Amazing Sticky Rice (Vegetarian or Chicken)

A plate of vegetarian sticky rice.

Steamed Vegetable Glutinous Rice (with chicken option) And a fried option — to suit all tastes. (Image: via Jenny Low)

Sticky Rice, also known as Glutinous rice, is on the menu today. This dual-purpose dish is a delightfully helpful addition to anyone’s repertoire of recipes. It easily accommodates a vegetarian or meat-eating palate. Combining the black-eyed peas (beans) with the chicken adds necessary dietary fiber, which is found to be lacking in chicken. This supplementing provides essential nutrients for a balanced diet. Another quality of glutinous rice is its ability to be molded into shapes, a handy attribute for food presentation. Glutinous rice is a rich carbohydrate food.

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5 People

Prep time

20 minutes Note that time does not include soaking glutinous rice and black eye peas overnight.

Cooking time

30 minutes

Day 1 Pre-preparation Steps:


  • 5 fresh long pandan leaves (2 ½ leaves to flavor water to soak rice and 2 ½ to cook rice)

  • 500 g glutinous rice (washed)

  • 120 g black-eyed peas 


  • Boil 2 ½ pandan leaves in  3 cups of water for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.   
  • Add the pandan liquid to the washed glutinous rice and set it aside to soak overnight.   
  • Wash and soak the peas, covered in water, overnight.
soaking black eye peas
Soaking the black-eyed peas. (Image: via Jenny Low)
soaking the glutinous rice with pandan leaves.
Soaking the glutinous rice with pandan leaves. (Image: via Jenny Low)

Chicken Option:


  • 300 g chicken (sliced breast or thigh)

  • 2 fresh ginger slices

  • 5 mushrooms (Soak in water till soft and cut into slices)

  • 1 spring onion (cut into small pieces)

  • 1 tbsp oil

Sticky Rice Sauce Ingredients:


  • 1 tbsp soy sauce  

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce  

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil  

  • 1 ½ tsp salt 

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 

Chicken Marinade Sauce:  


  • 1 tbsp ginger juice 

  • 1 tbsp cooking wine 

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil 

  • 1 ½ tsp soy sauce 

  • 1 tsp salt 

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp honey

chicken, mushroom, ginger, spring onion, chicken
Fresh and tasty ingredients. (Image: via Jenny Low)

Day 2 — Preparation steps:


  • Drain the pandan/rice flavored water from the glutinous rice into a bowl using a strainer. Discard the pandan leaves. Measure 185 ml of this pandan/rice water and set it aside.    
  • Place chicken in a bowl and mix in the marinade sauce. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Boil the soaked peas in 3 cups of water until soft. Drain water and set it aside.

Method to fry chicken:


  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan until hot. Add ginger and fry until fragrant.
  • Stir in chicken and fry until cooked. Take out and put aside.

Method to fry sticky/glutinous rice:


  • Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan until hot. Add shallots and fry until lightly browned, then push to one side of the pan.
  • Add mushrooms, ¼ tsp of sugar, and ¼ tsp of soy sauce, and fry until fragrant.
  • Stir in glutinous rice, rice sauce ingredients, and six tbsp of the pandan/rice water (from the reserved 185 ml in Step 1 of Day 2 — Preparation steps).
  • Add in black-eyed peas and the spring onion.
  • Fry the above ingredients for 5 minutes to infuse and enrich the flavors.

Method to steam glutinous/sticky rice:


  • Prepare a steamer* and an inner container. Boil enough water and add to the steamer. Bring to a gentle boil. 
  • Fill the inner container with half the fried rice and bean mixture. 
  • Place the remaining 2½ pandan leaves on top.      
  • Cover the pandan leaves with the remaining fried rice mixture.      
  • Pour the remaining 185 ml of pandan/rice water over the rice and bean mixture.
  • Place the container into the steamer and steam the contents for 30 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Vegetarian glutinous rice option:

Place a single serving of steamed glutinous rice into a bowl. Pack it tight with a spoon. Smooth and shape it with a butter knife. Turn the bowl onto a serving plate and remove the rice onto the plate.

Chicken glutinous rice option:

First, place fried chicken into a bowl, then top with the steamed glutinous rice mixture. Pack it down with a spoon and smooth it out with a knife. Turn out onto a serving plate.

chicken sticky rice
Chicken glutinous rice option — ready to devour. (Image: Jenny Low)

* Note two steamer types:                                                                                                                                

1. A stainless steel steamer with a saucepan, inserts, and lid.

2. A bamboo steamer with a saucepan, inserts, and lid.

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