Chinese Steamed Rice

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Chinese Steamed Rice is incredibly easy to make on your stovetop, and the PERFECT side to serve with just about any recipe!

Rice is almost always the perfect addition to the table, or even works as part of the main course, like this Easy Mushroom Rice, Spanish Rice, and Classic Fried Rice!


Chinese Steamed Rice is a really simple and easy recipe that’s the PERFECT side dish to any main course. You don’t need any special equipment, just a pot with a lid and some water set to simmer until the rice is cooked through. For this recipe you can add salt or bouillon to the water for extra flavor, or just make it plain to go with saucy dishes.

If you’re looking for more starchy Asian side dishes you can make many of the noodle recipes on the site including Chicken Lo MeinClassic Chinese Chow MeinEasy Pad ThaiPad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles) and Ramen Noodle Salad.


This main different between boiled and steamed rice is the texture, which is a result of the cooking method. Boiled rice absorbs a lot of water because it is submerged the entire time, and is done cooking when no water is remaining. Steamed rice is made by absorbing water that has turned to steam,


Steamed rice should stick together a little bit, but if it’s overly sticky then there could be too much starch left on it before cooking. Make sure you’re rinsing thoroughly before steaming it. You’ll know that it’s ready when the water starts to look more clear instead of cloudy.


This will last in the refrigerator for about 4 days. When you reheat it, add a few tablespoons of water over the rice, which should add some moisture back in as it cooks. You can reheat it in a saucepan, or in the microwave.


You can make a big batch of rice and freeze it for later. Just let the rice cool completely, then seal it in an airtight container and freeze. When you’re ready, reheat it with a few tablespoons of water in the microwave or in a saucepan.

Sticky Takeout Rice


The rice you find at the Chinese restaurant is usually Jasmine, but you can steam most regular white long-grain rice varieties.



  • You can add flavor to the rice by steaming it in broth, or first toasting the rice with a little bit of butter and seasoning in the saucepan before adding water. Or add some salt before covering the rice.
  • Remember that the amount of rice you start out with will just about double in size after it absorbs the water, so use a big enough pot to be able to comfortably fit it and serve it.
  • If you don’t have a lid for your pot, you can tightly cover the pot with a piece of tinfoil.
  • Don’t stir the rice while it’s cooking, or you can break up the starch and your rice will not stick properly.

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Chinese Steamed Rice

Chinese Steamed Rice is incredibly easy to make on your stovetop, and the PERFECT side to serve with just about any recipe!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 Cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 3 1/2 Cups water


  • Rinse the rice several times until the water is clear and most of the starch is gone then add the rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil letting it boil until almost all the water on the surface is gone and you can see between the grains of rice.
  • Cover and reduce to a simmer (very low heat) for 15 minutes, do not fluff rice, it will disturb the stickiness.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 70mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Keyword: steamed rice

Chinese Sticky Rice

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This rice is as perfect as it gets. It is delicious with your Mongolian beef. My husband requests this regularly. We can also reheat the rice in microwave and it remains so tender and fluffy. The Mongolian beef is flavorful so I don’t add salt to the rice. I noticed your recipe does not call for salt. I wish to serve this rice as a side with salmon cakes. Will adding salt to rice as it cooks change this recipe? We love the consistency of it and I don’t wish to change that but I feel it needs some seasoning as a side with fish cakes. Thank you again for guidance even with the most simplest of dishes. My rice is now perfect with your instructions.

  2. Chinese steam rice of my grandma has thin strips chicken and shrimps they are cooked together with the rice in the steamer… sooo delicious!!!!

  3. Your regular Chinese round the corner will normally order around five 100kg bags of American long grain rice a week and some might recieve a 25kg bag of fragrant rice so for your Chinese stick with the plain old long grain and you can’t go wrong and if unsure on cooking time test it after 5 mins as it keen be nearly done one minute and over done the next and don’t forget to wash and soak it prior to cooking for a couple of hours.

  4. My son loved this rice! I make Asian dishes a lot and he said this one was the just like the restaurant one. Love it!

  5. I cooked this tonight as directed. Accept right before the lid went on after the water cooked down; I added about 2tsp unsalted butter and simmered covered for 15min. Spot on perfect rice, paired great with our korean marinated skirt steak and broccoli. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. this was really amazing. i was a bit hesitant about the sauce but, because it was a bit watery, but it really tied it together. will definitely make again! 🙂

  7. Hi..this really looks delicious but one question and please dont laugh at me lol. If it is steamed rice, do I need a double boiler or am I really cooking the rice in the water?

    1. Normally I rinse my rice to clear then add to the boiling water on stove. You said add rice with the water I’ve been rinsing with ? Can I do it as stated above ?

    1. Hi, I’m trying your steamed rice and wondered why it seemed more bubbly like starchy bubble almost like there was soap in there? I rinsed very well and it made a mess on my stove top?


      1. Did you make sure to cover it while it was steaming? Usually it’s the starch from the rice with the water but since you rinsed, it should’ve have been that bad. Hopefully you still enjoyed the taste. Was it still sticky?