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Steamed Chicken in Lotus Leaf

Steamed Chicken in Lotus Leaf
Steamed Chicken in Lotus Leaf pictures (4 of 4)

I have always loved sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf (荷叶饭), commonly available at Cantonese dim sum restaurants. I love the earthy aroma lotus leaves impart to the dish, and most of all, I love it that the leaves retain the moisture and natural flavors of the ingredients. The leafy nuance and fragrance complement and not compete with the preparation. Lotus leaf is really wonderful and I wonder why it’s not as widely used in home-cooking as it should be. So, I decided to purchase a pack of lotus leaf and try it out in my everyday Chinese cooking.

I used the lotus leaf to make steamed chicken—a common Chinese dish. After the first bite of the deeply flavorful and nicely-scented chicken, I have only regretted it has taken me this long to attempt using lotus leaf in my kitchen, when it was fairly easy and so convenient.  With the experiment last night, I resolve to use it more and a few ideas have popped-up in my mind: sticky rice, salt-baked chicken, steamed spare ribs, and maybe even beggar’s chicken. I am so thrilled with the many possibilities…

Below is my steamed chicken recipe. You can make the steamed chicken regularly without wrapping it with lotus leaves, but trust me, once you do it this way, you will probably never go back to the plain version.

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26 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. June

    This steamed chicken looks really good, I can imagine the good taste. Where did you get the lotus leaf?

  2. Yea, wanted to ask the same question regarding where you get the lotus leaves. There are some Cantonese restaurants that serve lotus leaf fried rice…it is very very delicious if done well :)

  3. JessS

    Whoa, that looks so good and definitely reminds me of 2 of my favorite dishes at a dim sum restaraunt. I live in Baltimore and haven’t been able to find lap cheong anywhere, do you know if they allowed to sell them online? I’ve looked on amazon but doesn’t quite look right. Anyhow, love your blog and this recipe looks so delicious.

  4. Hi Bee, are dried lotus leaves easier to handle than fresh ones? I have seen the dried ones sold at Chinese medical halls and I am wondering if after soaking, they would be more pliable than the fresh leaves…

    • Shirley – I have never used fresh lotus leaf before so I don’t know the texture but the dried ones are pretty easy to handle, after blanching in hot water. You should try it out.

  5. I love this dish, just wondering why not making it recently. I should better take yours as a reminder, thanks.

    While dried lotus leaves are popular here for preparing different dishes, we also like to cook the fresh ones with winter melon as a soup during summer, which is said to help reduce dampness and heat in our bodies : ).

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