The Best Way to Make Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker

Slow cooker sticky rice in a wooden bowl
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 Cups (4 Servings)

In Thailand and other Southeast-Asian countries, sticky rice is normally steamed, and because of this, some people here in the West shy away from making it. 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 all the steps involved, and is so quick and easy to do, you'll find yourself enjoying sticky rice more often.

There are many types of sticky rice from all around the world, including Thailand, China, and Japan. For this recipe, look for Thai sticky rice or Chinese sticky rice. Also, the wording on the package can be confusing—the packet might say "Sweet Rice" or "Glutinous Rice" instead of sticky rice. Don't worry, this is the right product!

As you know, sticky rice is excellent served with stir-fries, curries, or any dishes with a delicious sauce (the sticky rice both absorbs and complements it). It's also great for desserts. If you don't have a rice cooker, you can make your sticky rice in a pot on the stove.


  • 2 cups Thai sweet rice (also called "sticky" or "glutinous" rice)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sticky rice in rice cooker ingredients
  2. Place sticky rice in your rice cooker.

    Add rice to rice cooker
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  3. Add the water and stir.

    Add water to rice cooker
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  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 taste its best.

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

    Add salt to rice and water
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  6. When your rice cooker switches off, let the rice sit at least 5 minutes extra.

    Finished rice on plate
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  7. Serve and enjoy!


  • Sticky rice will become stickier the longer it sits, so if you want it very sticky, make it ahead of time.
  • Store sticky rice in your refrigerator, and try to use it up within 2 to 3 days.
  • If you find that the rice is too sticky for your liking, skip the first step where the rice is left to soak.
  • Although soaking the rice is somewhat standard, 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.
  • Sticky rice is great in Thai dishes, such as the most famous Thai dessert, Thai mango sticky sweet rice.