Cantonese Sticky Rice, Lo Mai Fan (臘味糯米飯)

A few ingredients make for big flavor in this warming rice dish!

flodesk gif
Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
50 min
Yields
4 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

Is it Lo Mai Fan or No Mai Fan?

You might have seen our nifty vocabulary card introducing the name of this dish as... no mai faan?! That doesn't seem right, because all the dim sum cards say "Lo Mai Fan", don't they?

What's going on? Language change! The N being pronounced as an L is what's called Cantonese lazy pronunciation, or lazy sound, 懶音, and it happens to several words. For example, the dictionary will instruct you to pronounce 你 "you" as nei5, but you're much more likely to hear or say lei5. To strict language prescriptivists, it's considered a social language change that "young people these days" do... "these days" being the past 100+ years.

Whichever way you pronounce it, it's the perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter day, or autumn evening, or spring brunch, or in the middle of a summer night peering into the fridge looking for the best leftovers. These ingredients are super shelf-stable, just make it whenever you want!!

Check out a quick story summary of our recipe!

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
4

Main Ingredients

  • 1 oz Chinese sausage
  • 2 oz cured pork belly
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 oz dried shrimp
  • 2 oz green onion (

    5-10 stalks

    )
  • 2 oz cilantro (

    same amount as green onion

    )
  • 4 oz jasmine rice
  • 20 oz glutinous rice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 22 oz boiling water
  • 3 tbsp oil

Seasoning: Rice

  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Seasoning: Stir-fry

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce

Flavorful dried ingredients

Dried shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and cured meats have very strong flavors, because the ingredients have basically been shrunken down and dehydrated, and their flavors respectively intensified into super concentrate. That's why a relatively small amount of each of these guys can easily flavor such a huge batch of rice.

While Daddy Lau always encourages swapping in and out ingredients that you like and dislike, taking one of these base ingredients out is going to really, really affect how this dish tastes. You can still cook this recipe without one of them, but it wouldn't be this dish.

About Chinese cured meat

My dad uses pork belly that he cured himself. We don't have a recipe for that available right now, so go ahead and buy it at the store for now!

We call this 臘味 sticky rice, 臘味 being cured meats, because two of the star ingredients are cured meats: Chinese sausage, and cured pork belly. In China, curing meats with salt to preserve meats has been practiced for centuries. At first, like most cultures who've also invented curing processes, it was done primarily to preserve excess food for longer and to make food travel-friendly. Today, we continue to cure meat because it tastes incredible!

Because glutinous rice alone is very soft and squishy, we mix in some jasmine rice for structure, which keeps our final dish from getting overly soft.

Measure out jasmine rice (4 oz) and glutinous rice (20 oz), and wash 3 times, pouring out the starchy water and using fresh water. Let the rinsed rice drain in a colander. The rice will also absorb the remaining surface wetness and become easier to cook through.

Wash the dried shrimp (1 oz) in clean water, and drain. Then, soak the dried shrimp in warm water, which will help them soften up faster than if they were to soak in cold water.

Similarly, wash the dried shiitake mushrooms (1 oz), drain, and then soak in warm water to rehydrate and soften.

Daddy Lau likes to cover the soaking bowl with a plate like a lid, so the heat doesn't escape as quickly and the mushrooms soften even faster.

After 10-15 minutes, they should be soft and ready to cut. Cut them into thin slices, and then dice into small pieces.

Cured pork belly is very dense, so it's hard to cut through, even with a sharp or heavy knife. Be careful! Make sure that your non-cutting hand is grasping the meat with a claw-like grip, with fingertips tucked under so they don't get bit by a slipping knife.

Cut the cured pork belly (2 oz) into strips, and then dice into small pieces. Make the pieces a similar size and shape to the diced mushrooms.

Chop the Chinese sausage (1 oz) the same way: cut into strips, then diced into small pieces.

Peel garlic (2 cloves). Then, smash and mince them finely.

The cilantro and green onions are for garnish, so use a clean knife and cutting board, or give your knife and cutting board a quick hot rinse.

Chop the cilantro (2 oz) and green onion (2 oz) into small pieces. The cilantro stems and paler part of green onions are more pungent, so make sure those are chopped finely.

We use a rice cooker, but if you're used to cooking rice another method, that's fine too!

Add boiling water (22 oz) to the rice cooker, or whichever cooking vessel you prefer. Using boiling water instead of cold water like we usually do, will cook the rice faster, resulting in a chewier texture with more of a bite, rather than mush.

Add salt (1 tsp) and dark soy sauce (1 tsp) to the water and mix them in. Adding the dark soy sauce now will help the rice cook into a beautifully uniform yellow color.

Then, stir in the rinsed rice, and start cooking (whether it's pushing the on button or turning on the stove).

When the rice is done cooking, it's time to start stir-frying everything together!

Heat your wok or pan on high. When it's hot, or after about 30 seconds, add oil (1.00 tbsp), and give it a swirl to coat.

When the oil ripples, or after 40-50 seconds, add garlic. Stir-fry the garlic for 10 seconds, then add the dried shrimp. Starting with the garlic and dried shrimp will really release their aromas and flavor the oil.

Stir-fry for another 10 seconds, then add both the Chinese sausage and the cured pork belly.

Cook for about 30 seconds so that the meats also get aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.

