Thanksgiving reunites family and friends and reminds us of how thankful we should all be to spend this holiday together. Celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. is like having a big party on Noah’s Ark. Although we might have different ethnicity, have ancestors dating back to the Mayflower, or have arrived last week, on Thanksgiving, we come together.
It is really uncertain whether the Pilgrims and Indians included turkey in their original celebrations, or whether there was any stuffing or dressing to speak of, as we know it today. The truth is that Thanksgiving dinner has evolved, just as Americans have, and immigrants from all countries around the world have added their own special touch to the Thanksgiving feast. The “typical stuffing or dressing” of today may include Polish sausage, oysters, cornbread, pecans and even gluten-free quinoa, just to name a few.
At Yu’s New Beijing, we would like to share with you this mouth-watering Chinese-inspired stuffing recipe: Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, roasted water chestnuts, and of course, sticky rice, that is bound to make any palate jump with Thanksgiving joy!
RICE, SAUSAGE AND MUSHROOMS STUFFING/DRESSING
- 1-1/2 c. sweet (glutinous) Chinese short-grain sticky rice
- 1/2 c. pine nuts
- 1 c. water
- 1-1/2 c. roasted and peeled water chestnuts
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. Chinese sausage, thinly sliced (may substitute with chorizo, if not available)
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms (no stems), thinly sliced
- 1 c. chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Rice: Soak for Four Hours and Drain
Four hours before beginning the preparation of this dish, cover the sticky rice with room-temperature water and soak. At the end of the four hours, drain the water.
Pine Nuts: Toast
In a small skillet, dry-toast the pine nuts over moderate heat for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.
Chestnuts: Boil and Reduce
In a medium saucepan, combine the water chestnuts with 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp. of sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the chestnuts are soft. Add 1 tbsp. of butter and continue simmering for another 5-6 minutes or until the water/butter combination has evaporated. Do not let the chestnuts burn.
Garlic and Onions: Sauté
In a large saucepan or wok, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic and shallots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft, stirring occasionally.
Sausage and Mushrooms: Add to Mixture and Sauté
Add sausage and mushroom to garlic/shallot mixture and sauté until sausage is no longer pink.
Rice and Stock: Add to Mixture, Mix and Simmer
Add rice to garlic/shallot/sausage/mushroom mixture and stir until well mixed. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and add stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it come to a boil and reduce heat immediately. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until done. Let mixture rest to room temperature.
Put It All Together: Rice Mixture, Pine Nuts and Chestnuts
When the rice mixture is at room temperature, fold in the pine nuts and the water chestnuts. Serve as a side dish, or use for turkey stuffing, following safe turkey stuffing guidelines. When serving, garnish with thinly sliced green onion.
Happy Thanksgiving from Yu’s New Beijing!