Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sticky Rice - no faffing about.

Sticky rice is probably my daughter's favourite food at yum cha.   I suspect part of the appeal is the fact that it typically comes wrapped in as a parcel in a leaf, which is then cut open.  That being said, sticky rice is full of lots of yummy things.

The reason I consider this a great recipe is that it is rather adaptable.  You can pretty much put whatever you like in it, as long as you think that it will go nicely in the dish.   You can freeze portions for later meals, which you can then either carefully microwave or steam.

I have not even once bothered trying to wrap this up in the correct leaf.  I don't think it would meet my 'make-do Mum' criteria.

This recipe does require thinking ahead (you can't make it successfully if you start two hours before you need it).  But there isn't all that much work involved, and it is pretty easy to start the night before.  I assume that you will have a rice cooker for this recipe, you are going to have to work out how to cook it yourself if you don't have one!

While searching for a picture of sticky rice for this recipe I found the following story:
Sticky rice wicked hard!  Apparently it was also an ancient construction material, and has properties to help it withstand earthquakes.  I never thought that I would have sticky rice and earthquakes in the same story but there goes!

Sticky rice

Two cups glutinous rice  (Pretty much only found in Asian grocers.  Another name I've used before is Thai sticky rice.  The rice continues to absorb moisture after cooking and after a day or so in the fridge can get a little slushy.   If you want to keep it in the fridge for a day or two after cooking I recommend swapping out some of the sticky rice for Jasmine rice).

One Chicken Thigh fillet or Pork fillet, diced.
One Chinese sausage (these can be found in either the fridge or shelves of Asian grocery stores)
Three Spring onions diced
Three or four mushrooms (Shiitake best, can use rehydrated dried mushrooms).  Cut in half length ways.

Sticky rice sauce mix (this is the ubiquitous Chinese marinade.  Use it on everything)
3 TBSP Soy Sauce ( I rather shockingly use Japanese Kikkoman because it is sweeter, but you should use any chinese light soy sauce)
2 TBSP Oyster Sauce
2 TBSP Chinese rice wine (or Sherry if you have it)
2 TBSP Sugar
2 TBSP Water
1 tsp sesame oil (optional - it can be a strong taste)
1/2 tsp White pepper (or a little black pepper, but white pepper just tastes better)

  1. Soak the glutinous rice in water overnight, or at least eight hours.
  2. Marinade the meat in the sauce mixture for at least an hour
  3. Put the rice in the rice cooker and start. When the rice cooker says 'rice cooked' or whatever, dump over top the meat, veges, sauce mix.  Start the cooker again.
  4. Once the second cooking is finished leave to steam away for about ten minutes or so.
Now, when I compare this methodology with other recipes it is pretty different.  You are supposed to steam the rice for 45 mins, then put the meat and sauce in little bowls, put rice on the top then steam for another or so.  Feel free to try it if you have the time.  I've done it once.  It was way too much faffing about.


  1. Do you reckon mirin would be ok for the wine?

  2. Should be OK. I also tried the tofu and mushroom variation for Hannah - it was OK, but I'd still prefer chinese sausage!

  3. Yum! And if it's not cooked in leaves Carla might even eat it. I've only got a tupperware rice cooker though - d'you think it's possible to steam the rice in that?

  4. Hey Ceri, Another way to cook the rice (and the more traditional way) is to put it in a cheesecloth/ muslin and steam if for about half an hour. If you have lots of little bowls you can put the meat/sauce/vege mix in a little bowl, pile rice on the top then pop the bowl in a steamer and steam for about thirty minutes to an hour.

    I've never used a microwave rice steamer so can't quite think how it translates into other ways of cooking rice - I'd be worried about cooking the rice rather than steaming it.