Traditional savory steamed glutinous rice with chicken you found at dim sum restaurant is pressured cooked in Instant Pot. Seriously no fuss easy recipe and flavorful.
What is lo mai gai?
Lo mai gai is popular Cantonese dim sum dish. Lo mai means glutinous rice in Cantonese. Gai means chicken. The glutinous rice is cooked with umami ingredients like dried shrimp and Chinese sausage and then steamed with chicken wrapped in lotus leaves. The leaves impart quite an amazing flavor to the rice.
Pressure cooker lo mai gai
Without using a pressure cooker, glutinous rice needs to be soaked before cooking to reduce cooking time. With a multi-cooker like Instant Pot, I can make lo mai gai without much planning. I don’t have to soak the rice for 4 hours or longer. It may not be an authentic way of cooking lo mai gai, but I can assure you that you will love the end result still.
What is glutinous rice
Glutinous rice is not the same as sushi rice or any short-grain rice. Glutinous rice is also known as sweet rice or sticky rice. Glutinous rice is one type of rice and it does not contain gluten. The word glutinous is just to describe the sticky or “glue” like texture of the rice
How to make lo mai gai with Instant Pot pressure cooker
1. For instant pot, I make one large 7 inches lo mai gai. You can split into 3-4 smaller bowls if you prefer. Sometimes the space is a bit limited with Instant Pot. It’s up to you.
Press saute on IP. When it’s hot, add oil to the inner pot and saute the Chinese sausage for about 1 minute until lightly char and also some of the oil will render out too.
2. Remove sausage from the pot and set aside
3. Add garlic, purple onion, and dried shrimp until fragrant, about 2 minutes
4. Add the rice and seasonings and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes
5. Turn off saute mode. Pour in the water and mix everything to combine
6. If you plan to use lotus leaves, brush with some oil, line the 7-inch round pan with the lotus leaves. You can use a round 7-inch stainless steel, aluminum, or metal is recommended, or anything that is labeled “oven proof” can be used. If using glass and ceramic material, you may need to add extra 5 minutes or longer to the cooking time.
Place the marinated chicken, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, chestnuts (if using) at the bottom of the container
7. Add the rice mixture along with the liquid into the container
8. Make sure the liquid covers the rice. Use a spoon to help you gently push the rice into the liquid. Place on top of the trivet
9. Pour 2 cups of water into the inner pot of the instant pot. Set the trivet. In a large heat-proof container (that can fit into your instant pot, mine is 6-qt IP). You can use a round 7 inch glass container, stainless steel, or anything that is labeled “oven proof” can be used. If using glass and ceramic material, you may need to add extra 5 minutes or longer to the cooking time
Close the lid. Turn the steam release handle to Seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure, and set the timer to 30 minutes
10. Let the lo mai gai sit in the container for 10 minutes. For presentation, place one serving plate on top of the container and then invert upside down (so the bottom is on top now) and garnish with cilantro leaves and/or chopped green onion if you like
How to keep and reheat leftover
Let it cools down completely and then keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. Simply reheat in microwave until it’s heated through. You can also reheat in the steamer over medium heat until heated through, about 5-8 minutes.
Vegetarian options: You can replace the meat and sausage with more mushrooms and/or some seitan or vegetarian meat, beans like chickpeas. Use a vegetarian oyster sauce
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*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), I suggest to half the recipe and use the same amount of time to cook*
Easy Pressure Cooker Lo Mai Gai (Steamed Sticky Rice with Chicken)
- 2 cups Glutinous Rice about 400 grams, see notes
- 250 gr boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 3 links Chinese sausage sliced into 1/2-inch pieces at an angle
- 2 large lotus leaves if using, soaked for 1 hour
If cooking with Instant Pot:
- 1 ¾ cups water
Ingredients need soaking:
- 5 large Shitake Mushrooms soak in warm water for 15 minutes
- 30 gr dried shrimp soak in warm water for 10 minutes
- 8 pieces dried chestnut soak in warm water for 15 minutes or until soft
Marinate for chicken:
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp cooking wine
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
Seasoning for rice:
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced/grated
- 1 small purple onion diced
- 2 Tbsp soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp cooking wine
Suggested Cooking Equipment:
- Instant pot
- If you are not using a pressure cooker to cook the rice, soak the rice for 4 hours
- If using lotus leaves, soak in warm water for about one hour and then trim off the hard stem in the middle of the leaf. Trim the leaf smaller by cutting in half.
