Preparing Flavored Glutinous Rice

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

Glutinous rice (often called sweet rice) is a sticky, short-grain rice often used in desserts, such as rice pudding, or in stuffings (see Whole Stuffed Chicken Skin,, or Eight-Jewel Duck). It absorbs flavor like bread crumbs and can be cooked longer than long-grain rice without falling apart. It is rich and heavy, which is why a little goes a long way.

Cooked with flavorful meats, vegetables, or spices, glutinous rice produces a delicious, simple, home-style dish, rather like an Italian risotto. Here we simply and delicately flavor it with Chinese sausage. The rice is soaked a couple of hours in cold water to cover, to soften it and make it more absorbent. This can be done up to 6 hours in advance. The finished dish reheats beautifully and can be prepared ahead of time. Instead of Chinese sausages, pickled vegetables or preserved fish may be substituted.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice, soaked and drained
  • 4 Chinese sausages, cut into ¼-inch slices


  1. Line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth. Spread the glutinous rice over it and scatter the sliced sausages on top.

  2. Cover and steam over simmering water in a wok for 30 minutes.