With so many Thai dishes being posted here I feel it is imperative that I post about how to cook sticky rice. Honestly it isn’t all that hard, and I’ve even come up with a way to make it without the traditional bamboo steamer used in Thailand, which looks like this:
Unless you have a fairly large Asian community near you, and a decently stocked Asian grocery store, it isn’t likely that you’ll find one of these. That’s ok though, because I’ve found a way that you can make sticky rice at home, and it will come out just as good as the original. Here’s the setup:
That’s just a regular saucepan and lid with a fine mesh strainer. By placing water in the bottom of the saucepan and the strainer on top (covered with the lid), you create pretty much the same action as the traditional Thai sticky rice cooker. One caveat though is that the sticky rice on the bottom is going to get too saturated, and may not be the best. Most of the sticky rice turns out just perfect though. It is important that the strainer fits perfectly inside the saucepan though, so that the steam isn’t allowed to escape around the sides.
- 2 cups glutinous rice (can get at large grocery stores or Asian markets)
- First place the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Do not stir as this could break the grains of rice.
- When ready to cook, drain the rice and place inside the strainer. Add several inches of water to the bottom of the saucepan and place the strainer inside. Cover with lid.
- Place the saucepan on high heat until the water begins to boil and then reduce to medium-high heat.
- Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes after the water begins to boil. Test it at 15 minutes to see if it's done, and allow it to keep cooking if not.
- Place in a traditional sticky rice holder if you have one, if not the rice can be put in a bowl and covered with a damp paper towel.
That’s all there is to it. It is actually as easy to make as regular rice once you know how, and it goes great with the Laab Moo we’ve already posted. It is also necessary to make the classic Mango and Sticky Rice dessert, and is almost mandatory with Som Tam or Thai Papaya Salad. Truthfully it can be served with any Thai dish from soups and salads, to barbequed meats. Here in Thailand you can buy it at nearly any street vendor who is selling grilled or fried meats, or som tam, and it comes in small plastic bags, making it a great on the go food. We probably eat sticky rice far more than regular rice, and it is one of the few things that I can say our daughter Alivia really loves.