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Oct 1, 2012 10:28 AM

Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice - SF Dish of the Month (Oct 2012)

Announcing the October 2012 San Francisco Bay Area Dish of the Month: Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice

Link to Voting Thread:
Link to Nomination Thread:

The goal is to collectively try as many versions of whole chicken stuffed w/ sticky rice as possible during the month of October! So let's start exploring and eating—report back with reviews and photos.

Looking forward to seeing what people try!

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  1. Very exciting! Here are a few older threads about the dish (albeit listing a bunch of closed places):

    This is a new dish to me, and it seems like it requires 24 advanced notice in a lot of places. In a meal with other dishes, amongst how many people is this dish typically split?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hyperbowler

      Feeds 10 people and then some as part of a dinner banquet.

      Cornish game hen size feeds one or two people.

    2. Ming's Diner 's tasty glutinous rice stuffed spring chicken is easy on the budget at $8.25 and fits well as a dish to share within a meal for a group of 4-6 (see attach pic). It may only be listed in Chinese only on the menu however, so one may have to ask for it if one does not read or speak the language.

      Alternatively, I have also purchased it as just a single take-out order. Advance ordering is not necessary. Leave the top of the take-out box uncovered in transport to preserve the crispy skin as much as possible prior to reaching home and consumption.

      11 Replies
      1. re: CYL

        thank you for the alert re. Ming's Diner (is that in SF on Taraval ?) under what (Cantonese ?) moniker does it go by there, if one does order it by its Chinese label -- ngoh mai gai ? ['sweet rice chicken'] ? gracias.

        1. re: moto

          Ngoh Mai Churn Gai (Churn for Spring) - glutinous rice Spring chicken.

          1. re: moto

            In the past they had full version of this dish for about 25 dollars and it was the cheapest I have seen, I have not had this dish our for many years. So am not sure if it is still there.

            I do remember that it was very good.

            1. re: moto

              糯米春雞 “Nor Mai Churn Gai” - Sweet Rice Stuffed Poussin (spring chicken).

              The stuffed spring young chicken is only $8.25. It is upwards to $30 and above for the large chicken version (and it has to be ordered in advance). It was only $6.50 four years ago when Yimster first revealed Ming’s Diner to the Chowhound world. It’s a whole, young stuffed chicken - two wings, two legs and entire body spread flat covering a 10 inch plate and is 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. I’ve had it again on multiple occasions during the last several months – both in the restaurant and on take-out. The deep fried skin was very crispy and the stuffing was moist and tasty with shredded chicken, chopped lop cheong sausage and dried shrimp bits throughout. Ming’s Diner has both - the spring chicken, perfect for small groups and the large chicken to suit larger banquet-size gatherings.

              1. re: CYL

                As I remember it the 6.50 price was eight years ago which is not bad for raise to 8.50. The price for the full size was only 18 as I remember it. Need to revisit someday soon. Ming Diner had a large Chinese only menu which I hope they translated.

                1. re: CYL

                  Take out and no advance order for the small one? Am I understanding this correctly?

                  1. re: wally

                    Yes and no, there is normally no advance order need. But it may not in stock. So it is wise to call ahead to make sure they have it on hand I have ordered this dish at least 7 times and only once it was not available.

                    1. re: yimster

                      I've dropped in twice when in the neighborhood unexpectedly, and the spring chicken was sold out both times. I was advised to call early in the day to reserve one for my arrival next time.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        The last time I was at Ming's Diner was well over six years ago. So I am sure thing have changed.

                        Thanks for the tip.

              2. re: CYL

                + 1 for Ming's Diner spring chicken - still as tasty as ever.

                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  $8.25 Take Out is still as tasty as ever for hot lunch today at 11:30 am.

                  2129 Taraval Street
                  between 31st Ave. & 32nd Ave.

                  Daily: 11am-10pm

              3. The one at Cooking Papa Foster City is $45 + tax, very large sized, and requires 3 days advanced order, is a pretty decent rendition.

