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+ servings

Chinese Savoury Sticky Rice

5 from 12 votes
Glutinous rice cooked in a deliciously savoury sauce with tofu and mushrooms. This is similar to kiam peng, which I grew up eating. 'Kiam Peng' is a Hokkien term that literally translates to ‘salty rice’ (kiam = salty, peng = rice) and despite it being called salty rice, I’d consider the flavour profile of this dish as savoury with a hint of sweetness and umami instead of just salty!
Steaming the rice yields whole and really chewy grains since the grains don't cook and soak in its starch. I love the chewy bite of glutinous rice that’s so good with the savoury sauce, tofu, mushrooms, and some mustard greens. I finished it off with some roasted peanuts and chopped scallions for a super satisfying and flavour-packed rice meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Rice Soaking Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Hokkien
Servings 2
Calories 532 kcal


  • Bamboo steamer or regular steamer
  • Parchment paper to line your steamer





  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3.5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms or other mushrooms of choice sliced
  • 3.5 oz extra firm tofu pressed and diced (see notes)
  • 1 head bok choy mustard greens, or other greens of choice (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, optional
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cane sugar

To Cook

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water, adjust accordingly
  • 15 g chopped chives or scallions , around 1/4 cup

To Finish

  • Roasted peanuts
  • Chopped scallions



  • Soak the rice for at least 1 hour. I soaked mine overnight to speed up the steaming process.
    After soaking, rinse the rice through running water and then drain the liquid.
    If using shot grain rice, see notes below.
  • Place the rice in a steamer OR bamboo steamer lined with some parchment paper (to prevent from sticking). Spread the rice and then cover.
  • Steam for 25 to 40 minutes or until chewy and almost cooked through.
    Note: The steaming time can be anywhere between 25 to 40 minutes depending on how long you soak your rice.
  • If using a bamboo steamer, simply heat some water on your pan or wok. Make sure not to add too much water that it can reach the base of your bamboo steamer and soak the paper/rice! Leave the water to boil. Once the water boils, place the bamboo steamer on the pot.
  • The cooked rice will turn translucent. You can simply try it to see if its chewy.


  • Mix all the ingredients together. Adjust according to your desired taste. Set aside. Note that you can always add more soy sauce later on as needed.


  • Prepare the tofu, mushrooms, and greens of choice (I used mustard greens) along with the chives, garlic, and ginger.
  • Heat a large pan or wok over high heat.
  • Add in the sesame oil.
  • Once hot, sauté the garlic and ginger until aromatic, around 2 minutes.
  • Add in the tofu and then pan-fry until lightly browned on all sides. Add in the wine and soy sauces. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the sugar and then mix well to coat the tofu. Lower the heat to medium and leave the sugar to dissolve.
  • Add in the sliced mushrooms and then mix well with the tofu.
  • Cook the mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the tofu and mushrooms from the pan and then set aside.
  • Sauté the vegetables, if using, in the same pan with some oil until cooked through.
  • Set aside the vegetables as well.

To Cook

  • In the same pan or wok, add in the steamed glutinous rice.
  • Over medium low heat, add in the tofu and mushrooms.
  • Pour in the sauce.
  • Leave the rice to simmer over medium low heat and then mix it well to coat the rice with the sauce. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed, to completely cook down the rice. You may need more or less depending on how chewy your rice is.
  • Mix in the chopped chives.
  • Cover the pan and leave the rice cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over low heat until the rice has absorbed the excess liquid and is completely cooked through.
  • Afterwards, you can place the rice back into your bamboo steamer (if you used one) and serve. I placed mine back so I can easily cover it to prevent it from cooling too fast. You can also just place yours in a container with a lid to prevent from cooling too fast.
  • OR you can also scoop the rice and place it in a bowl.
  • Turn the bowl over on a plate to create a dome shape.
  • Top your rice with chopped scallions and roasted peanuts. Enjoy!


Short-Grain Rice: 

  • Short grain rice such as Japanese rice cooks faster than glutinous rice especially if it's soaked overnight so I'd recommend steaming for 15 to 20 minutes first and seeing from there how cooked it is.

Can I cook my rice in a rice cooker instead of steaming?

  • I personally wouldn't recommend this because the rice can turn mushy if soaked in the liquid and starch as it cooks. A rice cooker can be your last resort, but if using one I would recommend to lessen the water so the grains don't overcook.


  • I used five-spice tofu, which is very firm and similar to smoked tofu. If you have access to them, either options will be great! If not, you can always use plain extra-firm tofu and press it well to make sure to drain the excess liquid.


Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1820mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg
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