2. To begin the dish start with the marinade for the meat and shiitake mushrooms. Place 8 dry shiitake mushrooms into a small bowl then cover with approximately 100ml of warm water. Leave the shiitake mushrooms to sit in the water to form a stock and soften the mushrooms for 20 minutes. Whilst we are waiting on the mushrooms, take 3 chicken thighs and remove the central bone. Now slice into even strips and place into a bowl. When the shitake mushrooms have softened remove from the water (keeping the water for later) then take off the stems of the mushrooms. Add to the bowl of sliced chicken and set to one side.
3. To make a marinade for the chicken and mushrooms, in a separate bowl add 1 tsp finely chopped ginger, 2 tbsps light soy, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp corn flour, 1 tsp black rice vinegar and 1 tsp of white sugar. Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken and mushrooms then mix well and leave to marinade for 20-30 minutes.
4. For the Chinese sausage, peel of the outer skin then slice into thin pieces. Fry the Chinese sausage in a pan with a small drizzle of oil until slightly seared and fragrant. When ready place to one side along with the marinaded chicken and mushrooms for now.
6. Fry the rice on a medium heat until the rice absorbs all of the liquid. When the rice has become almost dry place the rice into a large baking dish and spread into the dish so that its nice and even. Place into a bamboo steamer then steam for 30-45 minutes (depending on the rice used). If you do not have a bamboo steamer then you can simply add the baking tray to a large pan with a small amount of water and cover with a lid. This method will also act in the same way as a steamer.
7. Whilst we are waiting on the rice to cook we can cook the chicken to save us some time. Add the marinated chicken, mushrooms and fried chinese sausage to a pan with a small drizzle of oil. Fry on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. To loosen the mix add 50 ml of water to the pan to form more of a gravy. The sauce will thicken due to the cornflour, when ready remove from the heat and place to one side to slightly cool.
9. Now to serve, remove the bowls from the steamer and place upside down onto a plate. Carefully lift off the bowls and we are set. Top with some chilli oil, chopped chives and fresh chillis if you wish…hope u like making Lo Mai Gai!
Instead of using chicken, you could also add beef or pork belly to this dish. If you find it difficult to find Chinese sausage then salami or another meaty dense type of sausage would work as well or simply leave it out of the recipe. Another way to prepare this dish would be to steam the raw rice and raw chicken together, however, I did find that way takes slightly longer to steam. Have fun making Lo Gai Mai!!