Lor Mai Fan – Savory Chinese Sticky Rice


Sticky rice is also known as glutinous rice. And although it may confuse quite a few people, glutinous rice does not contain gluten. It is simply called glutinous because of its sticky nature when cooked. When served plain, it is completely safe for a gluten-free diet.

Lor mai fan is one of those dishes that bring wonderful childhood memories. It’s one of those comfort foods, that are excellent on a cold winters day – it’s stodgy, satisfying and reminds me of when I was young and care free.

My mother used to make a huge pan of the stuff. There was so much of it, we’d be eating for at least another 2 days, and there were 6 of us! It used to take hours to cook, and because she cooked it on the hob (stovetop), there was a thick crust caked onto the pan. She’d prise off this caked on crust and we used to nibble on this chewy savory snack throughout the day.

I don’t make it the traditional way my mother does, that is on the hob (stove top), I cheat and use my rice cooker. It’s probably got a few ingredients in it that she never used too, but it’s my recipe and we like it. 



Serves 2-3



  • 2 x lap cheung (Chinese-style pork sausages), sliced finely on a diagonal
  • 3-4 spring (green) onions, topped and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 190 g (1 c) glutinous rice
  • 1 T dark soy sauce
  • ½ t five spice powder
  • 60 g (2 oz) dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water, and sliced
  • 225 g (½ lb) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 T dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained (optional) 



1. In a medium frying pan (skillet), dry fry the sliced lap cheung until some fat is rendered out. Add the spring onions and garlic and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the rice, soy sauce, five spice, mushrooms and dried shrimp, if using and stir for 1 minute.

3. Add 380 ml (1 ½ c) boiling water and stir to combine.

4. Pour everything into a rice cooker and cook until done, around 20-25 minutes. Serve steaming hot, enjoy!


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