Lo Mai Gai (糯米雞)

Learn how to make your own Cantonese-style Lo Mai Gai (糯米雞) at home!

Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
90 min
Yields
8 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

Lo mai gai is a classic Cantonese dish which translates to "sticky rice chicken". Legend has it that it was first created in the humble night markets of Guangzhou.

Originally, street vendors used to steam this with a bowl, and then introduced lotus leaves as a more convenient to-go option. Not to be confused by joong/zongzi, which traditionally uses bamboo leaves and a variety of other fillings, lo mai gai is characterized by its use of glutinous rice and chicken steamed in lotus leaves.

Today, it's one of the most popular items at dim sum restaurants around the world.

Thank you, Kikkoman!

This recipe is brought to you in part by Kikkoman. My dad has been using Kikkoman flavors throughout his 50 year career as a chef, and it's a privilege to get to partner with them on such an iconic recipe, lo mai gai!

  • Kikkoman products are a major flavor enhancer and bring out the “umami” taste, and helps balance and round out flavors
  • Kikkoman® Less Sodium Soy Sauce is perfect for home cooks who are looking to cut down on their sodium levels, without sacrificing flavor (if applicable)
  • Kikkoman offers wide range of Gluten-Free Asian sauces, including Gluten-Free Oyster Sauce and Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce
  • The KikkomanUSA.com Chinese site offers easy Asian recipes that home cooks can enjoy any night of the week

You can learn more about Kikkoman and follow them on social media here:

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
8
    Main Ingredients
  • 1 lb glutinous rice (

    also known as "sticky rice"

    )
  • 12 oz water
  • 4 lotus leaves
  • 4 salty egg yolks
  • 1 Chinese sausage
  • 3 oz chicken drumstick meat
  • 2 oz char siu
  • 6 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 red shallots
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water
  • Flavors
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman oyster sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 0.50 tsp Kikkoman tamari (

    Kikkoman offers regular Tamari and Gluten Free Tamari, a wheat-free version

    )
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Kikkoman sesame oil (

    Amazon

    )
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • Glutinous Rice Flavoring
  • 3 oz water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 0.50 tbsp Kikkoman oyster sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce (

    Amazon

    )

Lotus Leaves

Also known as nelumbo nucifera or "hòh yihp" in Cantonese, the lotus is the national flower of Vietnam and India, with a ton of spiritual and cultural significance. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it's a sacred symbol of the path to spiritual awakening, often depicted as a pedestal for gods and deities.

In Vietnamese and Chinese culture, the lotus is a symbol of purity, associated with the saying "to grow out of the mud unsullied" referring to how the lotus grows in very dirty soil but blossoms beautifully.

It's fitting as a symbol of purity because the lotus is actually a self-cleaning plant due to its superhydrophobic surfaces. Water drops onto them, beads up, and rolls of the plant while picking up small particles of dirt. As an ingredient, the lotus plant is extremely versatile as a container, a flavoring agent, medicine, candy, tea, flour, and much more.

You can buy some online here:

Tamari

Here, we're using tamari, which is interchangeable with dark soy sauce. They both have a subtle sweetness and are often used to give food a slightly darker color.

Tamari is the OG Japanese soy sauce as its recipe is the closest to the soy sauce that was originally introduced to Japan from China.

It contains little or no wheat so it's a perfect alternative for anyone out there that's gluten intolerant. It's mainly made in the Chubu region of Japan and it's a great alternative to dark soy sauce.

Kikkoman offers regular Tamari and Gluten Free Tamari (which is the wheat-free version.)

Other Asian Ingredients

Other Supplies + Tools

You'll need a good wok, which provides a ton of versatility for the classic Chinese cooking methods: steaming, stir frying, deep frying, and etc.

You will need a big salad bowl or basin for washing, lots of bowls for soaking ingredients, and a colander for draining.

For steaming, it’s best to use a dedicated steamer, but you might be able to get away with using a wok with a steamer rack. 

You might want a food scale. It's not absolutely necessary for this recipe, but helpful if you want to get your proportions right.

These links are affiliate links, which means that if you use our links to purchase these ingredients, Amazon pays my family a small amount for the sale - at no extra cost to you. If you use these links, we really appreciate the support!

Pour some warm water into a large bowl or pot and submerge the lotus leaves (4) for 2 hours. You can keep them submerged by putting a heavy bowl on top of the leaves.

