Bamboo Rice Steamed in Wasabi Leaves
Rice steamed in a wrapping of leaves is nothing new in Asian cuisine. Neither is the pungent flavor of wasabi. When we recently had the opportunity to experiment with fresh, locally grown wasabi, including large, pliable wasabi leaves, it just seemed natural to combine these two distinctive elements of Asian cookery into one satisfying dish.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Turn off the heat and add the rice. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Cover the dried shiitake mushrooms with hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes to soften. Remove the stem with a knife or kitchen shears. Slice the mushrooms thinly into strips.
Cut the scallops into quarters. In a large bowl, mix the rice, sesame oil and salt. Place about a tablespoon of the rice mixture in the center of a wasabi leaf. Place 2 pieces of scallops and a few slices of shiitake mushrooms on top of the rice. Add another tablespoon of rice to cover. Don't overfill or you'll have a hard time folding and tieing the bundle.
Carefully fold the wasabi leaf "burrito style" - first fold the sides over, then the bottom and last the top. Carefully draw the chives between your fingers to flatten them and make them more pliable.
Loop the chives around the wasabi leaf/rice bundle and tie the ends together. Don't pull too hard or the chive will break. Tie another chive around the bundle crossways. The goal is to end up with a square-shaped bundle.
Prepare a steamer basket in a large pan with enough water to completely cover the bottom and bring it to a boil. Place the rice bundles into the steamer, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low.
Steam for about 25 minutes. Serve while still warm.