Harmony Rice: Sticky rice wrapped in Lotus leaf with Lily bulbs

Harmony Rice Lotus Chicken

A phonetic play on He 荷 “lotus” and He 和 “harmony”, this is a delicious, calming, and nourishing dish; a perfect treat for these tumultuous times! Steaming rice in dried lotus leaves infuses the rice with a smoky, roasted tea fragrance.

The characters for Lily bulb, Bai he 百合 means “hundred togetherness”. Entering the Heart and Lung meridians, Bai he is sweet, nourishing, and neutral. It is especially good for Lung Yin deficiency, clearing Heat from the Heart and calming the Spirit.

Lotus leaves, or He ye 荷叶 is bitter and slightly sweet, entering the Heart, Liver and Stomach meridians to clear summer heat and dampness, while removing stagnation and heat that has entered the Blood level. In Buddhism, the lotus represents purity of body, speech, and mind.

Red dates, or Hong zao 红枣, one of our favorites, harmonizes the harsh properties of other herbs. In this dish, Hong zao, which enters the Stomach and Spleen, nourishes the Blood and Calms the Spirit. It also adds an interesting note of sweetness to the earthy savoriness of the rice.

Sticky rice 糯米 is sweet and warming, and enters the Lung and Spleen channels to tonify blood, strengthen the Spleen and warm the Stomach.


(makes 2 packets)

  • 38 g fresh or 30 g /1 oz dried Bai he (Lilium brownii)
  • 1 whole dried He ye (Nelumbo nucifera leaf)
  • 150 g/ 5 oz Boneless chicken thighs, small cubes
  • 2 Eggs (optional)
  • 4 small Shiitake mushrooms (Letinus edodes), fresh or reconstituted dried
  • 2-3 Red dates (Ziziphus jujube), pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups cooked *Sticky rice (Glutinous rice)
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tbs Cooking oil

Marinade for Chicken

  • 2 tsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp Sesame oil
  • ½ tsp Water chestnut starch or cornstarch


  • 2 Tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs light soy sauce

Cooking Instructions

  1. Marinate chicken for at least 20 minutes
  2. Wash and blanch the lotus leaf in boiling water; remove tough stem, cut in two, set aside
  3. If fresh, tear lily bulb into segments and wash; blanch in hot water
  4. If dried, soak lily bulb in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain
  5. Remove stems and thinly slice Shiitake
  6. Whisk eggs
  7. Heat oil in pan, stir fry ginger.
  8. Add chicken to pan and stir fry until browned
  9. Add eggs, stir
  10. Add in remaining ingredients and seasoning; continue to stir fry for 5-8 minutes
  11. Mix with cooked sticky rice
  12. Spoon mixture onto center of lotus leaf, fold into a square packet
  13. Steam for ½ hour, serve and enjoy!

*approx. ¾ c uncooked rice, soaked for 2 hours, then steamed


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