How To Make Thai Sticky Rice (5 Easy Ways)


In northern and northeastern Thai cuisine, sticky rice, or glutinous or sweet rice, is a versatile ingredient in savory and sweet dishes. To prepare this rice in the traditional Thai style, it is given a spa treatment of soaking, splashing, and steaming until it becomes tender and fluffy.

Most rice arrangements that cause to be “steamed” are deceiving, considering the grain is being bubbled in water. The question that arises is How to make Thai sticky rice? Sticky rice is a meal made from Thai corn rice that has been cooked until damp and wet, commonly infused with aromatics.

It goes well with Thai red curries, green curries, stir-fry dishes, and coconut milk sweets like sticky rice and mango. Follow our simple instructions and then experiment with our favorite recipe to learn how to make Thai sticky rice.

Type of Rice Used to Make Sticky Rice

Type of rice used to make sticky rice

To make sticky rice, you require a specific type of rice known as Jasmine rice. It is called just after the fragrant jasmine flower and has begun to flourish in Thailand. It has a sticky glutinous texture and a slightly sweet, savory flavor. Other lengthy grain varieties should be avoided.

How Do You Make Thai Sticky Rice?

  • Soak the rice (450g is a decent quantity for four people) overnight in a dish of cool water. 
  • This adds to the softer texture of the rice.
  • In a colander, shake the rice to remove any extra water.

Tips for Lining and Cooking in a Steamer Basket

  • To line a steamer basket, use non-stick parchment paper, however (this stops the rice from sticking to the metal).
  • Fill a big pan to a thickness of 3cm with water.
Tips for Lining and Cooking in a Steamer Basket
  • Place the tightly fitting steamer on top and bring it to a simmer.
  • Steam the rice in a steamer for 35-45 minutes or until sticky and soft. Cover with wet parchment to prevent drying.

Add Aromatics 

Kaffir lime leaves: When steaming rice, add two to three fresh kaffir lime leaves for a delicious, fragrant flavor that pairs well with Thai green curry.

Freshly grated coconut adds sweetness to rice and pairs well with spicy dishes. For a sweet variation on sticky rice, make a creamy coconut & sugar combination and spoon it into the cooked rice. It’s great in our sticky rice and mango recipe.

Lemongrass: Before steaming, cut a fresh lemongrass stalk in half and add it.

Important Points to Remember for Making a Thai Sticky Rice

Making a Thai Sticky Rice
  • Once cooked, cover your rice with a damp piece of baking parchment. When the rice reaches room temperature, it begins to harden. Just before serving, plate up.
  • Sweat the distributing spoon so that the rice comes off easily.
  • Sticky rice gets increasingly difficult to swallow as it cools.
  •  It’s best not to keep leftovers and to eat them cold.

Thai Sticky Rice Recipe

1. Simple beef and black bean sauce for Thai sticky rice.

Thai Sticky Rice Recipe

Our easy beef stir-fry with black bean sauce is ideal for a Wednesday household supper everyone will appreciate. Use tender rump steak, crunchy vegetables, and plenty of warming ginger and chili for a quick 30-minute dinner. Serve with heaps of sticky rice and sprigs of fresh coriander.

2. Passion fruit with mango rice with sticky coconut.

Passion fruit with mango rice with sticky coconut

Enjoy the sticky coconut rice mixed with mango and passion fruit for a beautiful Thai dessert. Combining rich and creamy coconut and zingy fruit is the ideal way to cap off a celebratory meal. To save time, make the mango sauce the day before.

3. Simple teriyaki chicken.

Simple teriyaki chicken

It only takes 20 minutes to make our quick teriyaki chicken, which is ideal for feeding the family on the go. This thick honey and soy sauce requires only a few minutes to prepare and tastes superior to store-bought alternatives. Serve with steamed Asian vegetables such as pak choi.

4. Thai red duck on sticky pineapple rice.

Thai red duck on sticky pineapple rice

Our Thai red duck over sticky pineapple rice serves two hearty meals. Marinate the duck flippers in hot red curry paste and zesty lime to incorporate different flavors before cooking. This vibrant and textured healthy meal choice will brighten up your weeknight menu.

All rice can become sticky, but Thai sticky rice is unique. It lacks one of the primary starches found in regular rice. Rice grains cluster together due to the carbohydrate content, culminating in “sticky” rice. Sticky rice is lower in nutrients than conventional rice but higher in protein.

Steaming sticky rice results in delicate yet chewy rice, with individual grains that maintain their design while remaining intact. Sticky rice is a great choice to balance the spiciness of bold sauces, soups, and dressings, and it pairs nicely with grilled or braised meats and seafood. 

5. Storing Thai sticky rice.

Completed sticky rice will remain warm for around 60 minutes whenever covered. You can warm sticky rice in the microwave cover and hot it on low power, looking at regular intervals, until heated through.


What kind of rice do I need to make Thai sticky rice? 

If you want to prepare Thai sticky rice, you will require glutinous rice, also identified as sticky rice or sweet rice, which has a greater amount of starch compared to ordinary long-grain rice. This distinctive characteristic of sticky rice provides it with its sticky texture.

Do I need any special equipment to make Thai sticky rice? 

You’ll need a steaming basket or bamboo steamer and a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Some people use cheesecloth or cotton cloth to line the steaming basket and prevent the rice from sticking.

How do I prepare the rice before cooking? 

First, wash the rice in cold water and continue rinsing until the water runs clear. Next, soak the rice in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.Drain the rice and let it sit for about 10 minutes to remove excess water.

How do I cook the rice? 

Add the rice to a steaming basket or bamboo steamer lined with cheesecloth or cotton cloth. Place the steaming basket over a pot of simmering water and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and sticky.

Can I flavour the rice? 

You can add pandan leaves, lemongrass, or coconut milk to the soaking water or steaming basket to infuse the rice with flavor. You can also serve the rice with toppings like sliced mango, coconut cream, or peanuts.

How should I store leftover sticky rice?

Allow the rice to cool down to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat the rice in the microwave or by steaming it.

Is it possible to freeze glutinous rice?

Absolutely! After letting the rice cool to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the rice overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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