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Lotus leaves, wine sediment

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Dear Fellow Chowhounds:

I am looking for dried lotus leaves (presumably the same as lily pads?. I've never looked for them before. Can I get them at the Hong Kong Supermarket on Pike St. and East Broadway? If not, where? And do they have a Chinese name I should look for?

Also, a Chinese recipe calls for the sediment that remains after wine is made. Unfortunately, the cookbook does not give a Chinese name for the stuff, so I have no idea how or where to look for it. Please help if you can. BTW, this is for my father, who can't have red wine or grape juice, though white wine and rice wine are fine for him.

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  1. Hi Pan -- I'm pretty sure dried lotus leaves are pretty easy to find in any good Chinese supermarket, but it's been awhile since I've purchased them myself. HK Supermarket should have them. They're most commonly used to wrap sticky rice and other goodies in before steaming (what we call lo mai gai at dim sum).

    As for the wine dregs, wow that sounds tough. I doubt that you'll find it commercially packaged for sale since most consider it inedible. Maybe a wine-making store can put you in contact with someone who might give you some? There used to be a place down on Spring St, but I don't know if it's still there.

    Good luck, and let us know what you do with the stuff when you find it!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dennison

      I think what you may be looking for is wine rice, or red rice wine lees - I have seen it in the refrigerator area at HK Supermarket and other chinese stores. It is used in the fukianese cuisine (those red dishes) among other things. I think there may be a white version too - I will consult my cookbooks tonight.

      1. re: jen kalb

        That sounds promising, Jen. How will I recognize it when I see it?

        1. re: Pan

          Ok, there appear to be a number of different products. I havent actually cooked with any of these bty.

          Putting cookbook (Florence Lin and Irene Kuo) together with other stuff I have read, I get this:

          Wine Paste (Chiu Tsao): the residue left from the production of rice wine, which is used to preserve and season some fish and veg. Also called sako kosa in Japan and used there. Packed in sealed plastic bags; needs refrigeration.

          Red fermented rice (Hung Mi) dried after fermentation and adds color and rich flavor to meat and poultry - available in chinese grocery stores, in plastic bags.

          Wine rice (Chiu Niang) -glutinous rice grains fermented with wine yeast and soaked in liquid and sold in glass jars. Must be refrigerated. Kuo says this is used to create a deeper wine flavor in sauces or hot broth - for example a dessert soup with mini glutinous rice balls and mandarin oranges. If you every had the banquet dessert soup Grand Szechuan Intl serves, you had this product.

          I believe that in addition to the foregoing, I have seen moist, jarred red fermented rice (perhaps in wine lees)in chinatown groceries. Since my cookbooks really predate the explosion of fujianese population and cooking in NY which features this ingredient, will have to look around a bit more to identify exactly what you are looking for for your recipe.

          Hope the above is some help.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Thanks, Jen. I'll forward this to my father for him to look it over.

            Is Chinatown still smoky lately? Some smoke is smellable(?) in the East Village tonight.