How To Make Sticky Rice

Sticky rice is a popular staple food in many Asian countries, particularly in Thailand, Japan, and Korea. Also known as glutinous rice, sticky rice is named thus because the cooked grains tend to stick together, hence the term “sticky”. While it may seem intimidating to make, cooking sticky rice is relatively straightforward and can be done on any stovetop. You do not need any special equipment or ingredients to make sticky rice.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make sticky rice from scratch, along with some frequently asked questions about the sticky rice-making process.

What You Need

– 1 cup of sticky rice
– 1 ¼ cups of water
– A medium sized pot with a tight-fitting lid


Step 1: Rinse the Rice

Before you start cooking the rice, place it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or excess starch from the rice. Gently stir the rice around with your hand as you rinse it.

Step 2: Soak the Rice

Transfer the rinsed rice to a medium-sized bowl and fill it with enough water to cover the grains completely. Allow the rice to soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Soaking the rice helps to soften it and make it more plump, which makes it easier to cook and ensures that each grain is cooked evenly.

Step 3: Add Water to a Pot

After soaking time, pour the rice and the soaking water into your pot. Add 1 ¼ cups of fresh water to the pot and stir gently.

Step 4: Cook the Rice

Put the lid tightly on the pot and place on the stove over high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the rice for about 15-20 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this time. This will allow the rice to steam and cook through.

Step 5: Rest the Rice

After 15-20 minutes have passed, turn off the heat and let the pot sit with the lid tightly closed for about 10 minutes. This resting time will allow the sticky rice to absorb any excess water and become fluffier and stickier.

Step 6: Fluff the Rice

Remove the lid and fluff the sticky rice gently with a fork. Serve your sticky rice immediately as a side dish or as a base for your favorite stir-fried dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between sticky rice and regular rice?

A: Sticky rice is named thus because its cooked grains tend to stick together more than regular rice. Also, sticky rice is a type of rice that contains more amylopectin, a type of starch that is responsible for its glutinous or sticky texture.

Q: Do I need to use a special pot to cook sticky rice?

A: No, you do not need a special pot to cook sticky rice. You can use any medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Q: Do I need to soak sticky rice before cooking?

A: Soaking the sticky rice before cooking is recommended as it helps to soften the grains and improve their texture. However, if you are short on time, you can skip the soaking step and go straight to cooking the rice.

Q: Can I cook sticky rice in a rice cooker?

A: Yes, you can use a rice cooker to cook sticky rice. Follow the same steps as for stovetop cooking, but instead of using a pot, use a rice cooker and set it to the “sticky rice” setting.

Q: Can I freeze cooked sticky rice?

A: Yes, you can freeze cooked sticky rice if you have leftovers. Let the rice cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and placing it in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, thaw the rice in the refrigerator overnight or reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a covered pot.

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