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5 from 1 vote

Taiwanese Sticky Rice (You Fan)

You fan (油飯) is a classic and comforting Taiwanese dish packed with umami and loved by many. This recipe is your best bet for successfully making your own at home!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Inactive time4 hrs
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Taiwanese
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 488kcal
Author: Edwina


  • bamboo steamer
  • rice cooker


Optional Topping


Make Sticky Rice (choose your preferred method)

  • Cooking in a bamboo steamer. Soak the sticky rice in water for at least 4 hours (preferably 6 hours to overnight).
  • When it's ready to cook, add 4 cups of water in a wok or pot and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, line a piece of damp kitchen towel in a bamboo steamer.
  • Drain the presoaked rice before spreading it out evenly on the towel. Poke some holes in the rice to allow the hot air to flow through. Fold in the edge of the towel before covering with lid.
  • Set the steamer on top of the pot and steam for 25-30 minutes over medium heat. If the rice is not cooked through, sprinkle some water, turn and flip the rice a bit and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Cooking in a rice cooker. (this method doesn't work with an Instant Pot)
  • Rinse and drain sticky rice very well with a strainer (no need to pre soak) before putting in the rice cooker pot along with 1⅓ cup of water. Cook it the same way that you'd cook white rice. Once it's done cooking, fluff the rice with rice paddle/spatula right away to loosen the rice.

Prepare Other Ingredients

  • While the sticky rice is cooking, slice pork belly according the picture in the post.
  • Heat a frying pan (I use an 11" non-stick pan) over medium heat, add pork belly in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until the pork browns and the fat is rendered.
  • Add ginger, garlic, dried shrimp and shiitake mushroom. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Turn the heat to low before adding rock sugar, soy sauce, white pepper powder, Chinese five-spice powder, sesame oil and ½ cup of water. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.


  • Turn off the heat, mix in cooked sticky rice and crispy fried shallot. Use the side of the spatula to "cut" and separate the rice and scoop the bottom to the top so that the sauce can be distributed evenly, which in turn helps to separate the rice grains. Add a bit more water if the rice is too dry or difficult to incorporate with other ingredients.
  • You can serve it right away; but for the best results, turn on low heat, stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn of the heat, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm with cilantro and Taiwanese sweet chili sauce (optional).


Sticky rice is also referred to as glutinous rice or sweet rice.  Traditionally, you fan in Taiwan is made with long grain sticky rice; however, I feel that the long grain sticky rice here doesn't have the same texture as the one in Taiwan, so I like to use a combination of long grain and short grain sticky rice to create the best texture, but you can also just use one kind.
Cooking sticky rice properly is the key to success for this recipe. You want the sticky rice to be cooked through without becoming mushy or clumping together.
When soaking the sticky rice, add water until it's at least 2" (5cm) above the rice level, as the rice will expand after absorbing water.
The surface of the sticky rice that's cooked in a rice cooker will be a little bit stickier than the one cooked in a bamboo steamer, so it requires a bit more patience when mixing it in with other ingredients.
For the crispy fried shallot, you can either buy this from the store or follow my recipe here to make it at home. 


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg