Chinese Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice Recipe 糯米飯

Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Glutinous Rice Lo Mai Fan

Happy Chinese New Year!

I made Sticky Rice the other night for Chinese New Year. The dish is usually called Fried Glutinous Rice  or Stir-Fried Sticky Rice or Nuo Mai Fan or Lo Mai Fan (糯米飯), and is one of my favorites. I’ve been trying to master this dish for a while and I think I’ve finally cracked it!

A lot of you have been asking for the recipe since I posted a photo on Facebook. So I’m blogging it now before I forget what I did right 😀

This is actually a very easy dish to cook once you have all the ingredients ready. It’s the chopping and the soaking that take a long time.

Chinese Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice Recipe

Sorry, I don’t have an actual recipe because I cooked this by feel. But I will try to estimate the amounts as best as I can.

Main ingredients:

  • 500g glutinous rice (malagkit)
  • Chinese sausage, use as much as you want, I used 2 sticks
  • Dried shrimp (hebi), a handful (1/4 cup maybe?)
  • Dried scallops, a handful (heaping 1/4 cup?)
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms, 6-8 pcs
  • Chicken fillet, about 1/4 kg, cut into bite-sized pieces

You’ll also need:

  • Water
  • Cooking oil (I used rice bran oil because it has no strong flavor, and is very light and healthy)
  • Green onions
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Chicken Cube
  • Rice Wine
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Sesame Oil

About the Ingredients

For the main ingredients, you don’t have to use the exact proportions I use. If you like more “laman” then add more. If you like less “laman”, use less 🙂 Those ingredients can also be expensive, so if you’re trying not to spend too much on this dish, you can use less.

The important ingredients here, aside from the glutinous rice, are the Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp. Those are also the easiest to find. If you have dried scallops, great. If not, don’t worry about it. It’s more delicious with dried scallops, but it won’t really affect the overall taste that much.

The chicken is optional. Many recipes don’t include chicken. However, if you use very little of the Chinese sausage, mushrooms, scallops and dried shrimp, adding chicken will add more protein. I like adding chicken because my grandmother did.

I’m sure someone will be asking what kind of Chinese sausage I used. This one is from Hong Kong, I think from Auntie E, pasalubong from her last trip:

Lap Cheong Chinese Sausage

Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Glutinous Rice Lap Cheong Chinese Sausage

I’m not really particular about the brand, just make sure you use a good quality Chinese sausage. For local brands, I recently checked out Unimart Greenhills and they have the biggest Chinese sausage section that I have seen compared to other supermarkets which barely have any.

Rinse the sausage before using. Sometimes the outer skin bothers me so I peel that off, too.

As for shiitake mushrooms and dried scallops, every time someone in the family goes to Hong Kong, we ask them buy Chinese sausages, mushrooms and scallops 🙂 it’s not like somebody goes to HK that often, sometimes it’s a few years before anyone goes. We don’t use that much, anyway. I usually only use them during special occasions like Chinese New Year when I cook traditional dishes, so a pack lasts a really long time.

How to keep Chinese ingredients:

Chinese sausage – in the refrigerator. If pack is opened, I put it in a ziploc bag to seal it closed. I just store them in the crisper. You can also freeze them. The older it is, the drier it gets. If you feel that it is too dry, just boil it for a few minutes until it softens a bit before using.

Dried scallops, dried shrimp, dried oysters – sealed closed (ziploc bag) then put in the freezer. They keep for years in the freezer. If you just keep them at room temp, our humid weather makes them conducive to developing mold.

Dried shiitake mushrooms – room temp is okay, just make sure it’s in an airtight container to prevent little bugs getting in and eating it. Better yet, transfer to an airtight container (or ziploc bag) and freeze.

Yes, we have one freezer door shelf full of these things 😀

I also talked about these ingredients in my How to Make Radish Cake at Home blog post 🙂

As for the sauces used, use good quality stuff. I like using the Lee Kum Kee brand for these dishes because LKK is the standard brand used in most Cantonese cooking in HK. Lee Kum Kee’s soy sauce is also lighter and slightly sweeter. Anyway, just make sure to use naturally brewed soy sauce and not the fake soy sauce that is just made of salt, water and coloring.

Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Glutinous Rice Lap Cheong Chinese Sausage

Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Glutinous Rice Lap Cheong Chinese Sausage

The Secret

SOAK THAT RICE! 😀 The rice needs to be soaked at least 6 hours. My past failures at this dish all stemmed from lack of soaking. One time, I thought 3 hours of soaking was enough. It was not. If the rice is not soaked enough, they ended up not cooking evenly, with some rice grains already cooked, while other rice grains were still raw in the middle. And then I’d end up forcibly cooking them until they all become soft, and the rice just ends up being mushy. So soak the rice for at least 6 hours! I started soaking this batch around lunchtime, so by 6pm, they were ready to be cooked.


  1. Wash the rice well to remove dust and rice “powder”. Soak it with enough water. Soak for at least 6 hours.
  2. Since you’re already soaking the rice, might as well soak the mushrooms, shrimp and scallops (in separate containers). Don’t throw away the soaking liquid.
  3. When you’re ready to cook (6 hours later), start slicing:
    • slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, marinate the chicken in some salt & pepper + a tablespoon of rice wine, a teaspoon of cornstarch and a teaspoon of oil, set aside
    • slice the Chinese sausage, use whatever shape you want; I like cutting them into small quarters
    • slice the mushrooms; I like them to be the same size as the sausages
    • if the dried shrimp has some hard shells and hard shrimp feet and they bother you, try to remove as much of the shells as you can
    • try to separate the scallop strands with your fingers as best as you can (himayin)
    • clean & slice the green onions, separating the sliced white parts from the sliced green parts
  4. Get about 2 cups of the soaking liquid, taking care to leave behind any sediments that have settled at the bottom. Do not throw away the remaining soaking liquid if you still have some left. Dissolve 1 chicken bouillon cube in the 2 cups soaking liquid. I was lazy here so I just microwaved the 2 cups soaking liquid until it was hot enough for the chicken cube to dissolve. Then add about 2-3 Tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons of oyster sauce, 2 Tablespoons of rice wine, and 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the 2 cups soaking liquid (you can adjust this to your preference). Mix well.
  5. Rinse and drain the soaked glutinous rice.
  6. Time to Stir-Fry! Make sure you have a big enough wok or frying pan.
    • In medium heat: Add a small amount of oil to the wok. Quickly stir-fry the chicken until they are almost cooked. Set aside. NOTE: When I cooked it earlier, I cooked the chicken together with the other ingredients, and it ended up being overcooked. It spent too much time in the wok while I was waiting for the glutinous rice to cook. So next time, I think cooking the chicken separately and then putting it back in at the end of the glutinous rice’s cooking will work better.
    • In the same wok, add a small amount of oil. Stir-fry the sausages, mushrooms, shrimp, scallops (don’t include any soaking liquid), and white part of green onions. Once they all start to smell fragrant, add the glutinous rice. Mix.
    • Add the 2 cups flavored soaking liquid, about 1/4 – 1/2 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. Season liberally with pepper. At this point, I like keeping the heat on high or medium high. Always mix well in between adding more liquid. Once your 2 cups flavored soaking liquid is used up, start using the remaining soaking liquid. Continue adding more liquid until the rice is cooked to your satisfaction. If you run out of soaking liquid, just use water. You don’t really need to add a lot of liquid, maybe a total of 2-3 cups or so. In my case, I had to make sure that the glutinous rice was soft enough for my parents to eat so I cooked it longer and added more liquid. But ideally, as soon as it’s cooked, the grains are individually separated (not mushy or burst open), and they are chewy but cooked when you taste them, they’re good enough. Just cook it to how soft or chewy you want it. If your wok gets too hot, adjust the heat so your glutinous rice doesn’t burn.
    • Adjust the seasoning if it needs more salt, etc… I suggest using fine kosher salt because kosher salt dissolves the easiest. Add the chicken back. Mix well.
    • Turn off the heat.
    • Add 2 swirls of sesame oil. Add the green onions. Mix well.
    • Done! The entire cooking part should only take around 20-30 minutes.
  7. Plate and serve 🙂

Chinese Stir Fried Sticky Glutinous Rice Served

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Love to read your comments! Let us know if you made this 🙂

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