Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice Recipe | Cooking With Jade

Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice Recipe

Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice Recipe
Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice


Savoring Tradition: Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice

Taiwanese cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by various cultures and regions. Among its culinary treasures, Taiwanese Sticky Rice, known as “台式油飯” (Yóu Fàn), is a dish that stands out as a beloved comfort food. Traditionally prepared with a mix of meats and served at family gatherings, this dish has a special place in the hearts of Taiwanese people. But what if you’re a vegan and want to savor the rich, aromatic, and flavorful essence of Taiwanese Sticky Rice? Good news! We’ve crafted a vegan version of this classic dish that honors tradition while embracing the values of plant-based eating. In this blog post, we’ll embark on a culinary journey to discover the origins, ingredients, and the art of making Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice.


The Heritage of Taiwanese Sticky Rice:

Taiwanese Sticky Rice is deeply rooted in the island’s culture. Historically, it was a dish prepared for festivals, weddings, and other important family gatherings. The main ingredients include glutinous rice, various proteins (such as pork, chicken, or mushrooms for the vegan version), dried shrimp, and an array of flavorful seasonings.


The Vegan Transformation:

Creating a vegan version of Taiwanese Sticky Rice requires a thoughtful selection of plant-based ingredients that replicate the texture and flavors of traditional proteins. This adaptation maintains the essence of the dish while making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.


The Star Ingredients:


    1. Glutinous Rice: This sticky, chewy rice variety is the foundation of the dish, giving it its signature texture.
    2. Protein Alternatives: Instead of traditional meats, we use plant-based proteins such as shiitake mushrooms, tofu, or tempeh, which soak up the flavorful seasonings beautifully.
    3. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: These umami-rich mushrooms bring depth and complexity to the dish.
    4. Seasonings: Key seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, which infuse the rice and proteins with a symphony of flavors.
    5. Dried Ingredients: Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice often incorporates dried ingredients like dried shiitake mushrooms, dried black fungus, and dried radish to add texture and flavor.


The Art of Crafting Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice:

Crafting this dish involves several key steps:


    1. Preparation: Soak the glutinous rice and dried shiitake mushrooms until they become plump. Dice the plant-based proteins and prepare the dried ingredients.
    2. Seasoning: Prepare a flavorful sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. This will be used to marinate the plant-based proteins.
    3. Layering: Layer the glutinous rice, marinated proteins, and dried ingredients in a bamboo steamer, creating a beautifully textured and flavorful stack.
    4. Steaming: Steam the layered ingredients until they become tender and infused with the rich aroma of the seasonings.


Savoring Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice:

This vegan adaptation of Taiwanese Sticky Rice offers a taste of tradition with a plant-based twist. Served in a bamboo steamer or on individual plates, it’s a delightful dish that captures the essence of Taiwanese comfort food.

Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice

Indulge in the flavors of a vegan adaptation of Taiwanese Sticky Rice, an authentic and plant-based twist on the classic round-table style dish that doesn't compromise on flavor.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Course Main Course
Cuisine Taiwanese

Servings 2
Calories 320 kcal


  • Bamboo streamer
  • Small pot



  • 1 cup sticky/glutinous rice
  • 7 dried shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 30 grams / 1 once carrots finely minced
  • 85 grams / 3 ounce fried bean curd sliced like lardon
  • 1 56 g pack garde in plant-based jerky, finely minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 15 grams 1/2 ounce ginger finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot oil from frying
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon doubanjiang or spicy bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce I used Lee Kum Kee’s
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground five spice
  • 3/4 cup water for soaking mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil



  • Make the Sticky Rice. Soak Rice with water (place in fridge) for at least 6 hours, preferably over-night. Drain the rice and let sit for at least 30 minutes before steaming. Spread rice into a parchment-lined bamboo steamer and steam for around 25 minutes, or until grains are translucent and tender. Remove bamboo steamer from direct heat and keep warm aside.
  • Rehydrate Shiitake Mushrooms. Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take out mushrooms and reserve its soaking liquid.
  • Make Crispy Shallots. Make the Crispy Shallots. Heat up 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok/small pot on medium heat. While oil is heating, peel and slice shallots into very thin strips. Once oil is shimmering, place sliced shallots in and fry until golden brown, around 7 minutes. Note: especially keep an eye on the shallots after around 5 minutes. Once they begin to brown, they can turn too dark very fast. Strain & drain the shallots, and set aside both the shallots and the shallot-infused oil.
  • Make the Sticky Rice. Your sticky rice should be done/nearly done steaming before you begin this step. In a wok/small pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the shallot-infused oil on medium-heat, and fry minced ginger until aromatic, around 1 minute. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook until most moisture evaporates, then follow with carrots, fried bean curd, fried shallots, minced jerky, and cashews. Cook everything together while constantly stirring for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with soy sauces, cooking wine, doubanjiang, vegan oyster sauce, brown sugar, and five spice. Mix everything together, then immediately follow with your steamed sticky rice (break it up and add by chunks). Note: be careful not to squish the rice while stirring! Then, finish by adding mushroom water with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • Finish the Sticky Rice. Add all of the sticky rice back into the parchment-lined bamboo steamer. Steam for an additional 10 minutes to heat everything through & evaporate additional moisture. To finish, garnish with coriander or chopped scallions. Serve warm (I like to add additional doubanjiang on the side).

Keyword Taiwanese Food

Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice showcases the adaptability of traditional recipes to accommodate modern dietary preferences and ethical choices. It’s a celebration of culture and flavor that invites both vegans and food enthusiasts to experience the rich heritage of Taiwan’s cuisine. So, gather your ingredients, follow our detailed recipe, and embark on a culinary journey to savor the heartwarming goodness of Vegan Taiwanese Sticky Rice—a fusion of tradition, innovation, and compassion on your plate.

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If you enjoyed this recipe or have suggestions on how we can improve it, please leave us a comment below. Also, make sure to check out other dishes I’ve created or stories I’ve written about food culture – here.

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