Shanghai Breakfast Rice Rolls

As the cold months approach, our cravings for warm and comforting food escalate, and what’s more comforting than Shanghai breakfast rice rolls? These sticky rice rolls will surely satisfy your hunger and warm your heart with every delicious bite.

Traditional breakfast fare from Shanghai

Onigiri in Japan, arancini in Italy, and joomak bap in Korea are just a few examples of rice balls eaten worldwide.

Aside from the rice, all the other elements are unique to the cook’s preferences; you can go wherever your imagination takes you (or follow what you have in the fridge at the moment).

Notes For Cooks

Besides the cooked sticky rice and the Chinese fried dough, I will let you decide what goes inside these recipes. Most Shanghainese, however, prefer their ci fan sticky rice rolls filled with pork sung, Chinese preserved vegetable, toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, sugar, and/or chili sauce.

With the aid of a rolling sushi mat, they take no time at all to assemble. I recommend learning how to prepare rice.

You can prepare the Chinese Fried Dough ahead of time using our you tiao recipe, or you can buy it in the frozen section of your local Chinese supermarket.

If made from scratch, Chinese fried dough freezes well and reheats well in a toaster oven. You literally only have to cook the rice and put it all together for this recipe. If you want to treat yourself, skip the boring bowl of cereal and try this instead.


  • 2 pieces of Chinese fried dough
  • 1 cup of pork sung
  • 1 cup of sweet rice
  • 1 cup of short grain white rice
  • 1½ cups of water
  • ½ cup of finely chopped Chinese preserved vegetable
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Chopped cilantro and scallion


  1. Put the sweet rice, the short grain rice, and the water into the rice cooker. The rice is prepared using the sweet rice setting of my rice cooker. Rice can also be prepared without a rice cooker by following our instructions for doing so in a pot. Completely cooked rice, but with a little firmness and chewiness like pasta cooked al dente, is the goal, regardless of preparation method.
  2. While the rice is cooking, get everything else ready. Toast the Chinese fried dough until it’s nice and crunchy. When the rice is done cooking, you should get out your sushi rolling mat and line it with a sheet of clear plastic wrap. Then, using a spoon, remove half of the rice and carefully spread it into a thin layer over the plastic. Warm water on your hands will stop the rice from adhering to them.
  3. Then, place half of the pork sang and half of the preserved Chinese vegetables in the middle of a piece of Chinese fried dough. You can add chopped cilantro, scallions, and sesame seeds if you like. Using the sushi mat as a “sheet,” roll up the filling. If you want your sushi roll to stay together, give the mat a good squeeze.
  4. To make another roll, just follow these instructions again. Breakfast is served when you cut each one in half.
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