The seasoned sticky rice seller’s secret tip: Just do this extra step for soft, fluffy rice that stays tender all day

Below are some tips for cooking delicious sticky rice.


Choose delicious glutinous rice

The delicious glutinous rice will determine 70% of the deliciousness of the sticky rice. Therefore, choosing rice is a very important step.

Types of glutinous rice such as Tule, Yellow Flower, or Duck’s Egg are all delicious glutinous rice that many people choose to cook because they have a natural, light, and fragrant taste. When cooked, they are fluffy, soft, and have a fragrant aroma. And especially, the sticky rice is still delicious after cooling down.

When buying glutinous rice, you should choose even grains, white and opaque color, glossy, not broken, and have a natural fragrance of fresh rice. Absolutely do not choose super white rice because that is the rice that has been too finely ground, losing the bran layer containing many nutrients.

Soak the rice properly before putting it in the steamer

Depending on each type of glutinous rice, the soaking time will be different, but you should soak it for about 6 – 8 hours, which is enough to make the sticky rice more fragrant when cooked.

You should not soak the glutinous rice for too long because then the rice will become sour and when cooked, it will become mushy, making the dish not tasty when enjoyed.

In addition, when soaking glutinous rice, you should add a little salt to help eliminate odor and create a rich flavor when the sticky rice is cooked.

Put the rice into the pot by hand

Usually, when cooking sticky rice, we often encounter basic errors such as: a sticky layer in the middle, dry top layer, and burnt bottom. This often happens because the heat is not uniform and the glutinous rice grains do not have enough space to breathe when cooking sticky rice.

To overcome this situation, instead of pouring the whole bowl of rice into the pot as usual, you should use your hands to scoop each handful of rice into the pot. This will help spread the rice grains evenly, without being squeezed together, and allow air to circulate throughout the pot, helping the sticky rice to cook evenly.

In addition, you can also use a damp cloth outside the lid. The damp cloth will cover the pot tightly and prevent steam from escaping, making the sticky rice not dry and evenly cooked.

You can also put the sticky rice in the middle of the steaming tray and leave it open around or spread the sticky rice evenly on the surface of the tray, then use chopsticks to poke 3 – 4 large holes for better air circulation.

Control the water amount

The amount of water poured into the steamer should only account for about 1/3 of the pot’s capacity. This method helps the water amount to be enough to soften the sticky rice but not too sticky or too mushy, affecting the aesthetics of the sticky rice dish.

In addition, you can also do it by placing a porcelain plate on top of the water, when the steamer has a gurgling sound, it means the water is running out. At this time, if the sticky rice is not cooked, you need to add a little water.

Control the cooking temperature

You should pour the right amount of water into the steamer first, then when the water is boiling, put the tray on and start steaming the sticky rice. Keep the temperature stable while cooking.

Do not increase the heat too high, otherwise the sticky rice will be easily burned, or if the temperature is too low, the sticky rice will become mushy.

Steaming time for sticky rice

Depending on each type of glutinous rice, the cooking time will range from 30 – 40 minutes. To have delicious and fragrant sticky rice, every 10 minutes, you should open the lid of the steamer, use a clean cloth to wipe away the condensation on the lid, and use chopsticks to stir the sticky rice evenly.

Drizzle oil on the sticky rice

After the sticky rice is cooked, you should drizzle a little cooking oil or chicken fat on the surface of the sticky rice to make it shiny, soft, and evenly distribute the rice grains before removing it from the steamer.

Double steaming method

To help your sticky rice stay delicious and soft even when left for a long time, you should use the double steaming method. When the sticky rice is half cooked, you spread it on a large tray, evenly and place it under a fan to cool a bit.

Then, put the sticky rice back into the steamer one more time. This way, the sticky rice will maintain its original deliciousness.

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