Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf Wrap | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf Wrap

Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf, a Hong Kong style dim sum

I’m glad that Ju, a reader of my blog, asked for this recipe, which I already had it high on my agenda. Ju advised me that she always ordered this (荷葉飯) as a dim sum in restaurants, and I want to tell her that I also like to serve this as a one dish meal at home, one but satisfying dish indeed.

But there was a delay since I had been looking for good quality shrimps in the size of my little finger for making this. After taking several tours to the wet markets, they were still out of sight. On the day when I intended to give up and tried to convince myself to substitute the frozen shrimps by dried shrimps, I had an unexpected nice discovery of some bigger prawns.

While I had to console my upset wallet, I was happy doing less work in removing the many fine digestive cords otherwise would have been required if using smaller shrimps. With this species, however, I needed only three of them.

Ingredients for Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf

It doesn’t matter whether you use big or small shrimps for making this, just make sure they are of good quality. Although the shrimps make up more or less the same amount as other fillings, restaurants like to highlight their presence by naming this dim sum as Steamed Rice with Shrimps in Lotus Leaf Wrap (鮮蝦荷葉飯).

  • Ingredients
  • 1-2 dried lotus leaves
  • ~ 2 cups cooked rice, I use jasmine rice
  • ~ 50g peeled shrimps, deveined and diced
  • 3-4 dried black mushrooms
  • 2-3 dried scallops, soak and tear them into strips, reserve water
  • 1 Chinese preserved sausage (lap cheong), coarsely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig spring onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Marinade for shrimps
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • Seasonings
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp water

Ingredients for Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf
Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf Step by Step

Mix the seasoned rice in the saucepan used for cooking the fillings is both easy and convenient, while helping to reduce the cleaning tasks.

Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf Step by Step
Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf Step by Step


In a wok or large pot, bring about 6 cups of water to a simmer, briefly scald lotus leaf until softened, turn over one or twice if required. Drain it in a colander, let cool and wipe dry.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, sauté sliced shallot until fragrant. Start adding in Chinese preserved sausage, dried black mushrooms, shrimps and dried scallop one by one until each is aromatic, stirring constantly.

Mix in seasonings and cook well, about one more minute.

Drizzle two tea spoons of soy sauce into the cooked rice little by little, mix well – I find it best done by using chopsticks or wet (and cleaned) fingers. Then, mix together the seasoned rice, spring onion and all the cooked ingredients.

Lay the lotus leaf on a flat plate, greener side up. I usually bend a small part of the center, which is always hard to flattened, toward one side, keeping it flattened and folded on the back.

Fill the center of leaf with mixed rice. Fold sides toward the center like wrapping a parcel, tuck the end of the last side and tuck into the fold.

Place the lotus wrap on a plate. Fill wok with water, bring it to a boil, place rack (or steamer) over boiling water, cover with lid and steam over high heat for ten minutes.

Handle the hot dish with care, cut an opening on top of the lotus leaf wrap before serving.

Serve hot. Enjoy!

Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf

The Chinese preserved sausage, dried black mushrooms, and dried scallops are prepared the same way as I did for Turnip Cake, from which you may read more on the preparations.

Although leftover rice can be used to make this, ideally, it is better to cook the rice with chicken stock or with water reserved from soaking the dried scallops.

You may also want to add an fried egg (shredded) into the rice to make the dish look more vibrant, resembling those served in some Chinese restaurants. Some even fry the egg together with the rice.

If there are small holes or breakage over the lotus leaf, cut a sector from another blanched lotus leaf to cover. Or, simply use two leaves.

Where to buy? Have you ever seen lotus leaves?

In the previous recipe which I used lotus leaves for steaming chicken, I learned from my other readers that lotus leaves are not available in their places. If you happen to see them around, dried or fresh, I would appreciate it if you could share the information with us, thank you!

Fresh leaves can also be used for making this wrap; just clean and wipe dry but skip blanching.

Tell you one of my lazy secrets, I sometimes actually serve rice topped with the other ingredients without steaming in the lotus leaf. But this is additive too!

Rice Steamed in Lotus Leaf Step by Step

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  1. Jane

    Wonderful blog. I stumbled upon it while searching for a steamed egg recipe. I’m definitely going to be a regular reader from now on 🙂

  2. TasteHongKong

    Welcome! Feel free to surf around and enjoy.
    Thanks for your kind words and hope to hear from you regularly.