Add light soy sauce (1 tsp) and dark soy sauce (1 tsp). Cook for another 40-50 seconds, and then scoop everything out and onto a plate.

Stir the rice with chopsticks to make sure that the seasoning from earlier is well-mixed. Add oil (1.00 tbsp) to the rice and stir it in.

Add more oil (1.00 tbsp) to the wok, and then once it's hot, add the rice. Stir-fry until the rice smells very fragrant, or for about 1.5 minutes. Keep moving the rice as it cooks, so it fries evenly.

Give it a taste to see if the flavor needs adjustment. My dad added another tbsp of light soy sauce to his. Cook for another 30 seconds.

Lower the heat and add the stir-fried ingredients from earlier, but reserve a tbsp or 2 to sprinkle on top for beautiful presentation. Use chopsticks to loosen up the rice and mix the ingredients in. The juices from the stir-fried ingredients will moisten the rice and make it easier to mix the small pieces in.

Stir-fry and mix everything for 2.5 minutes, then add the chopped cilantro and green onion. (Again, you can save some for garnish.) Mix everything in and turn off the heat. The chopped cilantro and green onion don't need to be cooked!

Scoop the sticky rice, now speckled throughout with little flavor gems of meat and mushrooms, into the serving dish. If you reserved those stir-fried ingredients and green garnishes, layer on the stir-fried ingredients first, and then sprinkle the green garnishes on top. Enjoy!

Summary

Cantonese Sticky Rice, Lo Mai Fan (臘味糯米飯)
A few ingredients make for big flavor in this warming rice dish!
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings

Main Ingredients

  • 1 oz Chinese sausage
  • 2 oz cured pork belly
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 oz dried shrimp
  • 2 oz green onion (

    5-10 stalks

    )
  • 2 oz cilantro (

    same amount as green onion

    )
  • 4 oz jasmine rice
  • 20 oz glutinous rice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 22 oz boiling water
  • 3 tbsp oil

Seasoning: Rice

  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Seasoning: Stir-fry

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce

Step 1 - Prepare rice

↑ Jump to details

Measure out jasmine rice (4 oz) and glutinous rice (20 oz), and wash 3 times, pouring out the starchy water and using fresh water. Let the rinsed rice drain in a colander.

Step 2 - Prepare dried ingredients

↑ Jump to details

Wash the dried shrimp (1 oz) in clean water, and drain. Then, soak the dried shrimp in warm water.

Similarly, wash the dried shiitake mushrooms (1 oz), drain, and then soak in warm water to rehydrate and soften. After 10-15 minutes, they'll be soft and ready to cut. Cut them into thin slices, and then dice into small pieces.

Step 3 - Cut cured meats

↑ Jump to details

Cut the cured pork belly (2 oz) into strips, and then dice into small pieces. Make the pieces a similar size and shape to the diced mushrooms.

Chop the Chinese sausage (1 oz) the same way: cut into strips, then diced into small pieces.

Step 4 - Prepare aromatics

↑ Jump to details

Peel garlic (2 cloves). Then, smash and mince them finely.

The cilantro and green onions are for garnish, so use a clean knife and cutting board, or give your knife and cutting board a quick hot rinse.

Chop the cilantro (2 oz) and green onion (2 oz) into small pieces.

Step 5 - Cook rice

↑ Jump to details

Add boiling water (22 oz) to the rice cooker, or whichever cooking vessel you prefer.

Add salt (1 tsp) and dark soy sauce (1 tsp) to the water and mix them in.

Then, stir in the rinsed rice, and start cooking the rice.

Step 6 - Stir-fry ingredients

↑ Jump to details

When the rice is done cooking, it's time to start stir-frying everything together!

Heat your wok or pan on high. When it's hot, add oil (1.00 tbsp), and give it a swirl to coat.

When the oil ripples, or after 40-50 seconds, add garlic. Stir-fry the garlic for 10 seconds, then add the dried shrimp.

Stir-fry for another 10 seconds, then add both the Chinese sausage and the cured pork belly.

Cook for about 30 seconds so that the meats also get aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute. Add light soy sauce (1 tsp) and dark soy sauce (1 tsp). Cook for another 40-50 seconds, and then scoop everything out and onto a plate.

Step 7 - Stir-fry rice

↑ Jump to details

Stir the rice with chopsticks to make sure that the seasoning from earlier is well-mixed. Add oil (1.00 tbsp) to the rice and stir it in.

Add more oil (1.00 tbsp) to the wok, and then once it's hot, add the rice. Stir-fry until the rice smells very fragrant, or for about 1.5 minutes.

Give it a taste to see if the flavor needs adjustment, and add more light soy sauce if needed. Cook for another 30 seconds.

Lower the heat and add the stir-fried ingredients from earlier, but reserve a tbsp or 2 to sprinkle on top for beautiful presentation. Use chopsticks to loosen up the rice and mix the ingredients in.

Stir-fry and mix everything for 2.5 minutes, then add the chopped cilantro and green onion. (Again, you can save some for garnish.) Mix everything in and turn off the heat.

Step 8 - Plate & serve

↑ Jump to details

Scoop the sticky rice into the serving dish. If you reserved those stir-fried ingredients and green garnishes, layer on the stir-fried ingredients first, and then sprinkle the green garnishes on top. Enjoy!

Step 9 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 10 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

Enjoy!

We have many, many happy memories of enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family.

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.