The Best Way to Make Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker

Sticky rice made in a rice cooker in a blue bowl with a wooden spoon

The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Soak: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 4 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
59 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 59
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 154mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many types of sticky rice from countries all around the world, including Thailand, China, and Japan. For this recipe, look for Thai sticky rice or Chinese sticky rice, sometimes labeled as "sweet rice" or "glutinous rice." While the grain goes by a few different names, they are all the same thing.

Traditionally, sticky rice is normally steamed, but did you know you can also make sticky rice in your rice cooker with delicious results? Cooking sticky rice in your rice cooker cuts down on steps and is so quick and easy to do you'll find yourself enjoying sticky rice more often.

Sticky rice is excellent served with stir-fries, curries, or any dishes with a delicious sauce. It's also great for desserts like mango sticky rice. If you don't have a rice cooker, you can make your sticky rice in a pot on the stove.


Click Play to See This Sticky Rice Come Together

"The sticky rice cooked perfectly in my basic little rice cooker. Cooking took 25 minutes, including the 5 minutes it stands before opening the lid. I soaked it for 40 minutes per instructions, and that was sufficient. Since there's no rinsing, prep is just the time it takes to measure and press the start button." —Diana Rattray

Sticky rice made in a rice cooker in a blue bowl
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups Thai sticky rice (also called sweet or glutinous rice)

  • 2 1/2 cups water

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sticky rice for rice cooker ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Place sticky rice in your rice cooker.

    Sticky rice in a rice cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  3. Add the water and stir.

    Water and rice in a rice cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  4. Let the rice stand at least 40 minutes and up to 4 hours. Sticky rice has a hard outer shell that needs to soften in order for it to achieve the best texture.

    Rice soaking in water in a rice cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  5. Add the salt and stir once more. Turn on your rice cooker.

    Salt added to the rice in the rice cooker

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  6. When your rice cooker switches off, let the rice sit at least 5 minutes longer. Serve and enjoy.

    Sticky rice made in a rice cooker in a white bowl with wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai


  • Sticky rice will become stickier the longer it sits, so if you want it very sticky, make it ahead of time.
  • If you find that the rice is too sticky for your liking, skip soaking the rice. Although soaking the rice before cooking is common, eliminating this step will result in a more al dente texture—while this may not be traditional, it may be more pleasing to your palate.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store cooked sticky rice in your refrigerator and try to use it up within two to three days.
  • To freeze sticky rice, transfer portions to airtight containers or zip-close freezer bags. Freeze it for up to two months.

What's the difference between white rice and sticky rice?

The major difference between regular white rice and sticky rice is right there in the name—the latter has a sticky, glutinous texture. While white rice had individually textured grains, sticky rice sticks together and is great at soaking up sweet and savory sauces. It also requires soaking before cooking (white rice does not).

What's the difference between sticky rice and sweet rice?

Sticky rice goes by a few names, making it confusing when you visit the grocery store or read a recipe. It's often known as sweet rice thanks to its many applications in sweet dishes. Whether it's labeled sticky rice, Thai sticky rice, sweet rice, or glutinous rice, it's all the same type of rice and will work great for this recipe.

How to Use Sticky Rice

  • Sticky rice may be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, stir-fry dishes, and in dumplings. Here are a few ideas:
  • Use sticky rice to make a layer cake dessert or the classic Thai favorite, mango rice.
  • Make sticky rice dumplings with prepared sticky rice, chicken, and seasonings.
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of day-old leftover sticky rice with 1 beaten egg and salt, to taste. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Shape the rice mixture into patties and fry until hot and golden brown on both sides.
  • Use soaked sticky rice to make a delicious sweet sticky rice cake.