Copycat Hong Kong Rice Box Sticky Rice Recipe

My kids love the sticky rice from Hong Kong Rice Box, a small family owned Cantonese restaurant located in Oviedo, Florida.  Their sticky rice is cooked with shiitake mushrooms and bacon.   This recipe is very close to their version but much less oily and greasy.  They stir fry it, but I steamed mine.  Little Grace requested to add ham and said I make it the best now.  My kids love it so much that I have steamed four batches within the past two weeks.  I hope you and your little ones enjoy it as much as my family did.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • cook time: 20-30 minutes
  • Serving: 4 – 6
  • Notes:  I soaked the sweet long grain rice for at least 12 hours.  (You can cook sticky rice without soaking the rice first in a regular rice cooker but I never had luck with that.)  I used a deep saucepan, a steam tray with lid, and a piece of 12 by 12-inch non-stretch cotton fabric to steam the sticky rice. View pictorial in recipe for reference.
Copycat HK Rice Box Sticky Rice 123119 (1)


  • 1 cup uncooked “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice”
  • 1/2 cup cooked smoked bacon
  • reserved bacon fat
  • 1/2 honey smoked ham (optional)
  • 3 to 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp or less salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp fried shallots (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)


Day 1 – Soak the glutinous rice

1.  Soak the one cup of sweet long grain glutinous rice in a quart of water for 12 hours the night before.  I do rinse the rice about three times before soaking it.  (You can cook sticky rice in a rice cooker without soaking the rice first but I never had luck with this method.  I’ll update my recipe in the future with the use of Instant Pot.)

Sticky Rice soaked

Day 2 – Prepping and Steaming

2. Pan fry about two or three slices of bacon to medium. You don’t want it hard and crispy.  I’ve used thin cuts and thick cuts.  It works well either way.  When I first cook this sticky rice, I didn’t add ham for Grace so I used about a cup of cooked bacon.  Cut the bacon into small pieces and reserve the bacon oily fat.

Copycat HK Rice Box Sticky Rice 123119 (2)

3.  Soak about three or four dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for about 10 minutes.  Then squeeze out the liquid and slice into thin pieces.

Copycat HK Rice Box Sticky Rice 123119 (3)

4.  Dice or cut the honey smoked uncured ham about the same size as the bacon. I’ve used thin and thick cuts before.  Either way works fine.  Strain the glutinous rice in a mixing bowl.  Add the bacon, shiitake mushrooms, ham, salt, sugar, garlic powder, reserved bacon oily fat, and the other optional ingredients. I used it for the last two batches I’ve made to perfect my recipe just the way my family likes it.  Stir all the ingredients and pour in one cup of water. Set aside.

Steaming the sticky rice

5.  Lined the steamer tray with a piece of non-stretch cotton fabric. Then pour the rice mixture onto the fabric evenly.  Bring a deep sauce pan or steam pot to a boil.   Place the stream tray and cover with a lid.  Set timer to 15 minutes.  I steam the sticky rice on high heat the whole time.

Copycat HK Rice Box Sticky Rice 123119 (19)

7.  After fifteen minutes, stir the sticky rice up, drizzle about 1/2 cup of water evenly over the sticky rice.  Cover with lid and steam for another 10 to 15 minutes until the sticky rice is fully cooked.  Unlike the traditional Vietnamese-style sticky rice, this Cantonese restaurant-style version is more stickier (nhao).  Anyway, cook time varies from 20 to 35 minutes for me after cooking this five times now.  It depends on how long the rice is soaked.  Sometimes I soaked the rice for 8 or 12 hours and have once forgotten it for a whole day.

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8.  When sticky rice is cooked, transfer onto a plate and fold in or top with roasted unsalted cashews just the way the restaurant did.  I just add the cashews for the photography part and when my husband and I eats it.   Baby Ethan loves the eating the shiitake mushrooms most, while Grace likes everything but the mushrooms. They are so totally opposites in food preferences so far.

Copycat HK Rice Box Sticky Rice 123119 (6)
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