- Save the liquid from soaking dried shrimp and mushrooms and top up with water to make up for 1 3/4 cups liquid to cook the rice later
- Marinate the chicken with seasonings and set aside for 15 minutes
- Mix all seasonings for the rice and set aside
Cooking with Instant Pot (pot in pot method):
- For instant pot, I make one large 7 inches lo mai gai. You can split into 3-4 smaller bowls if you prefer. Sometimes the space is a bit limited with Instant Pot. It's up to you
- Press saute on IP. When it's hot, add oil to the inner pot and saute the Chinese sausage for about 1 minute until lightly char and also some of the oil will render out too. Remove sausage from the pot and set aside. Add garlic, purple onion, and dried shrimp until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and seasonings and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off saute mode. Pour in the water and mix everything to combine
- If you plan to use lotus leaves, brush with some oil, line the 7-inch round pan with the lotus leaves. You can use a round 7-inch stainless steel, aluminum, or metal is recommended or anything that is labeled "oven proof" can be used. If using glass and ceramic material, you may need to add extra 5 minutes or longer to the cooking time
- Place the marinated chicken, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, chestnuts (if using) at the bottom of the container. Add the rice mixture along with the liquid into the container. Make sure the liquid covers the rice. Use a spoon to help you gently push the rice into the liquid. Place on top of the trivet
- Give the inner pot a quick rinse. You don't need to wash with soap. Nothing sticks to the pot so just a quick rinse is sufficient. We will be using the pot-in-pot method to pressure cook the rice. I don't recommend cooking the rice in the inner pot directly as it seems to trigger the "burn" alert more often than not because the rice is sticky
- Pour 2 cups of water into the inner pot the instant pot. Carefully transfer the trivet with the container on top into the inner pot
- Close the lid. Turn the steam release handle to Seal. Press pressure cooker, high pressure and set the timer to 30 minutes. Some of you have feedback that you need 45 minutes to cook the rice. Mine is perfectly cooked at 30 minutes. So you need to observe and add extra cooking time as needed
- Once the timer is done, wait for 10 minutes and then turn the steam release handle to venting and make sure the pressure valve has gone down all the way down before you open the lid for safety measure
- Sometimes, some of the rice grains on top may seem uncooked but once you fluff the rice a little bit on top and close the lid back up and let it sits for another 5 minutes, they will be all cooked through after that
- Let the lo mai gai sit in the container for 10 minutes. For presentation, place one serving plate on top of the container and then invert upside down (so the bottom is on top now) and garnish with cilantro leaves and/or chopped green onion if you like
- Get your steamer ready. In a large skillet, heat some oil and saute the Chinese sausage for 1 minute until lightly charred and aromatic. Remove the sausage from the skillet. Add dried shrimp, purple onion, and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and seasonings and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat
- You can make one large lo mai gai or make 5 smaller ones. If you use lotus leaves, brush the lotus leaf with some cooking oil. Place 1/5 of the marinated chicken, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, water chestnuts and the rice mixture on the leaf and then fold the sides of the leaf over, like wrapping a parcel. Secure with kitchen twine. Repeat with the rest . Place in the steamer and steam for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour over medium heat (may take longer if you make one large parcel). Remove from the steamer and serve immediately
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
TAIWANESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP (NIU ROU MIEN)
CHICKEN MUSHROOMS WITH DOM BENEDICTINE
PORK AND SHRIMP SIU MAI (COOK AND SELL DUMPLINGS)
Great recipe, but the lo mai gai was a tad too salty after steaming it. It was a lot of fun making it though! Next time, I’ll likely reduce the amount of soy sauce and oyster sauce to 1.5 tbsp (maybe 1 tbsp) for the rice seasoning.
How do you check the taste of the rice mixture? It’d be great to adjust it to taste prior to wrapping (i used the lotus leaf method) and steaming everything.
Hi Jessica, there’s no easy way to check on the taste because the rice is not cooked, unless you get a small portion and steam it and have a taste
This was great except I needed to cook it for 45 min in the IP despite using a metal bowl.
Thank you for your feedback Vivian!
Hi .. I love this recipe. Easy, quick and delish!
I will have to steam my lo mai kai for another 20min, as the glutinous in the centre of the bowl was not cooked.
Just want to clarify, do we use steam setting or normal pressure cook setting? I set STEAM for 35 min plus 20 min( as the rice stil uncooked) Appreciate your advise.. Tq
Hi Sookling, it is supposed to be “Pressure cooker” setting and it should be on “high pressure” for 30 minutes. The “steam” setting will take much longer, I didn’t try the steam setting. I hope that helps to clarify.
Hi! Thanks for the recipe! Do you think marinating the chicken beforehand would do anything to make it tastier, or is it already tasty enough with the current method?
Hi Lingting, sure won’t hurt with the extra marinating to make the chicken tastier. I would give it a go!
Hi, for the container as ‘the large hea proof container’ can I use rice cooker insert?
Hi Catarina, yes you can.
Hi, for the instant pot method, do I need to fold the leaf over the rice and make a parcel package as well just like the stove top method to enhance more flavour?
This seems really simple! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Crystal, you can make it like a parcel package too and instead of lining the container with lotus leaves and open face like what I did, you can just do it the regular way, wrap it like a parcel and put it on top of a steamer rack and cook them. The cooking time should be roughly the same.