wrapped lotus leaves
I havn't been able to fine any stuffed lotus leaves in chinatown or anywhere else lately, anybody have any suggestions? I don't have to limit it to Chinatown and would be willing to go to to one of the other chinatowns if need be. Any help would be great, thants, Chef
Sticky rice is usually stuffed in banana leaves, a southern Chinese street food called "Zhong Zi." Lotus leaves are used with more delicate versions of the dish, usually served at a nicer Cantonese restaurant. You can usually find lotus leaves version of these dishes at dim sum (try Palace 88, Golden Unicorn, Ping's) or for dinner at Oriental Garden, arguably the best food out of all of the choices.
They're two totally different dishes/products, and they both can made with sticky rice. The lotus leaf ones are sold in restaurants, usually at dim sum joints. The sticky rice is cooked first, and then stuffed into the lotus leaves along with various meats, saussage, shitakes, and sometimes lily buds. Then they're steamed briefl--just long enough to heat through and for the lotus leaf to impart a slight herbal essence to the rice.
The Zhong Zi (or Joong in Cantonese) that you're referring to are actually wrapped in bamboo leaves. They can be made with sticky rice or regular long grain rice. The rice is stuffed into the leaves raw, along with various cured meats (including pork belly), sausage, split mung beans, chestnuts, and preserved, brined egg yolks. These are then tied with string to secure and boiled for hours to cook through. They're usually made in the beginning of summer for a special Chinese holiday, but can often be found and eaten on the go as street-food. They're packed tight enough so that you can eat it in hand, like a banana. The lotus leaf ones are usually packed looser, and not as dense.
Are you referring to the steamed lotus leaves stuffed with sticky rice and assorted meats? If so, I see them all the time in Chinatown at most of the dim sum joints and coffee shops. If you're looking to get them to-go, they have them at Century Cafe on Bowery (as well as at the Century Cafe on Ave. U, off of Ocean Ave, in the smaller of the Bklyn satellite Chinatowns). You can also get a vegetarian version at Vegetarian Dim Sum House on Pell St.