Chinese BBQ Sticky Rice Cake

5 from 8 votes
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Chinese BBQ sticky rice cake - A fun way to enjoy leftover BBQ! The green cake is made with kale, creating a refreshing flavor that goes well with the savory filling. |

This sticky rice cake recipe teaches you a fun way to enjoy leftover Chinese BBQ. It uses kale to create a gooey green-colored bun that has a delicate flavor and goes great with the meaty filling.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that Thomas and I had a great BBQ session a while back. We grilled so many things that I felt like I didn’t need to cook meat for a year. Well, in reality, I didn’t have to cook meat for nearly two weeks.

What could we do with all the leftover BBQ? Tacos and salad were two obvious choices, and we did cook such dishes several times. By the way, although the BBQ was seasoned with Chinese spices, it worked out great on a green salad with a Western style dressing. Try it out next time and you’ll love it.

Well, adding leftover meat to tacos and salad was not exactly a new idea. So the question was left unanswered – what should I do with these leftovers, to make something more interesting?

Chinese BBQ sticky rice cake - A fun way to enjoy leftover BBQ! The green cake is made with kale, creating a refreshing flavor that goes well with the savory filling. |

Chinese BBQ Char Siu - The perfect main dish to serve at a party. It’s also a great staple to have in your fridge because it’s so versatile and can be used in a variety of other dishes. |
If you don’t have char siu meat, check out the Chinese BBQ char siu recipe. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to cook delicious char siu at home!

Thanks to my reader Kara, I discovered a wonderful answer – the kale sticky rice with BBQ filling!

Kara is a good friend and we always discuss food. A while ago, she told me she was making my pumpkin bun recipe. Besides the golden buns, she also wanted to do a small batch of green buns, so the dish would look prettier. I suggested a sweet savory Chinese BBQ filling would go well with a spinach dough. But later on, she used kale instead of spinach, and created an awesome green cake with a great refreshing flavor!

I loved how the dish sounded, so I tried it out in my kitchen too.

The kale adds a nice layer of flavor to the sticky rice, and makes a very interesting bun that has a strong flavor of kale. It counterbalanced by the rich BBQ, resulting in a fingerlicking-delicious snack!

What is glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous rice flour, also called sticky rice flour, is actually gluten-free. Cooked glutinous rice dough has a gooey texture and always works well with sweet flavors. However, once I tried it, I found that it goes great with savory ingredients, too. It’s just like a doughnut. It leaves people a sweet image in their minds, but once you add bacon to it, it just becomes even more irresistible. I was joking with Thomas, that Chinese BBQ pork is destined to become the new bacon, because it works so wonderfully with everything.

If you’ve never worked with sticky rice flour, don’t be intimidated by it. It can be made into dough really easily. It requires much less time and effort than does a wheat-based dough. If a typical wheat flour dough requires ten minutes of kneading, a rice flour needs three or five minutes. Also, even if the rice dough turns out slightly drier or wetter than it should be, it usually won’t cause a big problem.

Ready to cook? Let’s look at how easy it is to create a fun snack for your dinner (or party!).

Chinese BBQ sticky rice cake - A fun way to enjoy leftover BBQ! The green cake is made with kale, creating a refreshing flavor that goes well with the savory filling. |

And don’t forget to take a picture if you cooked this dish, and post it on my Facebook fan page. I love to see your photos!

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Chinese BBQ sticky rice cake - A fun way to enjoy leftover BBQ! The green cake is made with kale, creating a refreshing flavor that goes well with the savory filling. |

Chinese BBQ Sticky Rice Cake

5 from 8 votes
I blended kale into the rice cake to make a green bun for this recipe. If you don’t want to use kale in the dough, please refer to the normal rice dough in this recipe.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 2/3 cup chopped Chinese BBQ pork or chicken I have a grilled Chinese BBQ recipe here and a baked char siu recipe
  • 1 cup chopped kale yield from two kale leaves
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup 125 grams glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce


  • Chop Chinese BBQ meat into small pieces. The smaller you chop it, the easier it will be to wrap the cakes later.
  • Chop kale into bite sized pieces. Add kale and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil into a food processor. Blend until the kale turns to tiny bits.
  • Add glutinous rice flour into a big bowl. Add salt and mix well.
  • Transfer the kale to the rice flour bowl. Mix well.
  • Prepare 1/2 cup water. Slowly blend water into flour, mixing with a pair of chopsticks. Keep adding water until small chunks of dough forms and there is no dry flour on the bottom of the bowl. You might need slightly more or less water (*see footnote 1).
  • Start to knead the dough by hand, until the texture becomes consistent.
  • Transfer the dough to a working surface (or cutting board). Knead the dough a few more times and shape the dough into round shape.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Shape each piece of dough into a long stick, and further divide into 6 pieces. Work on the dough pieces one at a time.
  • Shape each small dough into a ball with both hands.
  • Gently press the dough into a flat, round disk.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of BBQ meat into the center of the flat dough.
  • Use both hands to gather the edges of the dough to seal the filling inside. Gently press the dough ball to shape it into a flat, round cake (Footnote 2).
  • (Optional) Spread a pinch of sesame seeds on top of the cake to garnish.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium low heat until warm. Place the rice cakes in the skillet without overlapping them (you might need to cook the cakes in two batches). Cook until the bottom side turns golden, about 2 minutes. Flip to cook the other side, until the dough is fully cooked and turns semi-translucent, about 2 minutes. If the bottom side has already turned golden but the dough is still a bit raw, cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the sticky rice cakes to a plate to cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm with soy sauce. Dip the rice cake in soy sauce when eating.


