Whenever I'm craving a hearty flavorful dish, one of the first things that come to mind is a LARGE bowl of You Fan 油飯 (Oil Rice or Taiwanese Sticky Rice). Notice how I wrote LARGE in all caps? That's the only way I eat it. No little rice bowls for me, that's just not enough. Drizzle a bit of sweet chili sauce on top and that's all I need for dinner.
You Fan, when translated directly to English means "oil rice". Yes, there could be a lot of oil in this dish. Most of it is from the fat that renders off the pork belly. My recipe removes some of the fat before it's mixed into the rice. But by all means, you can skip this step. For me, a little healthier lets me eat a LARGE bowl a little guilt-free.
How to Prepare Ingredients for Taiwanese Sticky Rice
You will need to prep a few items ahead of time. If I'm making Oil Rice for dinner, I'll do this prep in the morning or the night before.
- Glutinous Rice – Lightly rinse the rice in a colander to remove some of the starch. Soak in water for 6+ hours.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms – Soak in 2 cups of warm water for 1+ hour.
- Dried shrimp – Chop then soak in 2 tablespoons of rice wine for 1+ hour.
How to Cook You Fan (油 飯)
Making Oil Rice can be broken up into 4 main steps: steaming the rice, making the meat sauce, mixing the steamed rice with the sauce, and steaming everything together. The final steaming is what infuses the sticky rice with all that flavor.
1) Steam the sticky rice – I steam the rice in a stainless steel colander with a Tatung rice cooker, which doubles as a steamer. Use any stovetop or bamboo steamer you have at home. Make a few holes in the rice so that it cooks more evenly. Do a taste check after 20 minutes. The rice should be translucent, tender and sticky.
2) Brown the meat and aromatics – Brown the pork belly in a wok with a bit of oil. Remove the pork and set it aside. Stir fry the dried shrimp with rice wine until the rice wine evaporates. Add the mushrooms and ginger and stir fry until lightly browned. Return the pork belly back to the wok and toss to combine.
3) Make the meat sauce – Add the SAUCE ingredients and the 2 cups of water used to soak the mushrooms with. If you don't have 2 full cups of mushroom soaking liquid, you can top it off with water. Mix well, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4) Bring it all together – Spoon the cooked rice into the wok with the pork sauce mixture. Thoroughly mix until the rice is nicely coated in sauce and until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Put the rice back into the colander and steam for another 15 minutes.
Don't forget to grab a bottle of sweet chili sauce to drizzle on top. We use the AGV Brand Sweet Chili Sauce. It's a little sweet and a little spicy with a tomato sauce base and it's the perfect balance for You Fan. I hope you enjoy my Taiwanese Sticky Rice recipe. If you love rice dishes, check out my Clay Pot Chicken Rice recipe.
- 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Start by prepping the rice, mushrooms and dried shrimp. Lightly rinse and soak the glutinous rice with water overnight or at least 6 hours. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of warm water. Chop and soak the dried shrimp in rice wine. Allow the mushrooms and shrimp to rehydrate for at least one hour.
- Drain the rice and steam in a heat-safe colander for 20 minutes. Use any stovetop steamer or bamboo steamer you have at home.
- While the rice is steaming, mix all the SAUCE ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the water and squeeze out excess water. (Don't dump out the water! We'll use it later.) Cut off the thick part of the stems and slice thinly.
- Heat a wok or skillet over high heat and drizzle a bit of oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Add the strips of pork belly and lightly brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Over medium heat, pour in the chopped dried shrimp along with the rice wine it was soaking in. Stir fry until the wine evaporates.
- Add the mushrooms and ginger and stir fry until lightly browned.
- Add the pork belly back into the wok. Pour in the premixed sauce and the 2 cups of mushroom soaking liquid. If you don't have a full 2 cups, top it off with water.
- Give it a good stir then cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- By now, the rice should be fully cooked. It should be sticky and tender with a translucent appearance. Transfer the rice into the wok with the pork meat sauce.
- Over low heat, thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Be sure to break up any lumps of rice and incorporate the sauce into the rice.
- Once the sauce has been fully absorbed by the rice, transfer back into the colander and steam for another 15 minutes.
- Serve with cilantro and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce.