Lo Mai Gai (Glutinous Rice Chicken)

Lo mai gai (糯米鸡) is Cantonese for “steamed glutinous (sticky) rice with chicken”. This is a popular dim sum dish served during yum cha hours, where the sticky rice with chicken is wrapped and steamed in lotus leaf parcels.

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This one which is served in a disposable aluminium bowl is the everyday takeaway version found everywhere – from coffee shops, supermarkets to petrol kiosks.

Lo Mai Gai Recipe

I have never really liked the takeaway version, because it tastes quite “cheap” (processed taste, inferior chicken cut) to me. Until I made my very own. Although this is a simplified recipe using many short-cuts (rice cooker to cook the glutinous rice, no stir-frying of the raw ingredients), the taste is much better than the mass-produced ones. I think it is due to the fact that real ingredients are used – for example, boneless chicken thigh cut. If you are a fan of lo mai gai, you have to try to make this yourself at home.

How to Assemble Lo Mai Gai

cooked glutinous rice  Lup cheong and dried shiitake mushrooms  marinated chicken
Main Ingredients (from left to right): cooked glutinous rice, “lup cheong” (Chinese sausage) & dried shiitake mushrooms, marinated chicken.

Lo Mai Gai Disposable Foil Bowls  Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
I bought these disposable glutinous rice foil cases from a random provision shop. They measure 11 cm in diameter. You can also use shallow bowls or ramekins. Grease each bowl or ramekin with melted butter.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
Add some chicken, sausage and mushrooms in each bowl.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
Add cooked glutinous rice.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
Pack the rice tightly and flatten out the top using the back of a spoon.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
If there are leftover sauce from marinating the chicken, pour them on the rice.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe
Seal each bowl with foil before steaming.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinuous Rice Chicken) Recipe

Lo Mai Gai Recipe

Lo Mai Gai (Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken) Recipe

Enjoy this with a pot of Chinese tea to aid digestion.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 120 grams boneless & skinless chicken thigh cut to bite-sized pieces
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup dried shrimps (虾米) soaked in hot water until softened, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water (plain water, chicken stock or filtered soaking water for mushrooms & dried shrimps)
  • 10 grams unsalted butter melted at low in the microwave
  • 1 lup cheong (腊肠/Chinese dried sausage) soaked in hot water for a few minutes, remove the outer wax covering and slice thinly
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in hot water until softened, discard stems, slice caps thinly

(A) Rice Seasoning

  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chicken seasoning powder
  • dashes of white pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

(B)  Marinade

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger juice
  • 1/4 tsp 5-spice powder

Serving suggestion

  • chopped spring onions and/or coriander
  • fried shallots
  • roasted peanuts
  • cut red chilli

You also need


  1. Glutinous (sticky) rice. Rinse glutinous rice and soak in a bowl of water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the rice. Season drained rice with (A), coating each grain with the sauce thoroughly. Heat oil in wok. Add shallots, garlic and dried shrimps. Stir fry briefly until aromatic. Add seasoned rice. Stir fry until everything is evenly mixed & fragrant, then transfer contents to a rice cooker. Add half cup of water. Cook the rice in a rice cooker.
  2. Chicken. Marinade chicken with (B) for half hour or longer in the fridge.
  3. Assemble and cook (step by step pictures here). Brush butter to grease each bowl or ramekin. Divide marinaded chicken, mushrooms and lup cheong evenly among each bowl. Top with cooked glutinous rice, packing the contents tightly and even out the top using the back of a spoon. Pour leftover marinade sauce over the rice. Seal each bowl with foil. Steam over high heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Serving. Invert lo mai gai over a plate. Garnish with spring onion/coriander, roasted peanuts, fried shallots and cut chilli.