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Sticky Rice

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Sticky rice is the perfect accompaniment with so many South East Asian dishes.

Thai sticky rice is so good served with a good Thai curry or other Thai recipes. You can also serve it with many different South East Asian dishes.

It’s easy to prepare so why not cook up a good Thai green curry, red curry, beef Massaman and/or Panang curry and enjoy eating like you’re in the best Thai restaurant without even needing to leave your home!

Cooked and served sticky rice


What is sticky rice?

Sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, holds a special place in the hearts and palates of many food enthusiasts around the world.

It’s sticky and chewy texture when cooked and most popular in Thailand, although never served with coconut-milk-based curries or soups. It’s a must with jungle curry!  That’s in Thailand though as I think it’s quite good with a creamy curry.

With its unique texture and versatility, you will love sticky rice in both savory and sweet dishes. It is particularly prevalent in Southeast Asian cuisines, such as Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and many others. 

What is different about sticky rice?

What sets sticky rice apart from other rice varieties is its sticky and chewy texture. This is down to it high amylopectin content, which is a type of starch that becomes gelatinous when cooked. The grains of sticky rice cling together, creating a a satisfying mouthfeel that is loved by many.

How do you prepare sticky rice?

To prepare sticky rice, you need to soak in water for several hours or overnight, allowing the grains to absorb moisture and soften. The soaked rice is then steamed or boiled until it reaches your desired tenderness.

You really can’t go wrong as the doneness of the sticky rice is in your hands. Just keep steaming and trying it until you are happy with the texture.

In Thailand, the rice is usually steamed in a special basket in the morning and then eaten throughout the day. I picked up a few of those sticky rice baskets in Thailand but you can also purchase them on amazon and at specialty shops. The rice is then served in small whicker baskets at the table.

How long can you keep sticky rice?

Sticky rice, like other cooked rice, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-6 days. It is important to properly store it to maintain its quality and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some tips for storing sticky rice:

  1. Cool it down quickly: After cooking sticky rice, let it cool down to room temperature before refrigerating. This helps prevent bacterial growth. Avoid leaving cooked rice at room temperature for too long, as it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
  2. Store in an airtight container: Transfer the sticky rice to an airtight container or a resealable bag. Ensure the container is clean and free from any contaminants. The airtight seal helps retain moisture and prevents the rice from drying out.
  3. Refrigerate promptly: Place the sealed container of sticky rice in the refrigerator within 1 hour of cooking. The cool temperature of the fridge slows down the growth of bacteria and helps maintain the rice’s quality.

How do you reheat sticky rice?

Reheating sticky rice requires gentle handling to retain its texture and prevent it from becoming dry or mushy. Here are a few methods you can use to reheat sticky rice:

Steaming Method:

Place the desired amount of sticky rice in a heatproof dish or a steamer basket lined with cheesecloth or a damp cloth. Then you need to add a small amount of water to the bottom of the steamer or pot, ensuring it doesn’t touch the rice.

Cover the dish or the steamer with a lid and steam the rice over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.

Gently fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks before serving.

Microwave Method:

Transfer the desired amount of sticky rice to a microwave-safe dish. You should then sprinkle a small amount of water evenly over the rice to prevent it from drying out.

Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent to allow steam to escape.

Microwave the rice on medium power in short intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring in between, until it is heated thoroughly.

Let the rice sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork or chopsticks.

Stovetop Method:

In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, add a small amount of oil or water. Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the sticky rice, breaking up any clumps gently.

Stir the rice frequently to ensure even heating and prevent sticking. Cook for a few minutes until the rice is heated through.

Remove from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks before serving.

Remember, it is important to reheat sticky rice thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to eliminate any potential bacteria. Additionally, avoid reheating sticky rice multiple times, as it can affect its texture and quality. 

Top Tips

  1. Soak the Rice: To achieve the perfect sticky texture, soaking the rice is essential. Place the desired amount of sticky rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Soaking allows the grains to absorb water, resulting in a softer and stickier texture when cooked.
  2. Steaming Method: Steaming is the preferred cooking method for sticky rice. After soaking, transfer the rice to a steamer basket or a bamboo steamer. Place the steamer over a pot of boiling water, ensuring the rice doesn’t touch the water. Steam the rice for about 15-25 minutes or until it becomes tender and sticky. This steaming process helps to preserve the desired texture and prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
  3. Proper Equipment: Using the right equipment can make a difference in achieving perfect sticky rice. A bamboo steamer or a steamer basket with small holes works well for steaming. The small holes allow steam to circulate evenly, resulting in more consistent cooking. 


Yield: 4 - 6

Sticky Rice

Cooked and served sticky rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 675g (3 cups) Thai glutinous rice


  1. Pour the rice into a bowl and cover with water. Swirl the rice around in the water with your hand. The water will become milky white from the starch. Drain and repeat this process until the water runs almost clear.
  2. Now cover the cleaned rice with about twice the volume of clean water and soak for 6 hours or overnight. It is important to cover with a lot of water as the rice will double in size as it soaks.
  3. When ready to steam, place your steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam, covered, for 15 minutes. Check it – it should be sticky, fragrant and mouthwateringly delicious. You can cook it longer, as I do but 15 minutes usually suffices when served as a side dish. The longer you steam the sticky rice, the softer and stickier it will become.


It is important to use Thai glutinous rice but please don’t mistake the word glutinous with glutenous. The word glutinous refers to the starch that is on the rice grains, rather than suggesting there is gluten in it (this would be glutenous). All rice is gluten-free.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

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