Treasure Fragrant Rice


6 large arrowroot bulbs, peeled
2 Chinese preserved pork sausages
2 Chinese preserved liver sausages
1 large piece dried sweet barbecued pork (bakwa)
1 homemade waxed chicken leg (see recipe below)
50g dried shrimp
3 tbsp cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed once and drained well in a fine strainer
3 cups water
Seasonings - Combine:
1 tsp chicken stock powder
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce (kicap manis)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
3 stallks spring onions, chopped, for garnishing
If arrowroot heads suddenly run out of stock due to the festive shopping frenzy, replace them with deep fried orange sweet potato or yam cubes. Homemade Waxed Chicken can be made well in advance. Keep it frozen immersed in its baking oil. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the chiller. I prefer to use kicap manis compared to typical dark soy sauce because it give a good balance of sweet salty flavours and golden brown tones.


1.Preparation: Cut arrowroot lengthwise into quarters and soak in salted water till ready to use. Soak both types of preserved sausages in hot water in a deep dish till the casings start to separate. Remove casings. Slice pork sausages diagonally. Slice liver sausages vertically into thick chunks to prevent breakage. Cut bakwa into 2 cm squares. Slice waxed chicken leg. Soak dried shrimps in hot water for 30 minutes, till soft. Drain.
2.Heat up cooking oil in a wok. Stir fry garlic till fragrant. Add dried shrimp and fry till slightly crispy. Add in arrowroot and fry till fragrant.
3.Add rice and combined seasonings. Stir fry to mix till well combined.
4.Gently fold in the preserved sausages, bakwa and waxed chicken.
5.Transfer everything to a rice cooker with water. Cook until done.
6.Fluff up rice and ingredients gently with a fork.
7.Serve hot in bowls, garnished with spring onions.
8.Homemade Waxed Chicken Recipe: Clean 2 large whole chicken legs thoroughly, trim off any surplus fat, but leave the skins on. Pat dry thoroughly with kitchen paper towels. Rub all over with 2 tbsp fine salt including beneath the skin. Place on a rack over a plate and refrigerate for 24 hours. Transfer chicken to a deep casserole, pour in cooking oil to cover completely. Cover casserole with aluminium foil. Bake in a preheated 100 deg C oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool completely without removing foil. When cold transfer chicken and oil to an airtight container and cover. Make sure chicken is fully immersed in oil. Keep chilled for up to 2 days till ready to use. Otherwise, keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to use, remove chicken from oil, and slice.

Treasure Fragrant Rice

Gong Xi! Gong Xi! Bountifully welcome this lunar new year with our Treasure Fragrant Rice. Cook this flavorful, savory dish filled with treasures of waxed meats, dried sweet barbecued pork (bakwa) and arrowhead root for your family and friends.

Arrowhead roots (see koo or nga koo in Cantonese) are crisp, white fleshed bulbs appearing in early spring. Interestingly, they taste like a cross between a potato and a water chestnut. Besides making the ever popular nga koo crisps, Chinese like to pair them with seasonal meat delicacies such as preserved sausages and waxed duck.

As an alternative to waxed duck, I will teach you how to easily make your own waxed chicken which is similar to a confit. The waxed chicken goes so well with this Treasure Fragrant Rice.

To all Dish By Ili fans – Have a wonderful Year of the Boar, filled with Treasures of Health, Wealth and Happiness!

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