Holiday Feast Recipe: Chinese rice stuffing from Chantecler’s Jonathan Poon

Holiday Feast Recipe: Chinese rice stuffing from Chantecler’s Jonathan Poon

Jonathan Poon trained at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Noma in Denmark, but his real skills come from years of teenage gastro-nerdery—he spent his after-school hours testing recipes from food blogs. Now he makes his own creations at Chantecler, his tiny Asian-Canadian place on west Queen West. This rice stuffing is a great option for the bread-averse.

Jonathan Poon’s Chinese Rice Stuffing

Serves 12 to 8


  • 5⅓ cups sticky rice
  • 3 tbsp dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 lbs fresh chestnuts, about 3 cups
  • 4 dried Chinese sausages (lap cheong)
  • 1 cup scallion, coarsely chopped, about 1 bunch
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar


1. Place rice in a bowl. Cover with cold water. Let stand overnight.

2. Drain rice in a fine metal strainer. Set strainer over, but not in, a pot of simmering water, ensuring water is not touching rice. Cover and let steam 45 to 55 minutes until rice is tender. Immediately spread rice out over a tray and let cool. This will take about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place mushrooms in a bowl. Pour just enough hot water overtop to cover. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Drain and reserve mushroom liquid. Finely dice mushrooms and set aside.

4. Using a small serrated knife, carefully score each chestnut with an X. Place in a pot. Cover with water. Season water with a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and a dash of soy sauce. Boil for 20 to 30 minutes until the skin comes off easily and the flesh of the chestnut is soft. When still warm but cool enough to handle, peel chestnuts. Break into small pieces and set aside.

5. Finely dice sausage. Set a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add sausages. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until they begin to crisp. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate.

6. Pour broth and reserved mushroom liquid in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until reduced by half. Add butter and soy sauce. Turn the rice into a large bowl. Pour just enough broth over the rice to moisten. Gently stir in sausages, chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and sugar. Taste and season with salt, if you like. Serve alongside turkey.

For a celiac-friendly stuffing, sub in wheat-free soy sauce, available at The Big Carrot. 348 Danforth Ave., 416-466-2129. Asian ingredients like sticky rice, dried shiitakes and lap cheong can be found at Oriental Harvest in Chinatown. 310 Spadina Ave., 416-581-8666.

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$22 | Tuscany | 91 points
Mid-weight, savoury sangiovese stands up to all the heavy sides, but it’s often overlooked because it’s Italian (and turkey dinner is not). Made from the sangiovese grosso clone, this sturdy red exudes currant, raspberry, cedar and herb aromas. Vintages. LCBO 942094
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