Chicken and Shiitake Rice Balls

  • DifficultyMedium

For the filling

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
680g organic chicken breast, finely diced but not ground
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and finely diced
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine
50g whole water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and minced
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
2 pinches of ground black pepper
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 handful freshly chopped coriander stems

For the rice and breaded coating

600g cooked sticky glutinous rice
2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
500g panko breadcrumbs
200g black sesame seeds
Peanut oil for deep frying

For the sauce

3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1.5 teaspoons Thai hot sauce

For the garnish

Micro coriander leaves
Edible flowers

1. Cook the glutinous sticky rice by rinsing the rice well, washing it until the water runs clear. Place it in a large pot and fill it with 1.2 litres of water and bring to the boil and then cook covered on a low heat for 20-25 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the rice is fluffy, al dente and cooked.

2. Turn the rice onto a tray to cool. Season the rice wine in a vinegar sweet solution by mixing rice vinegar and sugar and leave to cool for 60 minutes at room temperature.

3. Heat a wok over high heat and add the peanut oil. Add in the ginger and cook stirring for a few seconds. Then add in the chicken breast, mushrooms, five spice, salt and pepper and toss together. Add in the shaoxing rice wine and cook the chicken until it is opaque and cooked through. Take it off the heat and let it cool for 60 minutes.

4. Once cooled toss in the spring onions and the chopped coriander stems. Dip your hands in water and make a flattened circle or rice in your hands, spoon in a tablespoon of filling in the middle and form the rice around it to make a ball, making sure the filling is fully enclosed. Roll each ball in the beaten egg and then panko breadcrumbs mixed with black sesame seeds. Set aside on a tray.

5. Heat a wok with peanut oil to about 180°C. Fry for a few seconds until the outside is golden and crunchy. Transfer to a paper towel on a plate to drain off any excess oil.

6. For the dipping sauce, simply combine the sriracha sauce and oysters sauce.

7. Set the balls on a large Chinese ‘half ladle’ spoon, with the dipping sauce and micro coriander leaves and a seasonal edible flower on a slate.

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