This Chinese sticky rice dish is loaded with ground pork, shrimp, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, and a flavorful sauce that's all cooked up in the rice cooker! It's an easy way to make this deliciously popular Chinese dish!
When one thinks about Chinese food, one automatically envisions a bowl of plain white rice.
But you never see white rice served alone because...well, it's really plain!
By itself, a bowl of white rice leaves you asking, "What's there to go with it?"
It's kind of like a blank canvas that needs some color...or flavor in this case.
Chinese sticky rice, on the other hand, is anything but plain...it is a flavorful work of art, ready to be enjoyed!
My Chinese sticky rice, or "lo mai fan", is loaded with tasty ingredients like Chinese sausage, Chinese mushrooms, ground pork, and shrimp, all cooked up in a delicious, yet mild sauce.
Add some Thai glutinous rice to the mix and you have a bowl of perfection.
A couple of notes about Thai glutinous rice:
1) It contains no gluten, despite the sound of the word. The "glutinous" in this case merely means "like glue", or simply...sticky!
2) It might also be called "Thai sweet rice"...but it's not sweet!
3) When you go looking for it in the store, it may not say "Thai" at all. You might see it labeled as simply "glutinous rice" or "sweet rice".
And just for some added insight into this recipe, the first thought might be to put the rice in the rice cooker first and then top it with all the filling. I tried this method a few times and every time I did, the rice came out too mushy. Mushy is never good for rice.
The rice in lo mai fan is meant to be steamed, not boiled, but if you don't have the whole steamer set-up (like me), this is the way to make it work in the rice cooker!
The grains of rice are tender with just the right amount of stickiness...no mushy rice or wet clumps!
This recipe really hits the spot for flavor, texture, and balance of all the ingredients. As my niece, Deanna pointed out, "It looks like Grandma's!"
And while I couldn't officially name this recipe "Mom's Chinese Sticky Rice", it is my own creation that definitely makes me think of my childhood and how my mom made it!
So if you've got a rice cooker, this is the perfect recipe to try and cook up something more exciting than plain white rice!
Watch How To Make It!
Rice Cooker Chinese Sticky Rice
- 2 cups Thai glutinous rice (see note below)
- ½ lb. (225g) ground pork
- ¼ lb. (115g) shrimp, deveined and shells and tails removed (about 12 medium-sized)
- 2 Chinese sausages
- 2-3 medium sized dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- ½ teaspoon tapioca starch (cornstarch okay)
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Place dried mushrooms in a bowl with hot water and let soak for at least 2 hours until softened. (See note below)
- Run cold water through the rice in a strainer. Stir the rice with your hand to wash and rinse it well until the water is mostly running clear.
- Soak the rice in a bowl of water for at least 2 hours.
When ready to cook:
- Combine the 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari), 1 teaspoon grated ginger, minced garlic clove, ½ teaspoon tapioca starch, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and ¼ teaspoon white pepper in a bowl and mix well to make the sauce. Set aside.
- Drain the rice through a colander, discarding the water.
- Remove mushrooms from soaking liquid and gently squeeze out some of the water. Cut of and discard tough stems. Cut mushroom caps into slices or chunks.
- Slice Chinese sausages into disks.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add Chinese sausage and ground pork and cook until pork is mostly cooked through.
- Add mushrooms and sauce to the pan and stir. Heat through.
- Add shrimp and cook until just starting to turn pink and remove from heat.
- Transfer Chinese sausage mixture to the rice cooker pot and level out.
- Add drained rice on top and level out.
- Add 1 ¼ cups water to the rice cooker.
- Cook until rice cooker button pops, or for about 25 minutes. Let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Rice should be completely cooked and slightly translucent.
- Fluff rice with chopsticks, stirring well to mix the rice and filling ingredients.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
- I used a 5.5 cup capacity rice cooker for this recipe.
- The longer you soak the dried shiitake mushrooms, the better so you can slice into them very easily and do not see any dry area inside. Soaking overnight is the easiest thing to do.
- I find larger shiitake mushrooms tend to hydrate faster than small ones, but they do cost more.
- You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms, but they will not have the same deep umami flavor as the dried mushrooms.
- When buying the rice, the bag will either say "Thai glutinous rice" or "Thai sweet rice", or the word "Thai" might be excluded.
- Use a regular 1 cup measuring cup to measure the rice; do not use the plastic measuring cup that comes with your rice cooker.
- Some Chinese sausages have a dry casing that should be removed before slicing the sausage, depending on the brand and how they made it.
- The dry shiitake mushrooms can be omitted, if desired.
- You can use chicken thighs cut into small pieces, or cha siu in place of the Chinese sausage and/or shrimp.
- I use frozen shrimp and thaw them in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- To reheat any leftovers, place in a dish and steam, or microwave with a bit of water in the dish. Microwaving may dry the rice out a little, but works in a pinch.
Can this recipe be doubled or tripled in a 10 cup rice cooker?
Hi Dana! I think with a 10-cup rice cooker, you could easily double the recipe. I'm not sure about tripling the recipe, though...not sure how tight that would be. Hope that helps!
Absolutely perfect! Husband and children approved. Have made 5 times in the past two months. I omit the shrimp due to a food allergy and just add more pork. I have also substituted the pork for chicken thighs as suggested in notes and loved that as well. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
Hi Julie! Thank you so much for trying the recipe and for making it on repeat! I'm so glad that you and your family approve! 🙂
I usually never comment but just wanted to say I love the pictures included in each step!
Hi Cindy! Thanks for the comment! I'm so glad that the photos are helpful!
Why tapioca starch
Hi Yvonne! Tapioca starch is used to help thicken the sauce which will then help coat the rice. Cornstarch or potato starch can be used as a substitute for the tapioca starch. Thanks for your question and I hope that helps!
this worked out great! added a bit more chinese sausage and a bit less shrimp per my familys tastes . thank you !!
Hi Hadley! Yes, you can totally adjust the quantity of fillings for this recipe and more Chinese sausage is never a bad thing...it would definitely add more flavor! So glad that you liked it!
You might've disclaimed this already, but Chinese sausage tends to contain gluten in it! 🙁 At least all the ones I've ever used include soy sauce, which of course is made from wheat. Worth a second glance at the ingredient label if you are celiac/very sensitive!
Hi Jan! Thanks for the note! It is definitely worth double checking the ingredients if you have a gluten sensitivity or are celiac before you make this or any other recipe. 🙂