How to Make the Perfect Sticky Rice

sticky rice

Short-grain, sweet, or glutinous race is perfect for making sticky rice.

Do you love the sticky, glutinous rice you get at a restaurant, but aren’t sure how to make it yourself? The key is in buying the right kind of rice and cooking it correctly. Here’s how you can make delicious sticky rice right from home.

Buying the Right Rice

If you want to make good sticky rice it’s important that you get the right type of rice. You should look for bags labeled “short-grain sticky rice,” “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice” at your local Asian market. Starches are usually made up of two components: amylose and amylopectin. Long grain rices will contain both components, while sticky rice only contains amylopectin. The starch molecules separate when hot water interacts with amylopectin, which is what gives sticky rice its soft and sticky texture.

Stove Method

Measure two cups of rice and three and a half cups of water and add them into a large pot. Let the rice soak for at least half an hour, then place the pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, turn to medium low and cover the pot. Leave the lid off only slightly to let it vent. Cook the rice for 10 minutes, but do not stir! Make sure the rice has absorbed all of the water by pulling it away from the center of the pot. Continue cooking until all the water has been absorbed.


Because sticky rice requires less water to cook than regular rice, it’s usually a good idea to steam it instead of boiling over the stove. For this method, put three cups of rice in a very large pot. Cover it with 2-3 inches of water and let soak between 6 and 24 hours. The longer the rice soaks, the better. Then, drain the rice and pour it into a steamer basket. In a wok or large pot, boil 2-3 inches of water with the steamer set on top. Try to avoid the rice dipping in the water. Steam for approximately 20 minutes and stir the rice so the top layer reaches the bottom of the steamer and vice versa.

Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is, of course, the easiest way to cook sticky rice. Every rice cooker is different, so it’s a good idea to look at your device’s manual for instructions. Keep in mind that sticky rice gets even stickier over time, so making it a day or two in advance and keeping it in the fridge will help improve consistency.

Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market

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