  3. milkitchen

    Another fabulous dish. I like the lotus leaf rice too but I always thought it is cooked with glutinous rice. Do you know if this dish can be cooked the same way using the glutinous rice?

  4. Juliana

    Wow, your rice looks so yummie with all the ingredients in it…no wonder is so satisfying…beautiful pictures as always.
    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  5. TasteHongKong

    Yes, there is another lotus leaf wrap cooked with glutinous rice but it is not prepared the same way as this. The classic one is filled with chicken meat which we call it Lo Mai Gai 糯米雞.
    With similar ingredients, I like cooking glutinous rice without wrapping in lotus leaf and using dried shrimps than frozen shrimps. It is a dish I feel warm eating with so it is usually made during winter.

  6. milkitchen

    Ah yes 糯米雞 is the one! I look forward to your post of this dish in winter!! 🙂 I have cooked glutinous rice without the lotus leaf once. I used chicken, mushroom and peanuts, stir fry and then steam them….but your dried shrimp sounds like a great idea too!

  7. tigerfish

    I am drooling big time! I enjoy this dish very much but it is not easy to find in Chinese (Cantonese) restaurants. Only those old-school Cantonese restaurants will have this item. And I love that you use fresh prawns. Look at the prawns – so beautifully fresh! Well worth the wait 😀

  8. TasteHongKong

    I also mean cooking glutinous rice without lotus leaf, not 糯米雞 : ), sometimes steamed, sometimes stir-fried (生炒糯米飯). Any chance to see yours?

    You are right, not many restaurants make this nowadays. That gives us one more reason to enjoy it at home : )

  9. Mary Moh

    Wow…this looks like from the restaurant! I bet yours is much nicer with all those beautiful ingredients in it. I love all those prawns there. Never seen such type before. And the way you wrap it is soooo neat!

  10. penny aka jeroxie

    I am so so making this!! thanks for the recipe. xoxo

  11. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    thanks for sharing this! This is one of my favourite rice dishes 🙂 Looks so lovely too!

  12. lena

    we can get this here in the dim sum restaurants but with very less ingredients. Dont dream of getting prawns, they use dried prawns, mushrooms and sausages. Maureen, you’re really good, can see how this is being neatly wrapped!

  13. TasteHongKong

    @Mary Moh,
    Thank you!

  14. TasteHongKong

    You could make this too if you wish to, there is no tricks : ).
    Thanks lena!

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  16. ju

    Thanks for attending to my request. Can’t wait to try this recipe. But first I must look for lotus leaves. Don’t think I can wrap a neat parcel like yours as I hv clumsy hands. Can I add the soya sauce to rice before cooking in rice cooker? Can I replace with cooked glutinous rice?

  17. myFudo

    Wow!! this looks good. am craving for it already. Love the post

  18. TasteHongKong

    You are welcome, I actually enjoyed this very much. Hope you will very soon find lotus leaves, dried or fresh are both fine for making this. Adding soy sauce to the cooked rice is not only to season but also to color it; the color may be less significant if it goes in before cooking, unless you put in a large amount of sauce. You may use glutinous rice BUT the wrap will resemble a Lo Mai Gai.
    Have fun cooking and enjoy soon!

  19. TasteHongKong

    Thank you, and hope you have enjoyed this.

  20. Mei Teng

    Love this dish. Usually served at wedding dinners.

  21. Mei Teng

    By the way, I quit blogging. I am contactable at and I am listed on and as meiteng.

  22. TasteHongKong

    @Mei Teng,
    Excuse me! I missed out your last comment which was captured inside the spam box. I enjoyed your pictures … the bird couple, the big cat … Hope you also enjoy the journey with your MarkII : ).

  23. Jean

    This happen to be one of my most favorite dim sums as well. Just had a post for making pan fried Chinese chive dumpling @ It’s Monday morning now. But can’t wait for Saturday already 🙁

  24. Shannon Jackson

    I have home grown lotus leaves an was looking for a recipe for my favorite dim sum, will try soon. They should be dry able in the microwave

  25. TasteHongKong

    @Shannon Jackson,
    Hope it works!