Sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, is a type of rice grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is especially sticky when cooked, just like the name suggests. The word “glutinous” describes the sticky texture of sticky rice; it does not, in fact, contain gluten.
It’s widely used to make sweets, dumplings, and rice cakes. For instance, sticky rice and mango are frequently combined to create the sweet and reviving dessert known as mango sticky rice in Thai cuisines.
While sticky rice requires a simple soak and steam process, it still needs to be cooked. Let’s see how that is done:
First, let’s talk about what is needed. To make delicious sticky rice, combine the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of glutinous or sweet rice
- Water to soak the rice
- A steaming basket or a bamboo steamer
- Muslin cloth or cheesecloth
- A tiny bit of salt (optional; adds flavour)
Step 1: Soak the Rice
Start by thoroughly rinsing your sticky rice in cold water until the water runs clear. After washing, give the rice a minimum of four to six hours’ soak in water, if not overnight. This is an important step because it ensures the desired sticky texture by allowing the rice grains to absorb the appropriate amount of water.
Step 2: Steamer Arrangement
It’s time to set up your steaming station now that your rice is ready. To stop the rice from sticking to a bamboo steamer, cover it with cheesecloth or muslin cloth. Cheesecloth or a muslin cloth is an open-weave, lightweight cotton fabric. It is used in food preparation because it lets liquids pass through but holds on to solids. If you always use a steaming basket, you can get the same result by lining it with parchment paper or a clean towel.
Step 3: Get Steaming!
Once you have drained the excess water, distribute the rice in the steamer basket equally. To enhance the taste of the rice, you can add a small amount of salt or as much as you like on top of it. For around 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice turns transparent and pleasantly sticky, steam it over high heat. To keep your steamer from running out of water, keep an eye on its level.
Step 4: Allow It to Sit
Well done—you’re almost there! After the sticky rice is cooked to perfection, pour it into a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes so that any remaining steam can finish cooking the rice completely. As simple as this step may be, it is very important and cannot be skipped because it allows an even and smooth consistency with a sticky texture of the rice.
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!
Once your rice is fully steamed and you’ve achieved the desired sticky texture, bring out your most beautiful bowl or plate and set your rice in it. Serve it hot and pair it up with your favourite sideline dishes and enjoy the deliciousness!
Pro-tip: Embrace the Stickiness!
Here’s a pro tip to help you enjoy steamed glutinous rice better and more smoothly: wet your hands and serving utensils to embrace the sticky texture. This little method keeps the rice from sticking in places it shouldn’t by acting as a kind of culinary armour. With wet tools in hand, explore the wonderful world of sticky rice and watch as the sticky magic happens naturally!
What Can You Pair Sticky Rice With?
Sticky rice is a delicious dish on its own. However, sticky rice is an extremely versatile dish that complements many different foods well by providing a pleasing harmony of flavours and textures. Here are some amazing combinations to enhance your experience with sticky rice:
Asian or Thai Curries
Delicious addition of Asian or Thai curries, such as Massaman, Green, or Red Curry, over sticky rice. The rice’s sticky, slightly sweet texture offers the ideal counterbalance to the spicy curries. It pairs perfectly well making an amazing and fulfilling meal anytime of the day.
Serve bright and fresh sushi rolls over sticky rice to create your own at-home sushi night. The sushi materials are held together and given a delicious chewiness by the sticky rice. Instead of spending money on restaurants doing the same thing, unleash the chef inside you and get creative with homemade dishes.
Mango Sticky Rice Dessert
Savour the traditional Thai dessert of mango sticky rice to satisfy your sweet craving. Add ripe mangoes or mango slices to a mound of sticky rice. You can also pour some coconut milk to enhance the flavour making it tastier.
Sticky rice goes well with barbecued meats like grilled chicken, Korean BBQ or teriyaki skewers. The grilled items’ smokiness and char are complemented by the chewy texture of the rice. It can be served as a fancy dish too to make your guests and their stomachs happy!
Serve sticky rice with your favourite dim sum items, such as dumplings or bundles of sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves. The different textures of the dim sum delightfully match with the sticky rice.
In conclusion, you now have an excellent recipe for sticky rice that will provide you with a plate full of delicious, chewy goodness. So grab your ingredients, light your steamer, and get ready to wow anyone who is fortunate enough to partake in your high-class taste buds and innovative cooking experiments.