How to Make Sticky Rice

No Rice Cooker Required

sticky rice
Leah Maroney
  • 01 of 08

    Measure the Ingredients

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    Measure out 2 cups of the sweet rice and place in a pot. Sticky rice can be purchased at Asian food stores. Note that when it's sold in the package, it is labeled as "sweet rice" or "glutinous rice". Here, we are using the Thai variety, which has a longer grain than Japanese or Chinese sweet rice.

    Note: In Thailand, sticky rice is steamed in long funnel-like baskets. Although not strictly authentic, this method for boiled sticky also turns out extremely delicious and it's so much easier. To make sticky rice in a rice cooker, use this guide.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Add Water and Let Soak

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    Add 3 1/2 cups water and stirLeave to soak at least half an hour. Sticky rice has a tough outer shell that needs to be softened before you cook it; otherwise, you may end up with hard rice.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Add Salt

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    After rice has soaked, add 3/4 teaspoons salt and stir. Turn heat on high.

    If you prefer to steam your sticky rice instead of boiling it, drain at this point and transfer the rice to a banana leaf-lined colander or steamer. Cover and steam over high heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until rice is translucent and soft.

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  • 04 of 08

    Bring to a Boil

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    Once water begins to bubble at a gentle boil, turn heat down to medium-low so that it is just nicely simmering.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Cook the Rice

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    Place the lid askew, allowing some of the steam to escape. Simmer the rice in this way for 10 minutes.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Use a Fork to Check the Rice

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    After 10 minutes, use a fork to pull the rice aside. Look down into the gap you've made. If all the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat. If there is still water in the pot, allow rice to cook another 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice.

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  • 07 of 08

    Place Lid on Tight and Allow Rice to Steam-Cook

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    When all the water is gone, turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner. Place lid on tight and allow rice to sit for 8 to 10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. The heat in the pot will ​steam cook the rice, finishing it off perfectly.

    The rice will stay warm in this way for up to 2 hours, which is convenient when you're cooking other dishes and great when you're expecting dinner guests.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Enjoy Your Sticky Rice

    sticky rice
    Leah Maroney

    Remove lid and serve your sticky rice. Sticky rice goes well with stir fries, as well as dishes that have a lot of sauce to them, such as curries. Enjoy!

    More helpful tips:

    • Sticky rice becomes even stickier and slightly translucent when allowed to sit or when cooled and refrigerated.
    • Store sticky rice covered in the refrigerator, but be sure to eat it up within a day or two, as it will harden faster than regular rice.
    • Sticky rice is also used to make scrumptious Thai desserts, such as this mango sticky rice.