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8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice
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Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive outfits, and of course special foods. Dishes that symbolize luck and prosperity, long life, and family are especially popular. This 8 Treasure Rice is another classic Lunar New Year dish. Not to be confused with the dessert rice dish of the same name, this is super savory and packed with luxurious ingredients fit for a royal celebration. Juicy chicken thighs, scallops, dried shrimp, and shiitakes mingle with other goodies like roasted chestnuts, lotus root and crispy shallots. The eight treasures get quickly stir fried and then mixed into perfectly steamed rice. This is a feast for the senses, so let’s get into it!

ingredients for 8 treasure rice

Dried ingredients are usually more intense than fresh. Sun dried tomatoes, dried porcinis, dried herbs…they all lend a deeper flavor than their fresh counterparts. I make use of that in my 8 Treasure Rice with dried scallops, shrimp, and shiitakes. So I start this recipe by soaking them. (The rich soaking liquid will be used later on.)

 

Make sure to remember to save the soaking water!

Then I get the rice started so that it’s piping hot when everything else is ready. (If you need a refresher on making perfect rice, start here.) Traditionally, this dish is made with sticky rice and then wrapped in Ti leaves and steamed. This is a simpler version but if you feel inclined to soak and steam some sticky rice, that is a great option.

Once the rice is begun, I get everything prepped. I peel and dice the lotus root. It also gets soaked in water right until I start cooking because otherwise, like a potato, it will discolor.

sliced lotus 8 treasure

carrot diced rice

chicken 8 treasure rice

When everything is prepped I gather it all within reach; it will be quickly stir fried. Closeup shot of all 8 of our treasures:

I also have the sauce ingredients at the ready as the sauce gets made directly in the pan while cooking.

chicken onions 8 treasure rice

soy sauce rice

shrimp treasure

Taste and add more salt or white pepper as needed. Now the only thing left do is to transfer the 8 Treasure Rice to a serving platter and garnish with the minced scallions.

If you want to round out your Lunar New Year meal try serving 8 Treasure Rice with Shanghai Bok Choy and Almond Cookies. Hopefully this becomes part of your family’s treasured traditions too. Let me know in the comments what you think, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe closeup 8 treasure rice

8 Treasure Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: appetizer
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh, diced small
  • ½ large onion, diced small
  • 1 small carrot, diced small
  • lotus root, peeled, diced small, and soaking in water to prevent discoloration
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 dried scallops
  • 3 Tablespoons dried shrimp
  • ¼ cup cooked shelled edamame soy beans
  • ½ cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, about 8 pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons crispy shallots
  • 2 Scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 Cups freshly cooked rice

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • A couple dashes Ground White Pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and dried scallops in 2 cups of warm water for 20-30 minutes in a medium bowl (put something like a small dish on top of the ingredients to keep them submerged). Pour the soaking liquid into a separate container and save (You need 1 cup. If you don’t have enough soaking liquid, add a little water so you have 1 cup). Set the ingredients aside.
  2. If you haven’t started making the rice yet, start it now. You want to use freshly steamed rice that is piping hot for this dish. 
  3. Trim and discard the shiitake stem. Slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.
  4. Drain the lotus root just before starting to cook.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil and chicken.
  6. Let the chicken cook for 1 minute untouched and then break it up and stir fry for another minute. 
  7. Add the onions and carrots and continue stir frying for another minute. Add the drained lotus root and shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for another couple minutes.
  8. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan: Oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and 1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid. 
  9. Bring the pan to a  simmer and add the dried shrimp and the scallops. Stir the ingredients together. 
  10. Add a couple dashes of the white pepper, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
  11. Turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.
  12. Once the rice is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the saucy ingredients, edamame, and chestnuts and gently combine the ingredients together using a slight chopping motion to prevent the rice from being crushed.
  13. Add the sesame oil and crispy shallots and mix again.
  14. Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
  15. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the minced scallions.
  16. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This dish is delicious hot, warm, or room temperature.

*Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Gently microwave for several  minutes before serving.

*You can substitute any of the ingredients if they are difficult to source or you don’t want to bother. The idea is to keep the ingredients special. So you can use fresh shrimp and scallops instead of the dried, adding them in right after the sauce ingrdients. Use other vegetables such as diced snap/snow peas, wild mushrooms, or zucchini. And if you’re vegetarian, use tofu or a meat substitute for the protein along with a vegetarian oyster sauce or hoisin sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.

Keywords: lunar new year, chinese new year, rice


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