My Mom's Taiwanese Sticky Rice

By • December 31, 2013 24 Comments

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Author Notes: The other day I was craving some of my mom's sticky rice and called her up to ask for the recipe. This is how awesome my mom is: she was able to tell me how to make it right then and there without looking anything up! She was excited to share this new technique she developed where she first par-cooks the sweet rice and then bakes it off in a casserole dish instead of using a rice cooker. Apparently, when you use a rice cooker, the sticky rice can get too mushy -- but when using this technique it's always "QQ", or chewy.

Instead of cooking the aromatics in a different pan and then transferring everything into a casserole dish, I just used my Dutch oven (don't know how I lived without this baby!). If you don't have one, just transfer the rice to a casserole dish with a lid, or do what my mom does and cover it with aluminum foil.

My mom usually makes this with pork or chicken, but I decided to make it with Chinese sausage (which I guess makes it more Cantonese than Taiwanese). You can find the Chinese sausage and fried shallots (sometimes labelled fried red onions) in a Chinese grocery store. If you like cilantro, it makes a great topping, but if you don't, it still tastes great without it. For a little kick, I highly recommend serving it with some sweet chili sauce.
The Cooking of Joy

Food52 Review: Comfort food varies depending on what corner of the world we're in. But wherever in the world we are, this is comfort. The sticky rice, with bits of Chinese sausage and the depth of sesame oil, make this a dish to keep in the books. The recipe makes quite a large serving, perfect for a big family or leftovers all week. Thanks for introducing this to us! Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 1/2 cups sweet glutinous rice
  • 6 or 7 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 Chinese sausage links, casing removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  1. Soak the sweet rice and mushrooms in room temperature water for an hour. The mushrooms will float, so place a lid or dish on top to weigh them down.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Start boiling 4 cups of water in a large pot.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the mushrooms and cut off the stems. Slice the mushroom caps and set aside.
  4. Drain the rice and add to the boiling water. Make sure that the water covers the rice, adding more water if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost all the water is absorbed. The rice will have plumped but won't be soft yet.
  5. In the meantime, heat up the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for a few minutes, until the fat is rendered out but the sausage still hasn't browned. Add the mushrooms and fried shallots and stir-fry for about a minute or two. Add the rice wine, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil and mix well.
  6. Add the rice to the Dutch oven. Mix very well so that the rice is the same color throughout. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Fluff and serve with cilantro and sweet chili sauce, if desired.
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Comments (24) Questions (1)

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about 1 month ago Helene Rude

Do you drain the parboiled rice before adding it to the stirfried ingredients, or just dump it all in, including the excess water?

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about 1 month ago The Cooking of Joy

Hi Helene, you dump it all in, but there really shouldn't be much--if any--excess water because the rice should have absorbed it all.

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7 months ago witloof

My friend, whose parents are from mainland China, and I made this today, riffing on the recipe to include some brown rice {his mother always does it this way because there is diabetes in their family and it lowers the glycemic value} and substituting scallops and clams for the sausage. We also strained the mushroom cooking water, which I had seasoned with soy sauce and sherry, and added it along with half a can of coconut milk. Oh my gosh how utterly delicious.

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6 months ago The Cooking of Joy

Oh wow, I'd be really interested to know how the coconut milk contributes to the sticky rice. Do you think it changes the texture, adds flavor, and/or adds some fat (in a good way)?

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6 months ago witloof

I often order sticky rice at a vegetarian Vietnamese place and you can clearly taste the coconut milk in their version, which is where I got the idea to put it in. You can't taste it in the one we made, but I think it must add a fair amount richness as we didn't use a lot of fat to prepare it, and it's so incredibly savory and satisfying.

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6 months ago witloof

Oh, and he also threw in a big handful of dried anchovies.

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6 months ago The Cooking of Joy

Thanks! I might need to try that in my next batch!

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7 months ago witloof

Do you know whether brown glutinous rice would work in this recipe? I adore sticky rice but am on a diet that prohibits white rice. TIA

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7 months ago The Cooking of Joy

Sorry, I've never even heard of brown glutinous rice before!

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7 months ago witloof

I had bought what I thought was brown sticky rice at Fairway in the bulk section, but it's white. I'll make it anyway! I love sticky rice!

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8 months ago Ellen

You should switch step 4 and 5 and stir fried the ingredients first before you parboil the rice. I let mine sit too long and it got mushy. :(

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8 months ago The Cooking of Joy

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! I've made it multiple times following these exactly directions without any issues. Just to check, did you soak your rice in cold water or hot water? If you use hot water, it will definitely end up soggy.

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over 1 year ago Theglasstypewriter

Is there a difference between regular glutinous rice and sweet glutinous rice?

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over 1 year ago The Cooking of Joy

I'm not sure, but the package I use calls it "Sweet Rice" if that's any help.

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over 1 year ago alice yan

My mother makes this all the time too! Adding chinese dried shrimp really adds a lot of flavor too.

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over 1 year ago Susan B.

I picked up a package of Chinese sausage recently and put it in the freezer waiting for inspiration and this is it! Thank you!

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

YUM!!!! This looks so good.

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

congrats on the CP! I must make this soon!

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over 1 year ago The Cooking of Joy

Thanks!

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over 1 year ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

Ooh, I want to make this!!

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over 1 year ago Susannah

LOVED this. Will definitely be making it again

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Great! Glad to have a recipe for this - it sounds terrific.

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over 1 year ago louisez

This looks wonderful. What kind and how much sausage? Thanks.

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over 1 year ago The Cooking of Joy

I knew that ingredient list looked too short! It should be 3 links of Chinese sausage. Thanks for the catch!