A dim sum favourite you can easily replicate at home
Serves 6
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Packed with juicy mushrooms and chicken, lor mai gai, which is Cantonese for glutinous chicken with rice, is a dim sum classic found in Chinese restaurants and even coffee shops. It is typically served during breakfast. Here’s how to create the dish from scratch with basic ingredients you have access to in your kitchen. And our secret addition? A little touch of sugar.


  • 500 g raw glutinous rice
  • 1.38 litres water
  • 4 boneless chicken legs, skin removed (500g)
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms (30 g), soaked and sectioned into six portions


  • 3 tbsps light soya sauce
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ sugar (optional)
  • Dash of ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsps sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour


  • 3 tbsps light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 tbsps sesame oil

Wash the glutinous rice. Place in a deep bowl. Add 1.2 litres of water. Set the glutinous rice aside to soak for 2 hrs.


Cut each boneless chicken thigh into 4.5 cm by 4.5 cm bite-size pieces.


Place the chicken meat in a dish. Add the light soya sauce, salt, sugar, ground white pepper, sesame oil and cornflour. Mix well. Clingwrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 2 hrs.


Once the rice is soaked for 2 hrs, discard the soaking liquid.


Drain off excess water and place the rice in a deep heat-proof bowl. Add the light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Mix well.


Arrange the mushrooms in a layer on the rice. Cover the bowl with a piece of cheese cloth. Steam the rice for 1 hr.


Remove the mushrooms from the rice and set aside in a bowl. Divide the mushrooms into six portions.


Divide the chicken into six portions.


Take one heat-proof bowl and arrange one portion of the chicken and mushrooms (gill side up) in a layer.


Fill the bowl with rice and pack it in tightly. Repeat for the rest of the bowls. Steam for 10 mins.


To serve, put a plate over the bowl, then flip over and remove the bowl. Set hot.

TIP Add sugar to both the chicken and rice for sweetness.

TIP It is best to use old rice if you can get hold of it. At provision shops, ask for “lao bee” in Hokkien or “lao mi” in Mandarin, which both mean old rice. Old rice does not turn mushy easily and has a springy texture.

Photo: Hedy Khoo

Text: Straits Times

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