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Chinese Sticky Rice
5 from 5 votes
Servings: 6
Author: Lisa Lin

Steamed Chinese Sticky Rice

It is very important that you soak the rice ahead. Otherwise, the rice will not cook completely within the timeframe outlined below. The taro is optional in this recipe.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Inactive Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 15 mins



  • 1 1/2 cups sticky rice (about 350g), soaked for 6 to 8 hours
  • water for cooking the rice

Flavoring Bits

  • 3 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried scallops, soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1 link Chinese sausage, finely chopped (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Chinese cured pork, also called Chinese bacon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cooking rice wine (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Taro (if using)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 2 cups peeled and diced taro, (see note 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional), (see note 2)
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, can be peas, carrots, diced bell pepper, corn, etc.
  • pinch of kosher salt or garlic salt


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice cooking wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


  • sliced scallions



Lightly Sauté Flavoring Bits

  • Drain the dried shrimp and scallops. Shred the scallops so that you can distribute them throughout the sticky rice. If the scallops are still too firm to shred, leave them whole and don’t worry about the shredding. They’ll soften completely after they steam with the sticky rice. 
  • Heat a wok or sauté pan with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup of shallots and stir fry them for about 1 minute. Then, add the dried shrimp, scallops, Chinese sausage, and Chinese cured pork. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons cooking wine (if using), and 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper. Toss everything together. 
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the flavoring bits to a bowl.

Lightly Sauté Taro (if using)

  • Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in the wok or sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped shallots and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the taro cubes and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the five-spice powder, chicken bouillon powder (if using), and a pinch of salt. Toss everything together. 
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the taro to a bowl.

Cook Vegetables

  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok or sauté pan over high heat. Add the vegetables and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, until they’re completely cooked. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt or garlic salt. 
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

Assemble Sticky Rice

  • Lightly grease the cake pan with canola oil.
  • Drain the soaked glutinous rice and spread it over the pan. Pour 1/3 cup water over the rice. Smooth out the rice with your hands. Cover the rice with a layer of the taro (if using). Then, add the flavoring bits.

Steam the Rice

  • If you are using a wok to steam, fill it with about 2 inches of water. (Note: If you are using a large sauté pan, fill it with about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water.) Cover the wok with a lid and bring the water to boil. 
  • Place a steaming rack in the center of the wok. (Note: If you are using a wok, use a tall steaming rack; if you are using a sauté pan, use a shorter rack.)
  • Carefully place the pan of sticky rice over the steaming rack. The steam is very hot, so be careful here. Cover the wok with a lid and adjust the heat to medium-high. Steam the rice for 25 minutes.
  • Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the wok. Because a lot of water evaporates during the steaming process, pour another 2 cups of water into the wok. 
  • Using a large spatula, flip everything over so that the rice is on top  (I used a wok spatula similar to this one). Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of water around the edge of the pan. Carefully place the rice back over the steaming rack, and cover the wok with the lid. Steam the rice for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and soft in the center.

Finish the Rice

  • In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together. Drizzle the sauce over the cooked rice and carefully toss everything together.
  • Sprinkle the vegetables over the rice and mix together. If you are finding it difficult to mix everything in a small pan, transfer the rice and vegetables to a large bowl to mix.
  • Serve the sticky rice in bowls. Garnish with sliced scallions, if you like. The sticky rice goes well with my garlic green beans, garlic cucumber salad, or pan-fried teriyaki tofu.



  1. You want to use large taro for this recipe. The tiny, furry taro is slimy once cooked and the flavor is much more mild. I use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the taro. Then, I cut the taro into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. 2 cups of taro cubes is about 1 pound of taro.
  2. Mama Lin loves using chicken bouillon powder in her cooking because it provides umami flavor. Use it in this recipe if you have it at home, but it’s not necessary to go out and buy a can. 
  3. Before cooking the recipe, make sure that you can fit a steaming rack and cake pan inside the wok or sauté pan with the lid on. The lid needs to sit tightly over the wok or sauté pan or else the rice won’t cook properly.
  4. If you are using a wok, use a tall steaming rack; if you are using a sauté pan, use a shorter rack.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Cholesterol: 4.1mg | Sodium: 761mg | Fiber: 3.6g | Sugar: 4g
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