like a lining, since banana leaves are naturally porous.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Add the Sticky Rice and Chicken-Mushroom Filling.Bring out the sticky rice. Note that rice must be cool enough to work with, since you will be using your hands.
Scoop out enough rice to make a square patty in the center of the 2 banana leaves (the patty should be about 4" square or slightly larger, and about 1/2" thick). Now place about 1 heaping Tbsp. of filling (or slightly more) over the rice.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Cover the Filling with Sticky Rice.Now take another scoop of sticky rice and cover the filling (so that it's almost like a sandwich). Sticky rice is easy to work with - if you find there are places where the filling is left uncovered, simply "patch" these areas with a little more sticky rice.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Cover the Dumpling with the Banana Leaf.Now fold down the top of the rectangle over the sticky rice. Holding this in place, bring up the bottom of the rectangle. Think of wrapping a present or parcel.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Fold Over the Sides of the Banana Leaf.Now fold over the sides of the banana leaf rectangle, so that it looks like a packet. To temporarily keep the packet from opening, turn it upside-down on your counter-top. See next step for how to secure the packet.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Secure Your Sticky Rice Dumplings.To Secure your banana leaf packets (keeping them from unfolding), use one of the following methods:
- Using a toothpick, "pin" the leaf by weaving the toothpick through the various layers (depending on the toughness of the leaves, you may have to do this gently, or the toothpick will break).
- If you have some satay sticks around the house, snap off the sharp end of one of the sticks (at least 3 inches long) and use this to pin the leaves together (again, weaving the stick through the leaves).... Satay sticks are much stronger than toothpicks and won't break.
- Finally, you can also tie the packets with string or baker's twine, like you would a small present.
Now you can store your sticky rice dumplings in the refrigerator (no need to cover them, as they are already well protected in the banana leaves), or heat them up right away and eat them (see next step).Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Heat and Enjoy the Sticky Rice Dumplings!These sticky rice dumplings can be heated a number of ways - all are equally good:
- Place the dumplings on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until banana leaves are fragrant and slightly crispy on the outside.
- Steam the sticky rice dumplings in a steamer (on high) for 15 minutes, or until heated all the way through.
- If you happen to have your grill or barbecue going, grill for up to 10 minutes each side (depending on how hot your grill is), or until banana leaves have turned... brown, crispy, and fragrant.
Then simply place the packets on individual plates and serve! Thai chili sauce, or sweet chili sauce may be served on the side.
Note that these dumplings stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Thereafter, wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months. Then simply thaw and heat up for an easy meal or snack. ENJOY!