This dish is a classic Cantonese staple for special occasions. I’ve been chowing down on this for years – making special day trips to Imperial Palace in Flushing, Queens just to have it. There are two dishes: one with Dungeness crab and the other with lobster. The preparation methods are identical with a simple steaming of ingredients to let everything melt together into a perfect sticky treat.
3 cups glutinous rice
2 dry lotus leaves
3 TBSP vegetable oil
½ cup Shaoxing wine
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sweet soy sauce
2 lobsters, 1 ½ – 2 lbs each
1 bunch green onions, diced
½ cup fried onion shreds
Begin by soaking the glutinous rice for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover it by 2 inches. Pour off the liquid and rinse the rice at least 2 times in water. Drain and set aside.
Bring about 1 ½ quarts of water to the boil and steep the lotus leaves for about 10 minutes until softened. Line the steaming basket with the leaves, dark side up, and oil them lightly
In a small bowl, mix together Shaoxing wine, kosher salt, sugar, soy sauce, and sweet soy sauce. Add 2 TBSP of vegetable oil to a wok or large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook the rice for 2-3 minutes thoroughly coating the grains in oil. Pour the wine mixture over the rice and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.
Place 2 whole lobsters into the freezer for 30 minutes. Place the rice on top of the lotus leaves in an even layer. Poke holes with the end of a chopstick to create airway passages for the steam. Wrap over any excess leaf and steam the mixture for 30 minutes on high heat.
Break down each lobster by bringing the point of a chef’s knife down and into the head directly behind the eyes. Continue to draw the blade through the front of the head, turn the body, and continue halving through the end of the tail. Be sure to remove the stomach sack behind the eyes and the vein that runs down the back of the lobster tail. You can also remove the stomach. Remove the claws and crack each with the back of a chef’s knife.
Fill each lobster cavity with rice and firmly press the lobsters into the rice, placing claws around the basket. Cover with any excess leaf and steam for 15 – 20 minutes or until the lobster tail and claws are thoroughly cooked. Top with green onions and fried onions shreds.