RECIPE: How to Make Sticky Rice (AKA Sweet Rice)

Sticky rice, also known as “sweet rice” as well as “glutinous rice” depending on the packaging, is any type of rice that is high in amylopectin starch and low in amylose starch.

There are different varieties of sticky rice, from long-grain to short-grain and white to purple. When cooked, grains of sticky rice stick together in a single mass. Glutinous rice does not actually contain any gluten but is called “glutinous” due to its glue-like texture.

It is served in many Asian countries, and is known for its use in Thai, Japanese and Chinese cuisines. Its distinctly chewy texture and sweet or floral flavour make it perfect as a side dish for rich meat dishes, but it can also be turned into desserts or breakfast dishes.

This is a simple recipe to make sticky rice.


2 cups sweet rice or sticky rice or glutinous rice


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Add the sticky rice to a mixing bowl or other deep container. Fill it with water so the water level is at least 7cm above the rice, as the rice will expand when soaking.

Soak for 6 to 24 hours. Soak it longer if you want your sticky rice to have a softer texture.

Drain the water (no need to shake off the excess water), and evenly arrange the soaked sticky rice on a heat-proof, rimmed plate or bamboo steamer lined with natural steamer liners or parchment paper.

Cover and steam for 30-45 minutes. When making a larger batch of rice, steam in two batches or steam longer. You can check the rice and increase the steaming time if need be.

Keep the sticky rice in the steamer or covered to prevent drying out until you serve it or use it in a recipe.

Note: Preparation time does not include 6 hours or overnight soaking time.

Recipe from The Woks of Life.

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