How To Make Sticky Rice In A Rice Cooker

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Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: October 26, 2023

Sticky rice is produced in a variety of countries across the world, notably Thailand, Korea, Japan, and China. It goes by various names in different countries, but the sweet lingering taste is oddly captivating no matter which part of the world you are from. Now let's find out how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker!

Thai sticky rice or Chinese sticky rice is often known as “glutinous rice” or “sweet rice”. The name is quite self-explanatory, the dish has a sticky and spongy texture and is sweet.

Now, sticky rice is traditionally made by steaming rice in bamboo containers. As exotic and fun as this sounds, it may not be a very practical option for us to try today. This is where the rice cooker comes to our rescue. This amazing invention has cut down the time required to cook rice, and it works very well for making sticky rice too.

You may be thinking that since this is a traditional dish, it must be super complicated to make. Well, do you know that using a rice cooker, you can get a nice fragrant bowl of sticky rice in under an hour?

Don’t worry, we got you covered. Follow this handy guide to prepare this lip-smacking dish and wow your friends with your culinary genius. No one needs to know that the rice cooker is the real winner!

Which Foods Can Be Paired With Sticky Rice?

Sticky rice goes well in stir-fries, stews, baked products, and other dishes. It's also known as sweet rice and can be substituted for brown rice for a more buttery flavor. If you are looking to score some points with your friends over your cooking skills, it is a good idea to take a look at which foods pair well with sticky rice.

It is consumed in different countries in different ways. For example, in China, sticky rice is a popular dessert served at festivals and celebratory events. It is wrapped in bamboo and/or banana leaves and eaten as a standalone dessert.

In Japan, it is also consumed similarly. However, it is often paired with soups and stews to balance out the sweet flavor.

In Thailand, it is traditionally served on banana leaves with seasonal fruits, mostly mango. A sweet syrup made topped with nuts is also served with this dish.

In certain parts of India, it is eaten out of bamboo and/or banana leaves or dipped in condensed milk. This has a consistency similar to rice pudding but is not as flowy in texture.

Since this is a sweet dish, it is mostly served either as a snack or at the end of meals. Sticky rice is loved by people of all ages. You can stick to the typical recipe and serve it as a standalone dessert, or use fruits and nuts to garnish and give it a fancy look. Either way, your guests are bound to be asking for second helpings.

Which Type of Rice Is Used In Making Sticky Rice?

To make sticky rice, you need to cover an equal amount of white and glutinous rice in hot water to achieve the desired sticky consistency. This recipe calls for short-grain white rice since long-grain rice will not provide the desired gooey texture.

It is important to select the right variety of rice while making sticky rice. Many people make a rookie mistake and just buy their regular long-grained rice. Naturally, they are left astounded when the sticky rice turns out to be not so sticky after all!

In essence, all varieties of rice can be used in making sticky rice as long as it is short grain. Long-grain rice tends to separate and does not retain a sticky consistency, hence it is ideal for making savory rice dishes. Both white and brown rice can be used to make sticky rice. The result will have a darker color if brown rice is used.

Sticky rice is smaller and starchier than long-grain white rice and is also known as honey rice, glutinous rice, or waxed rice. Rice varieties such as jasmine, brown basmati, and white basmati are ideal for making sticky rice.

You could use a variety of rice thick enough when steamed to make an amazing homemade sticky rice. Since both basmati and jasmine rice are very high in starch content, they are ideal for making sticky rice.

Furthermore, these two varieties will greatly expand during the cooking process. This also aids greatly in achieving the correct consistency for making sticky rice. Brands would not matter much as long as the rice is short grain.

How To Cook Sticky Rice In Rice Cooker

Coming to the part you have been waiting for, we have prepared this step-by-step guide that will transform you into a wiz in the kitchen. Just remember to follow the instructions and you will find yourself with a divine bowl of sticky rice, all ready to be devoured.

Step 1

Rinse the rice very carefully. This is an innately Asian practice, but it is important to remove impurities and dirt in the rice before cooking. One cup of ordinary dry jasmine rice should be rinsed at least twice or three times until the liquid is virtually clear.

This is because unwashed rice will be too starchy, and we do not want that for cooking sticky rice. Sure, starch content helps, but when it is excessive, the rice will not stick together and lose its consistency.

Step 2

Once you have washed it well, let the rice soak for about an hour or so in lukewarm water. After that, add 3 cups of water and drain the rice once more.

Step 3

Now, add the well-drained rice to your rice cooker. Add an equal amount of water to it as well. You should notice that by this point the water must not be cloudy anymore. If it is still cloudy, you may have to wash the rice again.

how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker: Instant Pot

Usually, the quantity of water added to rice is far more than the quantity of rice itself, but remember, we want the rice to be sticky. However, do not use less water because this can make the rice burn. A little extra water also does not hurt since the rice is most likely to soak it up.

Step 4

Add half a teaspoon of salt and give it a thorough mix. This salt will balance some of the sweetness of the rice and you will not be able to taste this later anyway. Tightly close the lid of your rice cooker once this is done.

Step 5

Cooking time is usually between 20 and 25 minutes, depending on the quantity of rice. You can check on the progress after 15 minutes or so. You will know that the sticky rice is done when the steam escapes from the nozzle completely.

The best way to ensure that your rice is not overcooked is by setting a timer on your rice cooker.

Step 6

The most important step which almost everyone fails to remember in the heat of the moment is to let the rice rest for around 5-7 minutes after taking it off the flame. Do not open the rice cooker and serve the rice immediately.

Step 7

Now comes everyone’s favorite step—eating. Once the rice has rested, fluff it up using a fork and you will feel the aroma wafting in the air. You can serve it wrapped in bamboo/banana leaves for a traditional touch or pair it up with a freshly cut mango.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Sticky Rice In A Rice Cooker?

The time duration for making sticky rice in a rice cooker is dependent on the variety of rice. Thai jasmine rice, for instance, takes longer to cook than short-grain white or brown rice. Similarly, basmati rice also takes longer than short-grain rice.

The amount of time it takes to cook also varies depending on the type of rice cooker you use. However, for two roughly two servings, preparation and cooking time is usually between 40-50 minutes.

How To Make Sticky Rice In A Rice Cooker: Final Thoughts

Now that you are aware of an extremely simple way to make this oriental treat at home, what are you waiting for? Call your friends over for a classy tea party and surprise them with your cooking skills!

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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