Cookbook Profile

Pan-Asian Rice Dressing

Pan-Asian Rice Dressing

Serves 10 to 12


The unique foods of Thanksgiving aren't part of the traditional Asian diet. To bridge this gap, I researched recipes and found delicious stuffings that use rice, ginger, chestnuts, and even Chinese sausage. On Thanksgiving, many Asian American families serve roasted duck instead of turkey. The essential spirit of the holiday is inclusiveness, regardless of foods served.

Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swish the rice, washing it in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. This removes the residual starch. Drain in a sieve. Place the rice in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and add 3-1/2 cups water. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the rice at a bare simmer for 15 minutes. As tempting as it might be, don't remove the lid and peek at any point, or all the steam will escape. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet to dry a bit. (Alternatively, use a rice cooker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.)

Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in a bowl and add just enough hot water to cover the mushrooms by 1 inch. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the water to help keep the mushrooms submerged. Soak the mushrooms for about 20 minutes until softened. Drain the mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl to catch the mushroom soaking liquid. Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. Trim and discard the mushroom stems and cut the caps into thin slices. Set aside.

Place a 14-inch wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat and add the peanut oil. Swirl to coat the wok and heat the oil just until it begins to smoke. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the carrots, water chestnuts, and sausage and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until the carrots and water chestnuts are crisp-tender and the sausages are heated through and caramelized at the edges. Add the mushrooms and turkey giblets and stir-fry for 1 minute longer. Stir in the reserved rice, mushroom liquid, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes until the rice is hot. Add the green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute longer. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately, or keep warm for up to 1 hour.

Cook's Notes

I prefer to buy fresh water chestnuts, available in Asian markets, because they have a sweet, nutty flavor and crunchy texture that is lost when they are processed and canned. That said, the fresh ones are a bit of a chore to peel and prepare. Use them if you, or a kitchen helper, has time to prepare them. Scrub them thoroughly to get off any mud clinging to the skins and use a sharp paring knife to peel them. Slice them crosswise into rounds.

Chinese pork sausage, or laap cheong, is a dried, hard sausage typically made from pork and pork fat that has been seasoned, sweetened, and smoked. It is sold unpackaged in Asian markets often tied in clusters and hanging above the meat counter, or it is sold in vacuum-sealed packages in the refrigerated case in Asian supermarkets.

Do Ahead

The rice dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before reheating. Reheat in a 250 degrees F oven in a covered, oven-to-table casserole. Alternatively, the rice dressing can be transferred to a covered, microwave-safe casserole and reheated in the microwave on high.


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This page created November 2009