How I finally learned how to cook sticky rice ….intentionally.

sticky riceI have always yearned to cook sticky rice. By that I don’t mean that I wanted to cook jasmine or basmati rice so badly it clods up but rather I’ve tried to cook kao niow or that variety of rice served in Laos and Northern Thailand that is designed to be a bowl of dry, clump forming deliciousness.

Having tried the instruction on the back of the packet which were nonsense I hit YouTube, the source of as many methods of cooking sticky rice as there are grains of rice in a packet. Boil, steam, microwave, soak or don’t soak and on it went. To save you hunting around look at this video by Mark Weins of

I’m happy to be able to offer you my simple summary for making sticky rice. Soak then steam. That’s it. The rice goes very well with a red curry I make thickened with crushed peanuts and coconut milk. Not exactly low calorie but perfect for serving with sticky rice so that guests can wad up balls of sticky rice and dunk away.

The method

  1. Soak your rice in cold water for 8 or more hours.  This is essential and your rice won’t work without this step.
  2. Steam the rice.  As I didn’t have a rice steamer I used a colander over a pan of water with a lid on top. More than adequate. Check it after 15 minutes, stir the rice and carry on steaming until done. Don’t even consider boiling it’s steam or nothing.

That’s it. No other steps, no pan full of revolting starchy slop, just a steamer full of sticky rice goodness.

Eat with your fingers for maximum enjoyment.


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