Each leaf can be used to wrap 2 Lo Mai Gais. Make sure to clean and check the leaves once they are done soaking.

Cut the leaves into quarters and the hard center of the leave off. Set them aside for assembly.

Wash the rice (1 lb) at least three times.

Many people soak the rice for a few hours before steaming but Daddy Lau chooses to cook it right after washing because it's easier.

Once washed, and optionally soaked, add the rice (1 lb) into the rice cooker with water and level the rice for even cooking.

When the rice (1 lb) is cooked, loosen the rice so then it will be easier for the sauce to penetrate it.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the salted eggs (4) into the water to cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, place the eggs (4) into a bowl of cold water.

To remove the bone from the drumstick (3 oz), start by cutting the meat lengthwise along the bone to expose it.

Carefully break the bone closer to the ankle or the "handle" of the drumstick (3 oz). Pull the meat away from the rest of the bone and cut the remaining bone that is connected to the meat off.

Once the bone is removed, cut the meat into bite-size cubes, transfer to a bowl, add cornstarch (1 tsp) and water (2 tsp), mix and marinate.

If you have dried shiitake mushrooms (6 pieces), rehydrate them in warm water for 10-15 minutes before cutting them. Make sure to save the water for later!

Once rehydrated, select your mushrooms (6 pieces) for the different styles of cutting- minced (3 pieces)and thickly (3 pieces) sliced. Cut your mushrooms accordingly and set aside.

Cut the Chinese sausage (1) and char siu (2 oz) into 8 pieces.

Cut the ends of the shallot (3) off, peel, and smash them before mincing it and setting it aside.

Next, we'll start stir-frying our ingredients. We'll set our stove on high heat, and let the wok heat up for 2-3 minutes.

The oil is hot enough when it starts rippling and smoking as we spread it around the wok.

We'll let the chicken (3 oz) cook for about 30 seconds with the heat off, and then set the stove back to high heat.

Let the shallots (3) cook for about 15-30 seconds. Then add mushrooms (6 pieces) and water (4.0 oz).

We'll stir the wok around for about 45-60 seconds. Then, we'll set the heat to low, and start adding our sauce.

Add oyster sauce (1 tbsp), light soy sauce (1 tbsp), tamari (0.50 tsp), chicken bouillon (2 tsp), sugar (2 tsp), and salt (0.50 tsp).

Turn the heat off and mix cornstarch (1 tsp) with water (1 tsp) until it becomes a slurry. Right before we add it to the wok, we'll set the heat to high, and gradually turn it down as the sauce thickens.

Cook it for about 2-3 minutes longer. Once the slurry comes together, add in 2 tsp of sesame oil (2 tsp) then put the filling onto a plate to cool down.

Once cool to the touch, peel the eggs (4) and let them completely cool before gently peeling the egg whites off to expose the egg yolks.

Cut the egg yolks in half and set them aside for assembly.

Take the mushroom juice left over from soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms and combine it with water (3 oz), oyster sauce (0.50 tbsp), light soya sauce (1 tsp), and oil (1 tsp).

Once combined, pour it over the rice, mix, and transfer onto a plate to cool down.

This sauce will help the glutinous rice to loosen and make it easier for us to wrap the lo mai gai.

Now it's time to fill the lotus leaves. Set up your station by having all the ingredients within reach.

First, take two quarters of lotus leaves and place them one on top of the other having the wider parts of the leaves overlapping each other and the narrow ends are at 12 o'clock and at 6 o'clock.

Take a portion of rice and flatten it by hand. Make sure to make the center a bit more thin to hold the filling in place. Place the rice onto the center of the lotus leaves.

Spread a tablespoon full of the chicken and mushroom filling over the rice.

Place the Chinese sausage, char siu, and salted egg yolk on top of the filling.

Make another flatten portion of rice to place on top of the filling. Make sure to have the filling not spill out around the rice.

Tightly fold the lotus leaves around the rice starting with the sides at 3 and 9 o'clock and the at 12 and 6 o'clock.

Repeat this process 7 more times.

If you notice any cracks or rips in the lotus leaf, you can cut another leaf to place on top of the rip to cover it.

Pour water into the steamer and place the steamer on the highest heat. When the water is boiling, it's time to load up the steamer with the lo mai gai!

Place the lo mai gai seam down onto the steamer's tray. Arrange them into a single layer. Do not stack them as they will not cook properly.

