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Halmoni's Sticky Rice Stuffing


Chef notes

My family has been making this every year since I can remember. My grandmother came up with the recipe. The inspiration came from a classic Korean-style chicken soup dish called "samgyetang." When she immigrated over from Korea and had her first Thanksgiving meal, she came up with this recipe, and it has been a family tradition for over 30 years. All of our friends and family are obsessed with this unique stuffing lathered with butter. It's truly life-changing.

Technique tip: You can make the stuffing separately as a side, or if you are feeling adventurous, stuff your turkey with the sticky rice.

Swap options: You can add whatever you like to the stuffing; sometimes my grandmother would add chestnuts, ginseng or gingko. I have made versions with apples, dried cranberries or other seasonal ingredients. Even herbs would be great, like sage, parsley or thyme.


  • 1 cup sweet glutinous rice
  • vegetable oil, for the cheesecloth
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped nuts (such as pistachio, pine nuts or almonds)
  • 1/4 cup dried jujube or any dried fruit, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 (thumb-size) knob ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • scallions, chopped for garnish



Cover the glutinous rice with water in a medium bowl and let soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Set up a steamer with boiling water and line the steamer basket with cheesecloth; lightly brush or rub some oil on the cheesecloth to prevent the rice from sticking. Wash the rice well in a few changes of water and drain through a sieve.


Return the rice to the bowl and mix in the shallot, garlic, celery, nuts, jujube, ginger, sesame oil and salt.


Transfer this rice mixture to the lined steamer basket and cover. Steam until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Check the seasoning at this point and add more salt if necessary.


Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add your steamed rice mixture and spread it evenly in the skillet. Let the bottom get super crispy. Add more butter on the sides, if necessary; the rice should get crunchy. Top with chopped scallions for garnish.