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Chinese Sticky Rice

Discover how easy it is to make your own Chinese Sticky Rice. Serve it as a side dish or a meal in itself! It’s a fabulous dish to make ahead of time – perfect for meal prep.

Chinese sticky rice served in a bowl.
Chinese Sticky Rice is warm, satisfying, and bursting with flavor – the ultimate comfort food meal.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

Super tender, soft sticky rice is one of those dishes we devour like there’s no tomorrow. Here’s why this recipe works:

  • One-Pot Meal: Once you’ve prepared your ingredients, it’s a one-pot meal deal from there.
  • Supremely Flavorful: Between the Chinese sausage, Shiitake mushrooms, tamari sauce, and sesame oil – it’s bursting with flavor.
  • Better-than-Takeout: This Chinese Sticky Rice is just as delicious as takeout, but even better fresh from your own stovetop.
  • Great for Meal Prep: Sticky rice has the key characteristic of our best meal-prep dishes: it gets even more flavorful with time.

What Is Glutinous Rice?

The key to Chinese Sticky Rice is buying the correct rice. Look for short-grain glutinous rice, which is sometimes also labeled sweet rice or sticky rice. Short-grain glutinous rice can be found at major grocery stores (in ethnic aisles) or Asian grocery stores, as well as online.

Glutinous rice/sticky rice is short grain rice with a chewy, sticky texture and ever-so-slightly sweet flavor. Despite the term glutinous rice, there is no gluten in it. The term glutinous refers only to the sticky soft texture.

Key Recipe Ingredients

Chinese sticky rice ingredients.
  • Glutinous Rice – Make sure to grab short-grain glutinous rice for this recipe – not sushi rice. This is crucial in getting that perfectly chewy, sticky texture.
  • Dried Shiitake Mushrooms – Dried Shiitake Mushrooms add amazing smoky, earthy flavors to this dish. You’ll rehydrate them in water prior to using.
  • Chinese Sausage – Chinese Sausage (lap cheong) is a firm Asian style sausage with amazing spices. This is a classic staple of Chinese Sticky Rice.
  • Fresh Ginger – We recommend freshly grating ginger for the best flavor.
  • Chinese Cooking Rice Wine – This provides acidity and a flavor boost; the alcohol will “cook off” during the heating process.
  • Tamari Sauce – Feel free to use tamari or soy sauce for a deep umami flavor.
  • Asian Sesame Oil – Be sure to use toasted Asian sesame oil found in ethnic aisles of major grocery stores.

Substitutions And Variations

Check out these simple recipe variations for Chinese Sticky Rice:

  • Change the Meat: Feel free to deviate a little from traditional Chinese rice and substitute the lap cheong with ground turkey, beef, or pork like we do in this recipe for Asian Sticky Rice.
  • Switch to Seafood: Shrimp and scallops go amazingly with the flavors in this dish. Simply chop your choice of seafood small and cook just like you would the ground meat.
  • Add more Aromatics: Try dicing some shallots, mincing some garlic, or chopping cilantro and adding them in with the ginger.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Rehydrate dried Shiitake mushrooms by soaking in warm water for about 1 hour. Drain well and chop.
  2. Soak rice at least 3 hour and drain well in a colander, rinsing with cold water.
  1. Stir fry ginger in large heavy pot in oil for 1 minute.
  2. Add Chinese sausage and Shiitake mushrooms, stir frying for another minute.
  1. Add remaining ingredients (except scallions) and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and let cook 45 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat and let sit for at least 10 minutes, covered, before carefully stirring. Cover again and let sit another 10 minutes before garnishing and serving. Enjoy!

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

Chinese Sticky Rice is perfect to prep-ahead:

  • Soak the Rice and Mushrooms: Make sure to get the rice soaking at least 3-4 hours in advance and the mushrooms 1 hour in advance. You can even soak them overnight.
  • Refrigerate Sticky Rice: Sticky rice will keep amazingly in the fridge for up to 4 days. Always store leftovers in an airtight container, which helps to maintain tenderness and flavor. Reheat in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid.
  • Freeze Sticky Rice: Want to freeze cooked sticky rice? Not a problem. Simply store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to one month; use meal prep containers for individual servings.
Chinese sticky rice in a bowl close up.

What To Serve With Chinese Sticky Rice




  • You may not have tried Red Bean Mochi Bars before, but their sweet flavor and melt-in-you-mouth texture make the perfect end to any meal!
  • This Easy Homemade Almond Jello is the perfect light, vibrant dessert to enjoy after sticky rice.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the best way to store glutinous rice?

All uncooked rice keeps fresh longer when stored in an airtight container and in cool, dry spaces. If you have a small bag of uncooked rice and can manage to keep it in the fridge, that’s the ideal situation for keeping grains fresh for a long time. A cool/dry basement space works well as a storage for most of your grains as well.

Why do you need to soak glutinous rice for this recipe?

It’s important to pre-soak the glutinous rice a few hours before cooking, because it helps soften the outer surface of the rice grains and allows for even cooking throughout. Without soaking, the rice will need to be boiled longer and will end up mushy instead of chewy.

What’s a good replacement for Chinese sausage that tastes similar?

While there’s nothing quite like the sweet, savory, flavorful aroma of Chinese sausage, it can be hard to find in grocery stores sometimes. Kielbasa or andouille can be used in place of Chinese Sausage. We also like cooked/seasoned ground pork or turkey.

What makes Chinese sticky rice sticky?

The stickiness of Chinese sticky rice is all about the variety of rice. Glutinous rice, also called sticky or sweet rice, turns out super chewy and sticky thanks to its starch content. Basically, it has a very low content of the kind of starch that makes fluffy rice (amylose) and a very high content of the starch that makes sticky rice (amylopectin).

Is this Chinese sticky rice gluten-free?

Yes! Despite what it sounds like, “glutinous rice” is completely gluten-free just like any other variety of rice. As long as you stick with the Tamari sauce in this recipe and don’t swap it for soy sauce, this recipe is totally gluten-friendly.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Chinese sticky rice served in a bowl.

Chinese Sticky Rice

4.92 from 59 ratings
This Chinese sticky rice recipe is a fail-proof, super easy, and crowd-pleasing dish. Most of the ingredients can now be found in the Asian aisles of your favorite grocery stores.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Amy Dong



  • Prep Ahead: Rehydrate dried Shiitake mushrooms by soaking in warm water for about 1 hour. Drain well and chop. Set aside.
  • Drain soaked rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside. 
  • Heat up a heavy large pot (I use my All-Clad stock pot) with 1 TB oil until hot. Add ginger and stir fry for a minute. Add Chinese sausage and Shiitake mushrooms, stir frying for another minute.
  • Add in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and rice. Stir to coat thoroughly. Add broth, stir to incorporate, and bring to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, immediately reduce to simmer. Cover tightly and cook 45 minutes. Turn heat off and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, covered. Do not open lid to peek!
  • Carefully stir cooked sticky rice, from bottom to top throughout. Cover and let stand another 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with freshly sliced scallions, if desired. Chopped cilantro or chives work well, too. 


  • You may use reduced-sodium chicken broth instead of regular strength.
  • If you can’t find authentic Chinese sausage, you can use other types of cooked sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille. Cooked/seasoned ground pork or turkey works well, too. 
  • Chinese sausage is somewhat sweet, and not overly salty. If you use a salty sausage, decrease tamari soy sauce to 3 TB. 
  • Prep/Cook time does not include pre-soaking of rice and shiitakes.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

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  • Lo Mein Noodles – Clocking in at just 20 minutes, these Lo Mein Noodles are the ultimate easy weeknight meal.
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