Monday, August 18, 2014

lo mai kai | steamed glutinous rice with pork belly, mushrooms, dried shrimps and chinese sausage

Lo Mai Kai is basically steamed glutinous rice with chicken (but here I chose to use pork), mushrooms, dried shrimps, lup cheong (Chinese sausage) and sometimes even salted eggs. It is usually served at dim sum, where it is wrapped in lotus leaves.

Lo Mai Kai is a very popular breakfast dish in my house. Usually by the time breakfast is over, there isn't even a grain of rice left.
Since Lo Mai Kai can be made in advance and kept in the freezer, I usually make a really big batch at a time.

I use little metal bowls because the Lo Mai Kai can be made in them and they can then be steamed, and kept frozen and re-heated when needed. These bowls are really great tools to have at home!

I started by soaking the glutinous rice over night. Some say 2 hours of soaking should be sufficient but I am a bit kiasu and I kinda figured there really is no harm in letting the rice hang out with the water while I sleep.

Before cooking, I divided the minced garlic and sliced shallots into 3 portions. Once the oil in the wok was hot, I stir-fried the first portion of garlic and shallots for about 30 seconds, then added the dried shrimps and mushrooms.
They were stir-fried for about 2 minutes then transferred into a bowl.

In the same wok (no need to wash), I repeated the same with the second portion of garlic and shallots, then added the pork.
Once the pork was about 70% cooked through, I transferred them from the wok into a bowl.

Finally, I stir-fried the last portion of garlic and shallots.
The rice was added, followed by the light and dark soy sauces and pepper.
Once well-mixed, I added the water and turned the heat down. This was cooked until all the water had evaporated. Just keep stirring.
This, too, was transferred into a bowl.

I left the ingredients to cool a little. Well, the lup cheong just waits.
Then I placed a little pork, lup cheong and dried shrimps and mushrooms into a bowl.
And I filled the bowl (about 3/4 full) with rice, making sure to press the rice down.
If you are going to freeze the rice, then wrap each bowl with aluminium foil before you steam them so they can be stored more easily.

The Lo Mai Kai were steamed for about 30-40 minutes (until the rice was no longer hard).

You can either freeze them when they have completely cooled, or eat them right away!
I think I don't need to tell you how good this is.

When you make a dish at home, you can adjust every aspect of the dish to suit your taste buds.

Best of all, there are no additives, and you know exactly what goodness you are feeding your family.

What can be better than that?
Happy cooking!

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Lo Mai Kai (Steamed Glutinous Rice with Pork Belly, Mushrooms, Dried Shrimps and Chinese Sausage) (Makes 10-12 medium portions)

500g pork belly, sliced (You can substitute with 4 chicken thighs)
2 Chinese sausages, thinly sliced
A handful of dried shrimps, soaked in hot water and drained
7-8 dried Shitake mushrooms, rehydrated, stems removed and sliced
1kg glutinous rice, soaked at least 2 hours - I soaked mine over night
5 cloves garlic, minced and divided into 3 portions
6 shallots, thinly sliced and divided into 3 portions
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup water
Coriander, to garnish

Pork (or Chicken) Marinade:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1. Marinate pork (or chicken). Place in fridge for an hour or over night.
2. In a wok, stir fry one portion of garlic and shallots. Add dried shrimps and mushrooms. Fry for 2 minutes before transferring into a bowl. Set aside.
3. Add a little oil and stir fry the second portion of garlic and shallots. Add pork (or chicken) and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
4. Repeat the same with the last portion of garlic and shallots. Add rice, light and dark soy sauces and pepper. Stir to combine.
5. Add water and reduce heat. Keep stirring until all the water had evaporated. Transfer into a bowl to cool.
6. When the ingredients are cool enough to work with, place the meat, Chinese sausage, dried shrimps and mushrooms at the base of a metal bowl (or aluminium disposable bowls if using). Top with rice (until bowl is 3/4 full). Press with the back of a spoon to compact the rice.
7. Steam for 30-40 minutes, or until rice is soft.
8. Serve immediately, or cool before freezing. Thaw and steam before eating.
Note: Can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.


  1. Yummy, one of my fav dim sum or breakfast dishes!

  2. Hi Diana! No chocolate cake today but I am not complaining at all. I love lao mai kai! Goodness me, now I know how to make my own. Thank you so much for the recipe and guidance. Now, let me see where can I get my metal bowls LOL!

  3. Lo mai all time favourite...
    Yours with pork sounds good...
    Instead of lo mai kai, I think they should be name "lo mai ju"...
    Hahaha....just making fun of it, hope you don't mind!