Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cakes, Savory Vegetarian Style | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cakes, Savory Vegetarian Style

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cupcakes, Vegetarian Style

Like Japanese sushi, the sticky rice here is somewhat pressed. However, instead of being topped with a piece of sashimi (raw meat), it has on its top a thickened sauce made up of Chinese black mushrooms and dried shrimps.

Taiwanese calls this dish they made, 米糕, literally rice cake. But it looks like a ‘cupcake’ to me.

Sharing the same name as traditional Chinese rice cake though, this is not prepared with flours yet simply cooked sticky rice.

It looks mini, but one serving is already close to a small bowl of rice (this recipe makes about six servings). Eating rice usually is not that addictive, but this is an exception. Even if you could eat more, do limit yourself to a bowl or two in one meal as our stomachs need to work harder to digest sticky rice than ordinary rices.

This would be a vegetarian version if cooked without the dried shrimps; I guess you may easily find its original style with ground meat in most Taiwan’s night food stalls. If you like to adapt it with ground pork in your kitchen, it can be done as simple as making the Pork Sauce Rice.

I use a ramekin to mould the rice into a cupcake shape, but I have to admit it is not necessary to shape and pack the rice as long as presentation is not a concern.

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cupcakes, Vegetarian Style

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sticky rice (glutinous rice)
  • 10 cloves shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of coriander or green (spring) onion, washed and coarsely chopped
  • ~2 tbsp oil, I used coconut oil
  • Sauce
  • 3 large dried black mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp dried shrimps (skip this for vegetarian)
  • ~1 tbsp oil, I used coconut oil
  • 1 cup water (or water reserved from soaking mushrooms)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • ~1 tbsp corn starch paste

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cupcakes, Vegetarian Style


Soak dried mushrooms in water (discard water after 1-2 hours), wash them with running water. Then, squeeze water from them and re-hydrate in water again for another 1 to 2 hours, or until soften. Before chopping mushrooms, squeeze out water .

Wash and soak dried shrimps for about 15 minutes, chop them into similar size as mushrooms (skip this if your dried shrimps are small).

Cook rice according to package instructions. You may need to soak rice for at least 3 to 4 hours or even overnight before cooking.

Heat oil in pan over low to medium flame, sauté sliced shallots until golden brown. Dish up and set aside. Reserve oil , if any

As rice is cooked, mix in browned shallot, coriander (or green onion). Pack the rice in ramekins.

To prepare the sauce, heat about a table spoon of oil (use the reserved oil if any) in pan, toss in dried shrimps, sauté briefly until fragrant. Add mushrooms, stirring, also until fragrant. Pour in water and bring to a boil; turn down the heat, cover and simmer until 3/4 sauce is reduced. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ground white pepper and stir well. Sample taste, season with salt if required. Thicken with corn starch paste. Remove from heat.

Un-mold each rice cake in a dish by running a knife around the inside edge of ramekin, serve warm with sauce. Garnish with coriander or green onion.

Taiwanese Sticky Rice Cupcakes, Vegetarian Style


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  1. Juliana

    I love sticky rice…but never had it molded this way…I should ask my mom about it hehehe!
    Looks delicious with the mushrooms and dry shrimps…so tasty!
    Have a wonderful week Maureen 🙂

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    This recipe comes really in time as I just bought a pack of sticky rice and other Chinese stuff from an online Asian store. Dried shrimps are definitely a must-add ingredient in my opinion.

  3. tigerfish

    I love any style of savory sticky rice. Not sure if I have tried the Taiwanese version but if it is similar to the Chinese (Hokkien, Fujian) style – then I have, and will love. 😉

  4. Little Inbox

    Hmm…what a delicious vegetarian sticky rice.

  5. TasteHongKong

    @Angie@Angie’s Recipes,
    You are right, for non-vegetarians, I’d recommend adding the dried shrimps.

  6. TasteHongKong

    We may always find similarities between Taiwanese and Fujian cuisines due to their ancestral links. If you like Fujian style, I guess you shall enjoy this too.

  7. Lena

    looks like lo mai fan but sounds nice too to hv the gravy poured over. I also made some lo mai fun recently but this time i didnt soak the rice long enough, it turned out a little hard 🙁

  8. Lori

    This is making me hungry! It looks so delicious. I have plenty of sticky rice on hand, and as soon as I replenish my mushroom supply I will be trying this out.

  9. Lucy L

    Omgosh this looks amazing….!
    I wonder if adding a small amount of lap cheung will make it even better for meat lovers like myself 🙂

  10. TasteHongKong

    Lucy L,
    That’s a nice idea for non-vegetarian. Enjoy!

  11. Stephanie

    Hello- How many rice cakes does this recipe make? 🙂

  12. TasteHongKong

    About six, 4th paragraph.
    And my ramekin is about 100ml in capacity.

  13. Cat

    Oh my god! Thank you for posting this. I came upon your site by luck and this is one of my favorite dishes to have. Usually I buy it but now I can’t wait to try and make this at home. 🙂

  14. kristy

    This is definitely something that I’m dying for. haha… Very very irresistible.lol. Got to make this soon. Thanks again, dear.

  15. TasteHongKong

    Probably am lucky too, getting a chance to talk with you : ). Happy trying!

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