Unlock the Secret to Perfect Sticky Rice: This Pre-Soaking Technique Revolutionizes Cooking Time

Indulge in the delectable aroma and chewy texture of perfectly cooked sticky rice, achieved in half the time with this foolproof recipe.

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Tips for Making Perfectly Cooked Sticky Glutinous Rice

One of the first steps in making steamed sticky rice is to soak the rice. Soaking the rice is one of the keys to making the perfect sticky rice.  This is because the more the rice grains expand, the softer and more delicious the cooked rice will be. Also, since sticky rice is cooked using steam, soaking the rice for 6-8 hours (depending on the type of rice you are using) will help the glutinous rice to “absorb” all the water it needs to expand to create sticky rice. Also, adding a bit of salt during the soaking process will help to enhance the flavor of the rice, while removing the slightly sour smell of rice that has been left to soak for an extended period of time. Then, after soaking, pour the rice into a colander to drain it before placing it in the steamer.

Instructions for Making Sticky Rice

Using the Right Amount of Water

Using the right amount of water is key to making sticky rice that is perfectly cooked and soft. Too little water will make the sticky rice dry, while too much water will make it mushy. Typically, only about 1/3 of the pot should be filled with water. When cooking, if the volume of sticky rice is too large and the rice is not yet cooked, add water in the same proportion as above and continue cooking.

Maintaining the Correct Temperature During Cooking

It is important to keep the temperature steady in order to make the sticky rice delicious. After placing the pot on the stove, wait until it boils to place the sticky rice steamer on top. Make sure the sticky rice is spread out evenly, and poke 4-5 large holes with chopsticks to allow for air circulation. Cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, depending on the type of sticky rice used. Occasionally, remove the lid to let excess steam escape, or cover with cheesecloth to prevent water from dripping down and making the sticky rice soggy. Every 10 minutes, stir the rice so that the grains cook evenly and all of the water is absorbed.

Shortening the Time to Cook Sticky Rice

Cooking the Sticky Rice Twice for Even Cooking 

One of the tricks to making perfectly cooked sticky rice is to cook it a second time. During the first cooking, cook the sticky rice for about 30 minutes, until it is almost done, and then scoop it out onto a tray or bamboo winnowing tray and spread it out evenly, and then use a fan to cool it down. Before eating, cook it a second time by sprinkling a little cold water on the rice. For a richer flavor, add a little chicken fat and mix it in before continuing to cook for another 10-15 minutes until the rice grains are plump, shiny, and soft, even after being set aside for some time.

Frequently asked questions

Soaking allows the rice grains to expand, resulting in softer and more delicious rice. It also helps the rice “absorb” the water it needs to create the sticky texture. Additionally, soaking removes any slightly sour smell that can develop during extended soaking periods.

Use only about 1/3 of the pot’s volume for water. If you’re cooking a large batch and the rice isn’t done yet, add water in the same proportion and continue cooking.

Maintain a steady medium heat for 30-40 minutes, depending on the type of sticky rice used. Remove the lid occasionally to let excess steam escape, and stir the rice every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Cooking sticky rice twice helps ensure even cooking. First, cook it for about 30 minutes, then spread it out on a tray to cool. Before serving, cook it a second time, adding a little cold water and chicken fat for extra flavor and softness.
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