Chinese sticky rice

Chinese New Year is 2 weeks away, so I am definitely thinking about my own CNY menu. I think one of the keys to not getting crushed under all the work of a CNY dinner is to plan early. One dish that I will definitely be having is Lo Mai Fan or Chinese Sticky Rice. This dish is essentially sticky rice steamed with Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, and dried mushrooms. Such a super simple dish but super tasty.

soaking sweet rice

What is Chinese sticky rice?

Growing up, I had a version of Chinese sticky rice that was half Vietnamese and half Chinese which says a lot about the story of my family. My family is from China, and my grandparents immigrated to Vietnam where my parents were born. Typically, Chinese sticky rice is made by cooking the sticky rice, then finishing it in a wok with all the toppings and soy sauce for the taste and color. How my family makes it is actually similar to savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi man), which definitely has its origins from Chinese immigrants in Vietnam.

We make it with sweet rice instead of jasmine rice. We also steam it instead of cooking the rice in a rice cooker then in a wok. The add ons can also be different. We sometimes use pork floss, and we often top ours with scallion oil and crushed peanuts. One thing that my mom does that I don’t see many people doing is adding pandan leaves to add more flavor to the rice. Like with every dish, every family has their own way of making it, and I think it’s all amazing!

soaking ingredients

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

  • Sweet rice – Sweet rice is very different from regular rice. When cooked, it is more sticky than typical long grain rice. A popular dish that uses sticky rice is mango sticky rice. My family likes to use Three Ladies sweet rice for this Chinese sticky rice.
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms – Dried mushrooms have a very different texture than regular mushrooms. It is a bit chewier and the taste is more herbal tasting. We use dried mushrooms because they hold up better when we steam the rice. Steaming a fresh mushroom will probably result in something mushy and unappetizing.
  • Dried shrimp – Adds some sweetness to the dish. I would not recommend using fresh shrimp for the reason I mentioned for the dried mushrooms. It probably won’t taste the same or be very good.
  • Soy sauce and sugar – These ingredients add color and a balance of salty and sweetness to the dish. Substitute soy sauce with tamari to make this dish gluten free.
  • Pandan leaves (optional) – Pandan leaves adds more flavor to the dish. This is optional. Pandan leaves can be found in the frozen section at large Asian grocery chains or online.
thinly sliced Chinese sausage and dried mushrooms

Making my Chinese sticky rice

First, soak the rice for 2 hours. After soaking, drain the rice and set aside. Next, soak dried mushrooms and dried shrimp for 10 minutes. After soaking, drain both and set aside. Cut the mushrooms after soaking. Prep your steamer by bringing water to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add Chinese sausages to a pan with 1 tablespoon of water. The water helps soften up the sausage. Saute for 2-3 minutes until they are seared on all sides. Set aside.

Mix the soy sauce and sugar together. Add the shrimp and mushrooms to the same pan. Drizzle half the soy sauce mixture in. Saute for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Set aside. Add the soaked rice to the same pan. Next, add the rest of the soy sauce mixture. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in pandan leaves, mushrooms, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. Mix everything together. Put your steamer insert on top of the steamer pot. Pour everything into the steamer insert. Steam for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Serve with scallion oil and crushed peanuts.

cooked Chinese sticky rice

Tips on how to make the perfect Chinese sticky rice?

Which brand of sweet rice should I use for Chinese sticky rice?

Traditional Chinese sticky rice uses jasmine rice, but my family uses sweet rice. My family uses Three Ladies Sanpatong Sweet Rice.

How do you eat Chinese sticky rice?

Typically Chinese sticky rice is eaten as is or maybe with some fresh green onions on top. However, my family eats it with scallion oil and crushed peanuts. If the sticky rice is not flavorful enough for me, I may even add some more soy sauce.

How do you make scallion oil?

Scallion oil is essential to Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. How I make scallion oil is: I first cut green onions and add them to a small bowl. I then heat oil until it’s hot. I then pour the oil over the green onions and that’s it!

How long can you store Chinese sticky rice?

You can store it for up to 3 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

Yes you can! Take out the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage, and just use the dried mushrooms!

Chinese sticky rice

Did you make this dish?

If you made this dish, I would love to see!

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Chinese sticky rice

Get the Recipe:
Chinese Sticky Rice (Lo Mai Fan)

A yummy and simple homemade Chinese sticky rice (lo mai fan) made with sweet rice, Chinese sausage (lap cheong), dried shrimp, and dried shiitake mushrooms.
5 from 3 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Soak the rice for 2 hours. After soaking, drain the rice and set aside.
  • Soak dried mushrooms and dried shrimp for 10 minutes. After soaking, drain both and set aside. Cut the mushrooms after soaking.
  • Prep your steamer by bringing water to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  • Add Chinese sausages to a pan with 1 tablespoon of water. The water helps soften up the sausage. Saute for 2-3 minutes until they are seared on all sides. Set aside.
  • Mix the soy sauce and sugar together. Add the shrimp and mushrooms to the same pan. Drizzle half the soy sauce mixture in. Saute for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Set aside.
  • Add the soaked rice to the same pan. Next, add the rest of the soy sauce mixture. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in pandan leaves, mushrooms, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. Mix everything together.
  • Put your steamer insert on top of the steamer pot. Pour everything into the steamer insert. Steam for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
  • Serve with scallion oil (optional) and crushed peanuts (optional).
Calories: 737kcal, Carbohydrates: 115g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 209mg, Sodium: 1637mg, Potassium: 586mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 42IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 3mg
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