December 30, 2011

Garlic Chicken on Bok Choy Rice Cakes

garlic chicken on bok choy rice cakes
I don’t normally post two days in a row but these were so good that I couldn’t wait to share them, especially because I want to make sure you have time to prepare them for your New Year’s Eve party – they’d be perfect! Little pieces of chicken are coated in a sweet, garlicky sauce and placed atop bites of cool sticky rice mixed with bok choy and green onions. It’s kind of like sushi, but easier!

These might look difficult to make, especially if you’ve already scrolled down to take a look at the recipe, but trust me that they’re not! I have absolutely no experience with sushi or even sticky rice, but I had no problem making these on my own. It also probably looks like there are a lot of ingredients to buy, but most of the ingredients were things I already had in my fridge or cupboard so I didn’t have to buy much. The one thing I had trouble finding was the black sesame seeds – my dad and I searched through Loblaws and Bulk Barn with no luck, then went to an Asian grocery store where after searching every aisle, we finally found them in the last place we checked. I don’t think they’re that essential for taste though, so if you can’t find them, just use regular sesame seeds or leave them out. Or you can try to see how kind a sushi bar employee is by asking them to lend you a couple tablespoons of black sesame seeds – I was too shy to ask :)

garlic chicken on bok choy rice cakes
I served these to my parents as a pre-dinner appetizer the last two nights in a row, and both times they couldn’t stop raving about them. They’re not only tasty but also look so pretty and elegant, which is why they’d be the perfect thing to impress your guests on New Year’s Eve or at any other party. The rice cakes can be made up to two days in advance, then you can cut up the chicken and make the sauce early in the day, so all you have to do when you’re ready to serve them is cook the chicken and place it on the rice cakes. Even if you don’t have a party to serve these at, I hope you’ll still try them for yourself!

I wish you all a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and hope you come back early in the New Year for my round-up of my favourite dishes of 2011!

garlic chicken on bok choy rice cakes
Garlic Chicken on Bok Choy Rice Cakes

Adapted from LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, Holiday 2011

Makes about 25 portions


For the Rice Cakes:

2 cups (uncooked) short or medium-grain sticky rice (Japanese-style rice used for making sushi)
1 cup finely diced bok choy stalks and greens (from about 2 large stalks)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds

For the Chicken:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 250g or 8oz total)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons sherry
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 green onions, finely shredded, for garnish


For the Rice Cakes:

Cook sticky rice according to package directions. Once cooked and while still hot, stir bok choy, green onions, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and sesame oil into the pot and stir to mix evenly with the rice. Scrape mixture into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Use the back of a large spoon to spread the rice in an even layer covering the pan. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Use a 1.5-inch round cookie cutter to cut the rice into about 25 cakes (or as many as you can get). I didn’t have a round cutter so I simply cut out circles freehand using a knife. If you have troubles cutting round circles, use a small shotglass as a guide to cut around. Discard excess rice and return the cakes, covered, to the refrigerator until ready to use. Finished cakes can be made up to 2 days in advance.

For the Chicken:

Slice chicken breast across the width into thin (1/4” thick) slices, then cut each slice into 1 inch pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, brown sugar, sherry, soy sauce, chili sauce, and garlic.

Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a small plate. Pour sauce mixture into pan, bring to a boil and reduce by half, or until sauce is thick and glossy. Return chicken to the pan with the sauce and simmer for about 30 seconds until chicken is cooked through, stirring to coat with the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil.

To Assemble:

Use tongs to place warm chicken on top of individual rice cakes. Top each with a small garnish of shredded green onion.


  1. This looks and sounds yummy. I am wondering: Could you place the rice mixture in plastic wrap, make a tube, refrigerate and then slice it into little disks? Would this work?

  2. @Angela
    Good question, Angela .. I'm not sure! The method from the recipe worked pretty well (even without a cookie cutter), but did end up with wasted rice at the end, which I guess you wouldn't have with your method. It seems to me like it might be tricky trying to roll the rice in plastic and get an even tube out of it, but if you've done something similar before then you might have no problem with it! The rice mixture was very sticky and packed together quite well, so I imagine your idea would work, but I can't be sure..Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

  3.  These are absolutely gorgeous!  I will have to give them a try.


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