How to Make Sticky Rice – Fit Foodie Finds

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Sticky rice is a very versatile recipe to pair with many Asian-inspired dishes. Make sticky rice in your own kitchen with our step by step instructions. Enjoy!

sticky rice in a bowl with a spoon

This sticky rice recipe is a family recipe of our video producer, Pachee. We’re grateful to be able to learn authentic Hmong/Thai cooking from one of our very own!

Pachee’s Sticky Rice

From Pachee: Growing up, my father would give us sticky rice as a snack. I can distinctly remember him rolling it between his hands and blowing on it to cool the hot rice. The result was a ball of sticky rice rolled with love and passed from generation to generation.

As I got older, I would do the same for my nieces and nephews as they ran around and played at grandma and grandpa’s. Sticky rice is a staple that we like to have all year round. It pairs well with any dish that’s sweet or savory!

What is sticky rice?

Sticky rice is a highly glutinous variety of rice that is predominantly grown in Asia. It can be paired with both sweet and savory dishes, making it a very versatile variety of rice.

What type of rice should i use for sticky rice?

Pachee recommends sweet rice to make this sticky rice recipe (we used Apple Brand). Sweet rice is widely available at Asian grocery stores, and many major US grocers.

bag of sticky rice

What You Need

Ingredients

Tools

  • Bamboo basket
  • Steam pot
  • Strainer

For the bamboo basket and steam pot, Pachee recommends a set like THIS, but you can also use any pot you have in your kitchen + a bamboo basket as long as the basket doesn’t touch the water in the pot while the rice is steaming.

Support your local Asian grocery store!

Whenever making an Asian-inspired recipe like this one, we like to support our local Asian grocery store and we hope you’ll do the same thing!

rinsing sticky rice in a bowl in the sink

How to Make Sticky Rice

For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card for a list of ingredients and instructions.

Rinse Rice

Place 3 cups of rice into a large bowl and rinse the rice under warm water 2-4 times and drain.

Soak Rice

Fill the bowl of rice with warm water again, and this time let the rice soak for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This helps the rice to soften up so the rice can steam nicely.

A few minutes before the rice is finished soaking, boil a pot of water enough to submerge the amount of rice you’re making.

bowl of sticky rice filled with water

Strain Rice

While the water is on its way to a rolling boil, transfer the rice into a strainer. Set aside.

Soak rice for a 2nd time

Once the pot of water is boiling, immediately turn it off. Carefully add the rice into the pot of hot water and stir for 3 minutes. Be careful not to leave the rice in too long because this will cause mushy sticky rice.

  • The benefit of this added process is that it creates a softer, more pleasant rice to eat. 
  • You know the rice is ready when a grain of rice breaks easily in half. 
sticky rice in a strainer

Strain rice a 2nd time

Carefully strain the rice. Set it aside. 

Steam Rice

Add water into the steam pot and place the bamboo basket on top. Turn the heat on high. It’s important that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bamboo basket. 

Slowly transfer the rice into the bamboo basket and cover it with a lid. It’s important the lid covers tightly so the rice can steam. Let steam for 30 minutes, depending on how much rice you’re making. It’s okay to check on the rice to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

sticky rice being steamed in a pot with a bamboo basket

Tips for Sticky Rice

Always rinse the rice: Why? It will remove the excess starch from the rice, which helps ensure the rice cooks evenly.

Don’t skip soaking the rice: Why?  This helps the rice to soften up so it can steam nicely and you don’t break a tooth 😀

Before placing the rice in the steam basket: Be sure to spray or rub butter to the bottom of the bamboo basket so the rice doesn’t stick. This will also help for easy clean-up.

When steaming the rice: Make sure water in the steam pot doesn’t touch the bottom of the bamboo basket, or it will cause your sticky rice to be mushy.

sticky rice in a bamboo basket

What to Serve with Sticky Rice

stir fry in bowl

Pachee’s recipe for

Pad Krapow (Thai Basil Stir Fry)

Try it!

We love serving this sticky rice with Pachee’s Pad Krapow recipe. If you’re looking for other serving recommendations, here are a few of our favorites:

Storage

Store sticky rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat: place sticky rice in a microwave safe container and reheat until warm.

sticky rice paired with pad krapow in a bowl

sticky rice in a bowl

Sticky Rice Recipe

Make sticky rice in your own kitchen with our step by step instructions for this versatile dish.

Prep: 50 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 20 minutes

Fat 1

Carbs 21

Protein 1

Yield 46 1x


Ingredients

  • 3 cups sweet rice, (we used Apple Brand Sweet Rice)
  • Water

Tools

  • Steam Pot
  • Bamboo Basket
  • Strainer

Instructions

  1. Place 3 cups of rice into a large bowl and rinse the rice under warm water 2-4 times and drain.
  2. Fill the bowl of rice with warm water again and this time let the rice soak for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This helps the rice to soften up so it can steam to an ideal texture.
  3. A few minutes before the rice is finished soaking, boil a pot of water enough to submerge the amount of rice you’re making. While the water is on its way to a rolling boil, strain the rice into a strainer, if you don’t have a strainer you can drain it like normal. Set aside.
  4. Once the pot of water is boiling, immediately turn it off. Carefully add the rice into the pot of hot water and stir for 3 minutes. Be careful not to leave the rice in too long because this will cause mushy sticky rice.
  • The benefit of this added process is that it creates a softer, more pleasant rice to eat. 
  • You know the rice is ready when a grain of rice breaks easily in half. 
  1. Carefully strain or drain the rice and set it aside. 
  2. Add water into the steam pot and place the bamboo basket on top. Turn the heat on high. It’s important that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bamboo basket. 
  3. Slowly transfer the rice into the bamboo basket and cover it with a lid. It’s important the lid covers well so the rice can steam nicely. Let steam for 30 minutes, depending on how much rice you’re making. It’s okay to check on the rice to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Tips & Notes

  • Be sure to spray or rub butter to the bottom of the bamboo basket so the rice doesn’t stick and makes for easy clean-up. 
  • IMPORTANT WHEN STEAMING: Make sure water in the steam pot doesn’t touch the bottom of the bamboo basket.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6
Calories: 95
Sugar: 12
Sodium: 3
Fat: 1
Carbohydrates: 21
Fiber: 0
Protein: 1
Cholesterol: 0

Author: Pachee VangCategory: SidesMethod: Stove TopCuisine: Asian

Keywords: sticky rice recipe

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.





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