Best Sticky Oil Rice

A recipe from mom for making the best Sticky Oil Rice that is perfect for gatherings, parties, gifting to others or enjoying in the comfort of home. The springy texture of the rice paired with her special, flavorful additions make it truly exceptional. We really think this is the world's best sticky rice!

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes – Cooking Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes – Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Helpful equipment

  • Wok or large skillet
  • Small saucepan for cooking chestnuts, if necessary


  • 3 cups sticky rice partly cooked (read notes)
  • 30 dried Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and julienned with stems removed
  • 1 lb. meat (read notes)
  • 1.5 oz dried shrimp
  • 1 lb. cooked, candied chestnuts, halved (read notes)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 white parts of green onions, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rock sugar or more (optional)
  • oil


Step 1
Heat oil in a large, non-stick wok or skillet over medium heat. To the pan add green onions, garlic and meat. Cook the meat partially before incorporating 1-2 tbsp. soy sauce. Toss the meat thoroughly with soy sauce and cook until nearly done.

Step 2
Next, add the shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp, along with up to 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Cook until mushrooms have softened.

Step 3
Add rock sugar and sticky rice, breaking up the rice. Drizzle up to 1 tbsp. soy sauce and oyster sauce over the rice. Toss with rice, distributing it evenly. Add more oil (or pork fat) to help break the rice up and evenly disperse the sauces. Taste to adjust salt, sugar and sauce levels to your preference.

Step 4
Lastly, stir in the cooked, chopped water chestnuts before plating and serving.


  • Note that we do not recommend feeding sticky rice to little ones.
  • Sticky rice is really, really sticky, so do not hesitate to use ample oil (or pork fat) while mixing with the brown sauces.
  • Meat to use – For group gatherings pork belly is our meat of choice. Slice the pork belly into about 1/3rd inch slabs. Then, cut each slab into 1/3rd inch pieces; the resulting pieces will be about 1/3”x1/3”x1 ½” in dimensions. When cooking up the pork belly pieces, some of the fat will render out, enhancing the flavor. 
  • Other alternatives for meat include: savory, sliced Chinese sausage and pre-cooked, braised pork belly. For a healthier twist, use lean, minced turkey meat.
  • Handling the sticky rice – Cook sticky rice until just shy of being done, as it continues cooking further in the pan. We use a rice cooker method devised by mom decades ago to ensure springy, perfectly cooked rice. These days, an instant pot is also acceptable; both methods are outlined in a blog here.
  • Rehydrating Shiitake mushrooms – To rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms, pour boiling water over them until fully submerged. Cover and soak for approximately 1 hour until softened. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze out any excess water, destem and slice thinly.
  • Rock sugar – Rock sugar can be omitted entirely or substituted with an alternative sugar if desired.
  • Candied chestnuts – For candied chestnuts, pre-cooked and shelled snack chestnuts, such as Galil’s Roasted Chestnuts, work well. Or, prepare them yourself by simmering 1 lb. of shelled chestnuts in water with up to ½ cup maple syrup for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the syrup until the chestnuts reach your desired sweetness level.

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