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How to cook sticky rice

How to cook sticky rice

Soaking sticky riceIt is really easy to cook sticky rice. However, it does take a bit of preparation, because you first have to soak the rice for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours  – the longer the better. So you need to plan ahead, just like when you are cooking beans. However, if soaking longer than a day, it will start to ferment and smell bad.

One major difference from other types of rice to be aware of is that sticky rice is steamed not boiled. I find this to be crucial in achieving a good result.

There are numerous ways to serve and eat sticky rice, but steaming is the customary, traditional basic cooking method that applies to all recipes.

How to cook sticky rice:

Rinse the rice until you are left with clear water, then leave it to in tepid water for min. 6 hours. Drain the rice, and pour it into a steamer basket. If your basket is tightly weaved without any holes at the bottom, you can pour the rice directly in. But if your basket has smaller holes at the bottom, it is better to cover the basket with a cheese- or muslin cloth. In Thailand, you can buy bags at the markets in various materials. Make sure to soak the cloth before adding the rice, or there is a great chance it will stick to the cloth, and be difficult to get out after steaming.

Put about 5 cm. of water into a pot, and bring it to a boil. Place the basket on top of it and cover with a lid. It can be made of bamboo or just be a metal lid from another pot. Steam for about 20 min.’s. The rice will become translucent when done. You can take a small bite to test if the rice has steamed long enough. The rice should be soft and chewy.

This method applies to all quantities of rice, but if you are steaming a large portion of rice, it is recommended to turn the rice after steaming it for 20 min.’s, and steam for another 5 min. This is to help ensure the rice on top also gets properly steamed.

If you have any sticky rice left over from the day before, that has become hard at the edges, you can add it to the basket, for the last 5 min.’s of steaming. It will bring back the softness.

How to serve sticky rice:

In Thailand, sticky rice is served in a bamboo basket, called a kratip khao. If eating together as a family, it is served in a large basket. Everyone grabs a portion of sticky rice, straight from the basket. If eaten in restaurants, it is usually served in smaller portion size baskets.

The traditional way to eat plain sticky rice is with your hands: Take a small piece of sticky rice, form small balls with the rice, and dip it into the other dishes.

To learn more about the ingredient “sticky rice”,  click here: Sticky rice – khao niao.

Sticky rice

April 11, 2018
: Soak about 150 - 200 gr. pr. person
: 6 hr
: 20 min
: Easy


  • Sticky (glutinous) rice
  • Water
  • Step 1 Soak the rice in tepid water for min. 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the better.
  • Step 2 Drain the rice and put it in a steaming basket.
  • Step 3 If your basket is loosely woven, you can put the rice in a cheese- or muslin cloth before putting it in the basket.
  • Step 4 Put water in a pot, and bring it to a boil. Place the basket over the pot, place a lid over it, and steam for 20 min.’s.
  • Step 5 Serve in a bamboo basket with cover. It helps keep the rice warm and moist.

Sticky rice, portion serving

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