(1) Unlike wheat flour, glutinous flour is very easy to mix and it won’t be a big problem if the dough is a bit wet. It may stick to your hands a bit, but won’t make a mess. I personally prefer to make the dough a bit wet, so it will be easier to shape later. Plus, a wet dough will dry out a bit after being cut into smaller sized pieces later.
(2) The filling will tear the dough apart if you squeeze too hard. However, even if the filling leaks a bit, it won’t cause a problem, since the sticky rice holds its shape pretty well.
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 12 cakes generated by this recipe.

Chinese BBQ Sticky Rice Cake Nutrition Facts |

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Chi says:

    5 stars
    I’ve had Char Siu Bao before but this looks even better! Does it taste better though? Haha

  2. Shashi at RunninSrilankan says:

    I am so intrigued-what a great idea to include kale in these rice cakes – and to fill ’em up with Chinese bbq pork/chicken makes for one flavorful treat!

  3. Marissa @ OMG FOOD says:

    5 stars
    Aaaaaaand I’m adding glutinous rice flour to my grocery list for the next trip. I love the idea of using kale in the dough! Definitely making this soon.

  4. Rachel @ Simple Seasonal says:

    This looks so yummy! I love biting into a rice cake and then finding a tasty surprise in the center. It looks like this rice cake recipe along with the BBQ filling wouldn’t disappoint!

  5. Byron Thomas says:

    This is unlike any recipe I’ve seen before. Would for sure like to try this one!

  6. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says:

    Maggie, these rice cakes look fantastic!! I absolutely LOVE the kale addition in these. You have me in the mood for eating dim sum now!

  7. mira says:

    5 stars
    Never had rice cakes like these! Awesome! Love them, pinned!

  8. boastfulfood says:

    These look really cool and tasty! What an interesting idea. Love all the good, step-by-step photos and instructions. Always looking for new appetizer ideas that use ethnic ingredients. Definitely adding this one to my “recipe box.” Thanks for sharing!

  9. Levan @ says:

    5 stars
    Maggie! I’M BACK!! Terminator style. Okay maybe not
    I love visiting your blog, as I always say. 🙂 This Chinese BBQ Sticky Rice Cake looks AMAZING! Man, I’m back in Asia, having Asian food, and I’m STILL Craving the stuff you make. A testament to recipe greatness!
    Also, random info — I was scrolling through your page and I accidentally mistook the cactus for a durian, for a SPLIT SECOND!
    I guess I’m getting old with my eye sight, haha!
    Amazing stuff. YUMMED and FIVE STARRED!

    • Maggie says:

      Welcome Back Levan! That cactus is pretty eye catching and I think it’s not a good idea to use it in the background. But I really like that cactus, so I used it anyway… It does look at a tiny Which reminds me, durian cake is delicious too. I should make it some time 🙂

  10. Kimberly Henricks-Friedhoff says:

    omg … I am so glad I found this post — and your blog — through Food Blogger Central’s comment Friday!

    My hubby and I are die-hard dim sum lovers, and this is very reminiscent of one of out favorite treats at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I am pinning this now so the hubs and I can make it soon! Thanks so much!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Kimberly, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad to hear you like dim sum too! I seldom make them at home because finding a good dim sum place in Beijing is just so easy. I think I’ll be learning and making more at home when I move to the US, so I can enjoy them anytime. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Monica says:

    This really caught my eye! I could eat that gorgeous sticky rice cake all by itself but such an interesting – and good – idea to stuff it with the barbecue meat! Looks delicious. If this were available where we go for dim sum, I would be a very happy lady!

  12. Kevin | KevinIsCooking says:

    Crazy creative and I am just dying to try this.

  13. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    These look absolutely delicious, Maggie, so authentically Chinese, and actually surprisingly easy to make so long as you already have the meat ready.
    I would love to impress my friends with a batch of these!

  14. Erren @ Erren's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    Omg, what a great idea! Love this!

  15. Nancy | Plus Ate Six says:

    I’ve never used glutinous rice flour before and these look brilliant. Could you steam the buns do you think?

  16. Tania | My Kitchen Stories says:

    These look very interesting and amazing and I want to make some for sure

  17. 5 stars
    As always, I read every word. I LOVE learning from you. These sticky rice cakes look amazing. I love sticky rice cakes! It’s big in Japan 🙂

    I love your new style of of photography you’re using Maggie!! 🙂 Really stunning.

  18. Prash @ YummilyYours says:

    Stunning photography Maggie! 🙂

  19. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    5 stars
    These are gorgeous 🙂 I just bought my first ever bag of sticky rice flour last week and have been using it in a gluten free pizza crust recipe– and so far, super impressed with it.

  20. Whitney says:

    Maggie! This looks so pretty! Almost too pretty to eat! But dayum girl, I want to eat it!

  21. Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says:

    This is very creative, Maggie! The kale really makes a pretty color for the sticky rice cake. I am so impressed!

  22. Bam's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    What a way to have some fun with an old favourite. I am certain I have not seen this combo here in HK… LOL A delicious fun Asian Fusion! Shared, pinned and sent smoke signals…

  23. Anne says:

    HELP. I am so sorry but I tried the recipe and it was a complete disaster….Mixing the sticky rice flour and water never gave a workable dough: it was always getting dry immediately and cracking when I tried to flatten it in a round circle or it was too wet and stuck horribly everywhere on my hands ?

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