Learn how to cook simple three ingredients no mi fan (Chinese savory sticky rice) in a rice cooker, essentially an easy version of bak cang, or lo mai gai.
There are two really classic Chinese sticky rice dish, one is bak cang (粽子), and the other one is lo mai gai (糯米鸡). The first one is wrapped in bamboo leaves and served during dragon boat festival, while the later is wrapped in lotus leaves and commonly found in dim sum.
I love both versions, and I especially love my Mom’s bak cang which she makes annually (I know, I know, I am so spoiled when it comes to good food ♥). Since I am no expert in wrapping a cang, I just make this super simple version when a craving for one hits me.
Purists are probably gonna hate me for tempering with their bak cang or lo mai gai, not to mention I dare to use a rice cooker too! But, I will take all the hatred hurled at me as long as I can have my bak cang/lo mai gai fix whenever I want one. :P
The ingredients needed to prepare no mi fan - Chinese savory sticky rice
Just like regular bak cang, you can make a super fancy no mi fan, or make a really simple one. For this recipe, I only use these three ingredients, which to me is perfect for non special occasions:
- white sticky rice,
- rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms (Tips: always save the soaking water as stock to make flavorful no mi fan),
- Chinese sausages
If you need something fancier, you can add the followings too:
- salted egg yolks
- roasted/boiled chestnuts
- soaked dried shrimps
- chicken meat/pork meat cut to bite size pieces
So feel free to pick and choose what you want to add to your no mi fan, and if you have some favorite ingredients that I miss out, do share them with me in the comment. :)
Dried shiitake mushrooms and the shiitake stock (a.k.a. shiitake soaking water)
Lately, fresh shiitakes have been getting more and more common, and I think they are perfect for a quick stir fry job with some Chinese greens. But for no mi fan (or bak cang/lo mai gai), please stick to using dried shiitake mushrooms.
Also, be sure to soak them in plenty of water (for this recipe, about 2 to 2.5 cups of water) to rehydrate.
Hopefully, once the shiitake mushrooms are back to their fluffy state, you are left with about 2 cups of natural shiitake stock. Using this shiitake stock to cook the no mi fan gives a much flavorful result than simply using water or chicken stock, so please don’t throw the soaking water away.
The ingredients for no mi fan sauce, and my note on Shaoxing wine
The last important part to prepare no mi fan is the sauce. And for that, you will need the following ingredients:
- Shaoxing wine (if possible, choose the one with 0% salt like Pagoda brand)
- dark soy sauce
- oyster sauce
- sesame oil
- salt (only add salt if your Shaoxing wine has 0% salt)
- ground pepper
A note on Shaoxing wine. If you are using good quality Shaoxing wine that has 0% salt, then use the salt in the recipe to prepare your no mi fan sauce. If you notice that your Shaoxing wine contains salt, then please don’t add any more salt to the sauce or the no mi fan may end up too salty.
Two step process to cook no mi fan, stove top and rice cooker
Once all the prep work is done, it is time to finally cook the no mi fan. Here is the two step cooking process:
1. Start on the stove top
Fry garlic, scallion (white parts only), Chinese sausage, shiitake, sticky rice, and no mi fan sauce in a wok/frying pan on the stove top.
2. Finish in a rice cooker
Then transfer the ingredients from the wok/frying pan into the rice cooker pot, add shiitake stock (a.k.a. shiitake soaking water) and let the rice cooker cook the rice with “cook rice” or “white rice” function.
Remember to wait 10 minutes once the rice cooker turns to “keep warm” function. Add scallion (green parts) and close the lid and wait another 10 minutes before fluffing and serving the no mi fan.
No Mi Fan - Savory Sticky Rice
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, separate the white parts from the green parts
- 4 Chinese sausages (Indonesian: lap cheong), cut into 1 cm slices diagonally
- 6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 500 gram white sticky rice/white glutinous rice (Indonesian: beras ketan)
- Sauce (combine the following)
- 4 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, preferrably with 0% salt
- 4 tablespoon dark soy sauce (or use 3 tablespoon light soy sauce) (*)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, only add this if your Shaoxing has 0% salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper/ground black pepper
- Overnight soak: Soak shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water until soft and puffed up, cut into thin slices and reserve the soaking liquid. Soak white sticky rice in cold water for 8 hours or overnight, drained.
- In a wok/frying pan, heat sesame oil on high heat. Sauté garlic and white parts of scallions until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add Chinese sausages and stir for 1 minute. Add shiitake and stir for 1 minute.
- Pour the sauce ingredients into the wok/pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add the glutinous rice and stir until everything is well mixed. Transfer the rice mixture into a rice cooker pot. Pour the 2 cups of shiitake soaking liquid into the pot. It should just be enough to cover all the rice mixture, if not you can add some more water to cover the entire rice mixture.
- Place the pot into your rice cooker, and cook with "cook rice" or "white rice" function until it turns to "warm", which means the rice is cooked at this time. Wait for 10 minutes, then open the rice cooker lid and add the green parts of the scallions and close the lid again. After another 10 minutes, open the rice cooker and stir with a paddle to fluff the rice. Serve immediately.
- (*) Dark soy sauce gives the dark color to the no mi fan. Using light soy sauce will result in much lighter color no mi fan. Since light soy sauce is actually saltier compared to dark soy sauce, be sure to use only 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce to substitute 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce.