Fried glutinous rice is one of my favourite indulgences – glutinous rice or also known as sticky rice is almost glue-like in texture when cooked and when raw, the grains are almost fully opaque instead of other rice varieties which are typically slightly translucent. Glutinous rice is not a ‘daily rice’ if you will, but is used deliciously in many popular dishes like today’s fried rice dish or made into Chinese rice dumplings (zhongzhi). Due to the gluey and sticky consistency, this rice is usually not served on its’ own unlike the usual white or brown rice you see at most Chinese meals. Frying glutinous rice is also different from the usual fried rice dishes where the rice grains are already cooked before you fry them but for glutinous rice, you use raw grains that have been soaked and actually add water as you stir-fry them for the rice to be fully cooked.
I am featuring my mom’s simple recipe for today and she usually just adds Chinese waxed sausage, dried shrimp and some green onion slices. Other popular additions include shitake mushroom slices, peanuts and dried scallops. For this, I actually recommend using a non-stick flat-based pan (really!) as it is important for you to be able to ‘lay’ the rice in one layer after you add water each time for equal cooking between the grains. The sausage slices should be sauteed until lightly browned and removed before you start cooking the rice. Stir-fried glutinous rice is also a classic dim sum favourite and you may recall seeing glutinous rice on those dim sum carts. Anyhow, I hope you give this a try sometime soon and admittedly, I myself was amazed and delighted at how easy it was to recreate this classic Chinese favourite at home.
1 cup glutinous rice, soaked for at least 6 hours
2 Chinese waxed sausage (lap cheong), diced or sliced thinly
1/3 cup dried shrimp, rinsed and chopped
2 stalks green onions, sliced (use the white parts for cooking and green parts for garnish)
3 tbsps cooking oil
Seasoning: (do a taste test and add more soy if needed)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsps water
10 tbsps water (to be added gradually and to be added as needed)
Firstly, drain the soaked rice well. Heat up a pan and once hot, add about 1 tbsp oil and add the waxed sausage slices and fry them until lightly browned.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Rinse the pan quickly and wipe dry. Heat pan again and add the other 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the glutinous rice. Stir around to coat the rice well with the oil. Add in dried shrimp, white parts of green onions and waxed sausage slices. Add seasoning. Press the rice into a flattish layer in the pan.
Add about 3 tbsps of water. Wait until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Add another 3 tbsps of water and press into a flattish layer again. Allow rice to absorb all the liquid. Take a grain of rice and taste it for doneness – if done, the rice should not be hard at all. Add the 3 tbsps of water again if needed and until and allow the rice to absorb liquid. Eat another grain of rice to make sure it is soft and fully cooked. Do another taste test and also add more soy if required. Serve hot. Garnish with some of the green onion slices if you wish.
Note that I only had to add water twice and my rice was cooked. The amount of time which you soak the glutinous rice also makes a difference of course.