How to Make Loh Mai Kai (Sticky Rice with Chicken)

Loh Mai Kai (Cantonese for sticky rice with chicken) is traditionally steamed in rice bowl-sized moulds and eaten at breakfast; in this particular version, it’s steamed in a casserole dish. I’ve omitted the Chinese wax sausage since I don’t eat pork, but you’re more than welcome to use it; you just need to steam and dice it up and add it to the rice mixture.

This recipe was originally by Lim Bian Yam of the International School of Home Cookery in Malaysia, but I’ve heavily tweaked it to shorten the cooking time, and by using chicken rather than roast duck (I’ve never eaten or even seen this dish with anything but chicken).


Loh Mai Kai


450g glutinous rice
1 TBSP thick soya sauce
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP light soya sauce
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp chicken powder
450ml water
300g chicken thigh fillets, sliced
½ tsp five spice powder
1 ½ TBSP sugar
2 tsps chicken powder (or 1 tsp salt)
½ tsp thick soya sauce aka cooking caramel
1 TBSP ghee or lard
½ tsp pepper
3 water chestnuts, cut matchstick-style
6 Shitake mushrooms, sliced

Combine –
2 TBSP soya sauce
1 TBSP thick soya sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP sugar dissolved in 2 TBSP hot water
3 TBSP oil or lard


  1. The original recipe called for the rice to be soaked for 4 hours with the thick soya sauce, then drained and steamed for 15 minutes before adding 170ml water and the rest of the ingredients and steaming it again until done. Personally, I just throw everything in a rice cooker and cook it without pre-soaking the rice.
  2. Cook the chicken with its marinade until just done; about 2 minutes.
  3. Toss in water chestnuts and sliced mushrooms and mix well.
  4. Line a 20cm casserole dish with ¼ of the rice, then add ⅓ of the chicken.
  5. Continue until all the rice and chicken are used up.
  6. Steam on high heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve with sauce and bottled chilli sauce or homemade garlic chilli sauce.

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