Asian markets sell dried lotus leaves in cellophane packets, and they require rehydration before using. Look for glutinous ricealso known as sticky riceat well-stocked Asian markets. A popular rice from Southeast Asia, glutinous rice has large, opaque grains that cling together when prepared. It is best cooked in a steamer, not directly in water, so use a vegetable steamer or the traditional Asian woven basket set over water. Cook the rice, covered, over boiling water for about 30 minutes, or until the grains are tender. Japanese sushi rice is not a substitute because it does not have the same sticky consistency. This recipe makes 12 rolls.
Soak lotus leaves in water for 20 minutes. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms, if using, in boiling water for 30 minutes to reconstitute, and cut into thin strips when soft. Alternatively, wash fresh shiitake mushrooms, and cut into thin strips.
Rinse rice in warm water in a large bowl 3 or 4 times, or until water runs clear. Steam rice until tender, for about 30 minutes.
Mix mushrooms, bamboo shoots, 12/3 cups water, soy sauce, salt and black pepper thoroughly into rice. Add sesame oil to mixture, but do not stir, as oil will permeate mixture.
Meanwhile, use a clean dishcloth or paper towel to wipe off soaked lotus leaves. Cut each of the leaves into 4 small pieces, and place flat on work surface.
Divide cooked rice mixture into 12 equal portions. Make rolls by placing rice mixture on one end of leaf. Fold sides in over filling, tucking leaf in tightly and rolling carefully. Tuck ends underneath.
Place rolls in a steamer, and steam for 10 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from steamer, and serve.