Even though sticky rice is just a grain side dish, I find myself stuffing my face with it whenever I come across it. And when freshly made and served piping hot, it’s even more tempting. Leeks and shiitake mushrooms perfume the oil and the rice that’s cooked in the same pot, and plenty of white pepper is infused throughout. Often in Chinese and Taiwanese sticky rice preparations, dried baby shrimp and sliced dry-cured sausage such as lap cheong are added. You can find both of these in Asian groceries; they’re not essential, however, and leaving them out means this is a vegetarian-friendly side.
- Heat the neutral oil in a medium-large pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the leek, shiitakes, and dried shrimp (if using) and cook for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes more.
- Add the salt, white pepper, rice, water, and soy sauce and raise the heat to high to bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or following the instructions on the package of rice, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been fully absorbed. Check once or twice to ensure there is sufficient water and the bottom of the pot isn’t scorching, and add more water if necessary.
- Spoon the rice into a serving bowl. Alternatively, scoop the rice into a mixing bowl and pack it in. To serve, invert the bowl onto a plate so you have a mound of molded sticky rice.
Recipe courtesy of SHEET PAN CHICKEN: 50 Simple and Satisfying Ways to Cook Dinner. Copyright © 2020 by Cathy Erway. Photography by Lizzie Munro. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.