Lo mai gai
|Lo mai gai|
Lotus leaf wrap
|Place of origin||Guangdong, China|
|Region or state||Cantonese-speaking areas|
|Main ingredient(s)||Glutinous rice filled with chicken, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese sausage, scallions and dried shrimp|
|Variations||Zongzi, Lotus leaf wrap, Bánh chưng, Bánh tét, Bánh tẻ|
|Lo mai gai|
|Literal meaning||glutinous rice with chicken|
Lo mai gai (Cantonese; characters 糯米鸡 nuòmǐ jī in Mandarin), is a classic dim sum dish served during yum cha hours. The dish is also called by the literal English translations such as "steamed sticky rice with chicken in lotus leaf wrap."
Lo mai gai is mostly a southern Chinese food. It contains glutinous rice filled with chicken, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese sausage, scallions and sometimes dried shrimp or salted egg.  The ball of rice is then wrapped in a dried lotus leaf and steamed. In North America, banana, lily, or grape leaves may be used instead.
In Malaysia and Singapore, there are two variants of lo mai gai. The first is the original Cantonese version and the other a takeaway style served at coffee shops and speciality local dim sum shops. The takeaway style has glutinous rice served with chicken and are usually made by companies such as Kong Guan.
Sometimes lo mai gai is divided into smaller wraps, which are known as chun chu gai (Cantonese, 珍珠雞) literally meaning "pearl chicken" in Chinese.
Bánh chưng is the Vietnamese variant of lo mai gai, originating from Vietnam. It's typically in a square prism shape, composed of an exterior layer of sticky rice on all sides, stuffed with mung beans and pork. The pork is usually pork belly (same region where bacon derives from) marinated with fish sauce, black pepper, salt, garlic and may contain other spices and condiments depending on taste. It's typically wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Banh chung is especially served during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year of Tết (coinciding with Chinese New Year). Bánh chưng can be deep-fried instead of being steamed, which is then called bánh chưng rán. Another version of banh chung is bánh tét, which contains mostly the same ingredients and the same cooking method, but it's in a log shape, and can be sweet (not exclusively savoury as banh chung).
Machang (Zongzi or Ma-Chang 肉粽 - a variant of Lo mai gai shaped in a triangular pattern - Chinese food made from sticky rice with chicken or pork adobo inside seasoned with bean sauce. It has also some mushrooms)
- Hsiung, Deh-Ta. Simonds, Nina. Lowe, Jason.  (2005). The food of China: a journey for food lovers. Bay Books. ISBN 978-0-681-02584-4. p27.
- Sunflower (4 July 2009). "Lo Mai Gai 糯米雞 (lotus leaf wrapped chicken rice)". Retrieved 15 August 2012.