Steam for 20 minutes on high heat.

Summary

Lo Mai Gai (糯米雞)
Learn how to make your own Cantonese-style Lo Mai Gai (糯米雞) at home!
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 90 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
    Main Ingredients
  • 1 lb glutinous rice (

    also known as "sticky rice"

    )
  • 12 oz water
  • 4 lotus leaves
  • 4 salty egg yolks
  • 1 Chinese sausage
  • 3 oz chicken drumstick meat
  • 2 oz char siu
  • 6 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 red shallots
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water
  • Flavors
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman oyster sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 0.50 tsp Kikkoman tamari (

    Kikkoman offers regular Tamari and Gluten Free Tamari, a wheat-free version

    )
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Kikkoman sesame oil (

    Amazon

    )
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • Glutinous Rice Flavoring
  • 3 oz water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 0.50 tbsp Kikkoman oyster sauce (

    Amazon

    )
  • 1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce (

    Amazon

    )
Step 1 - Prepare lotus leaves↑ Jump to details

Soak the lotus leaves (4)in warm water for 2 hours. Cut into quarters and set aside.

Step 2 - Prepare glutinous rice↑ Jump to details

Wash the rice three times, transfer to the rice cooker with water and cook. When the rice is cooked, loosen the rice by running chopsticks through it.

Step 3 - Boil salted eggs↑ Jump to details

Boil the salted eggs (4) for 2 minutes, transfer them into a bowl of cold water.

Step 4 - Prepare drum sticks↑ Jump to details

To remove the bone from the drumstick and cut the meat into bite-size cubes, transfer to a bowl, and add cornstarch (1 tsp) and water (2 tsp).

Step 5 - Prepare other ingredients↑ Jump to details

Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms (6 pieces) in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Save the water for later!

Once rehydrated, mince half of the mushrooms and thickly slice the other half.

Cut the Chinese sausage (1) and char siu (2 oz) into 8 pieces.

Mince the shallots (3).

Step 6 - Cook filling↑ Jump to details

Heat up the wok and oil. Cook the chicken (3 oz) for 30 seconds with the heat off, and then set the stove back to high heat.

Let the shallots (3) cook for about 15-30 seconds. Add mushrooms (6 pieces) and water (4.0 oz). Stir the wok around for about 45-60 seconds.

Set the heat to low, and start adding the sauce.

Step 7 - Add sauces to filling↑ Jump to details

Add oyster sauce (1 tbsp), light soy sauce (1 tbsp), tamari (0.50 tsp), chicken bouillon (2 tsp), sugar (2 tsp), and salt (0.50 tsp).

Make a slurry of cornstarch (1 tsp) with water. (1 tsp) Add the slurry on high heat, and gradually turn it down as the sauce thickens.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. Add sesame oil (2 tsp)then put the filling onto a plate to cool down.

Step 8 - Peel & cut salted eggs↑ Jump to details

Peel the eggs (4) and let them completely cool before gently peeling the egg whites off to expose the egg yolks.

Cut the egg yolks in half and set them aside for assembly.

Step 9 - Add sauce to rice↑ Jump to details

Combine the juice from soaking the shiitake mushrooms with water (3 oz), oyster sauce (0.50 tbsp), light soya sauce (1 tsp), and oil (1 tsp).

Pour it over the rice, mix, and transfer onto a plate to cool down.

Step 10 - Assemble Lo Mai Gai↑ Jump to details

Place two quarters of lotus leaves one on top of the other having the wider parts of the leaves overlapping each other and the narrow ends are at 12 o'clock and at 6 o'clock. Sandwich the fillings between two small portions of rice and shape into a rectangle.

Tightly fold the lotus leaves around the rice starting with the sides at 3 and 9 o'clock and at 12 and 6 o'clock.

Step 11 - Steam Lo Mai Gai↑ Jump to details

Place the lo mai gai seam down onto the steamer's tray. Arrange them into a single layer. Once the water is boiling, steam for 20 minutes.

Step 12 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 13 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

Enjoy!

Transfer the lo mai gai onto a plate and call your loved ones over! It's time to eat :) My sister and I have many, many happy memories enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family.

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.

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About Made With Lau

We started Made With Lau to honor and share the legacy of our wonderful parents, Jenny and Chung Sun Lau.

Our hope is that these posts give you (and our future generations) a glimpse into how great they are!