In Thailand, sticky rice is served with everything in every possible variation. Sweetened with sugar and coconut milk to be served with mango as dessert. Colored with blue pea flower extract and sweetened in the mango dessert. Less sweet and served with fried chicken for breakfast by a street side hawker or rich coconut milk curries poured over it and sold in little plastic bags by a hawker…No matter how you prefer your sticky rice, you can’t really say you cook Thai food until you’ve learned how to make the perfect steamed Thai sticky rice.
Here in America, Thai food is mostly served with Jasmine Rice. However, that is not the case in Thailand. Prior to going to Thailand, I thought the sticky rice was only served in sweet preparations as in the popular Sticky Rice & Mango dessert. In the past, I have used the modern and updated rice cooker method of making sticky rice.. Today I decided to prepare something a little different. This is the traditional preparation that is closer to how they prepare it in Bangkok.
Since a rice cooker isn’t always a standard kitchen item here in America, here is the slightly adapted traditional way of making steamed sticky rice…rice cooker not needed. I used a bamboo steamer, but you can use any kind of steamer you have. Even just use a bowl inside a pot with a cover, but make sure it is on some kind of stand inside the pot or even just put some crumpled aluminum foil on the bottom if you don’t have a stand.
Niaow – Thai Sticky Rice
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 60 – 80 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 cup sticky/glutinous rice ( I used brown sticky rice)
Soak rice for at least 3 hours and even overnight.
In a large pot or a wok, add a steamer stand and place bamboo steamer on top. Fill pot with boiling water enough to come up sides of steamer without going into steamer compartment.
Place rice in aluminum foil and put in steamer. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes. Add additional water as necessary when the water evaporates.
Using a large spatula, carefully flip over and cook another 30 minutes.
Times are approximate and will vary depending on how long you soaked rice. Additionally, using brown rice will take longer to cook.
Test rice by tasting grains from bottom side. Once it is tender, then you know it’s time to flip over and second side will take less time to cook.
Niaow – Traditional Thai Sticky Rice
- 1 cup sticky/glutinous rice I used brown sticky rice
- Soak rice for at least 3 hours and even overnight.
- In a large pot or a wok, add a steamer stand and place bamboo steamer on top. Fill pot with boiling water enough to come up sides of steamer without going into steamer compartment.
- Place rice in aluminum foil and put in steamer. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes.
- Using a large spatula, carefully flip over and cook another 30 minutes.