Sticky rice or glutinous rice is standard fare in Northern Thailand and Laos. The rice is thicker than "regular" steamed rice and the sticky texture allows it to be rolled into golf ball sized patties and eaten with the (right) hand. Served with most meals, this rice is scrumptious and filling . Southern Thai cuisine usually serves this rice with condensed (or coconut) milk (rolled in banana leaves) or with mangos as a dessert.

When eating a meal it is customary to take the rice out of the bamboo basket it is served in, roll it into a ball and smoosh your "meat", vegetables and sauce into the rice. You don't need chopsticks or silverware, just don't use your left hand. Sticky rice is a tasty comfort food that becomes quite addicting especially if you have chili sauce to dip it in.

When cooking Sticky rice it isn't recommended that you prepare this rice in a rice cooker or steamer. The following steps should do the trick:

  • First, you need Thai Sticky Rice, not the Japanese rice used in Sushi. Some brands available in the U.S. are; Peacock Extra-Super Quality and Ko-Ko Thai Sweet Rice.
  • Then, rinse 2-3 times and soak the rice in a pan with plenty of water for 4-12 hours. (Like beans, the longer they soak, the less time it takes to cook).
  • Drain and rinse again until the water is clear and place in a bamboo steamer. (Steamer resembles a basket).
  • Place steamer over a metal pan of boiling water (don't let the bamboo touch the water...), and cover rice with a lid (any lid will do). Note: Some people also wrap the rice in a cheesecloth or add a little boiling water to the rice to speed cooking, though I don't.
  • Steam for 30-45 minutes or until rice is tender.

Like all cooking, it takes a bit of practice to get it just right. Additionally, I think you can even purchase special sticky rice steamers, they look like a spittoon.