                The glutinous rice is moist and quite flavorful (although a bit too moist for my liking), and the tasty sauce provided on the side is more than enough enjoyment for the whole stuffed bird (there will be extras to go around).

                It is important to note that a properly done/traditional version should have the following characteristics

                - completely deboned on the inside, or as much as possible. (Cooking Papa's rendition even removes the bone in the wings, whereas last time I had it at Yum's the bones in the wing were not removed, but that's very minor)

                - The exterior of the chicken, while deep fried, should not be battered like typical salt and pepper fried chicken wings that you get in the deli's and supermarkets and some restaurants. It should resemble the Cantonese fried chicken "za zi gai", and have a crispy roast duck like consistency.

                - the stir fried glutinous rice should not be too moist, and the way to cook it traditionally is to start with raw grains, and cooking it while constantly a way similar to how one might cook risotto. It should also at least have some Chinese sausage (lap cheong) inside

                - the traditional presentation is to include the head. It's basically a non molecular reconstruction of the chicken, and while the head is off putting for some, it's part of the plating visual experience.

                Far too often in order to save time, glutinous rice is pre-steamed/pre-cooked then stir fried, pretty much how they do it at all dim sum restaurants despite calling it "raw stir fry glutinous rice" in Cantonese (which is misleading). The traditional way takes a lot longer and is suppsoedly not very healthy, but the difference in taste is hard to top.

                Highly recommend spending the coinage at Yum's (where presentation and general look & feel is closer to traditional preps in Hong Kong) and/or Cooking Papa (more palatable if you prefer a more moist interior) at least to try out the real deal once.

                For an el cheapo version, you can get glutinous rice stuffed chicken wing for $6 during dim sum at Zen Peninsula (it's on the checksheet menu).

                3 Replies
                1. re: K K

                  And here's the version at Yum's Bistro

                  1. re: K K

                    Here's my photo of the version at Yum's Bistro from our chowdown last year.

                    That was the only time I've had an unbattered version. Amazing.

                  2. re: K K

                    We went to Cooking Papa FC today and their chicken was indeed good. A more detailed thread has begun here:

                  3. Ming's Diner's “Nor Mai Churn Gai” - Sweet Rice Stuffed Poussin (spring chicken) is still my favorite version for immediate gratification.
                    Another One Day Advance order for Golden Chicken with Sweet Rice at Kwang Tung Restaurant
                    12056 San Pablo Ave
                    Richmond, CA 94805
                    (510) 236-9498

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Golden Chicken with Sweet Rice at Kwang Tung Restaurant

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        When did you have this dish at Kwang Tung?

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          My friends had this dish on Friday; I had it with them at the end of July... and they had it earlier in July, too. It's a popular rendition but no one nibbles on those colorful shrimp chips. Will you join us on the next round? Could be the next chowdown for lunch. Parking is easy.

                          1. re: Cynsa

                            Thanks, wanted to be sure it was current. There must not be any kids at the table or those shrimp chips would be gone.

                            So, we now have a lot of research done on where to find this dish. Time to find more examples this month and eat!

                            Edited to add:
                            This post has links to the regional chowdown groups to sign up to get in touch with fellow chowhounds about organizing meet-ups/chowdowns.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              next time I will date the photo for you

                      2. re: Cynsa

                        Any idea how much it is at Kwang Tung?

                        1. re: kc72

                          the Kwang Tung menu from 2006 on lists it at $28, and the ideograms they use are 'sweet rice golden chicken' with the 'gold' (jin) ideogram in place of 'spring'. they appear to be a old school Cantonese/east bay kind of place, resembling what more places in oaktown were 30-40 years ago.

                          1. re: moto

                            Yeah, never had dinner there but it's one of the few places in East Bay that still serve Hung Tao Yee Wonton -- only reason I've gone there in past few yrs.

                      3. Does anyone know where to get this dish in the South Bay?

                        1 Reply