WHAT IS IT?
Glutinous rice (sticky rice) is a type of rice most commonly used in Asian cuisines and has a bit more bounce and chew when steamed than the average long grain rice.
HOW IS IT USED?
Glutinous rice comes in many varieties but they are most commonly found in long grain and short grain form. It is also known as Sweet Rice (don’t worry it’s not sweet). The short grain variation looks very similar to sushi rice to the naked eye so be careful not to buy sushi rice as it does not have the same consistency and texture.
Whether you call it sticky rice, glutinous rice or sweet rice (potato, patata?) these terms can be used interchangeably.
Most commonly used in Lao and Thai cuisines, most of us will be most familiar with it’s use in Coconut Mango Sticky Rice.
You can also have it steamed plain on the side with a main meal (the texture makes it so much fun to eat on it’s own.), mixed with spices and veggies and stuffed into meats, or wrapped in leaves and steamed with other savoury ingredients. This is an easy ingredient to be creative with. 🙂
One of the most fun and delicious way that we enjoy it is by eating it by hand! Roll it up into little balls right at the table and dip it in sauces or just scoop up the food with the rice!
Although most packaging will tell you to boil it in a pot over the stove, don’t do it!! Yes it is easier to do, but I find that most of us (including myself) will end up putting more water than required (We find the packaging always tells you to put more water than you should be using) and the texture and final result from the rice will be softer and won’t have that individual grain of chewiness that steaming will give you. It will essentially not be as ‘sticky’ and firm and more goopy. Steaming it takes the guessing work out of ‘how much water should we use’.
(Note: We have heard that the fancier rice cookers actually cooks it impressively well! We haven’t tried this, since we don’t own a fancy rice cooker but let us know if it turns out well if you use one!)
…oh! and don’t forget to pre-soak the rice before steaming! It cooks it more evenly.
If you don’t have fancy steaming contraptions, Leela Punyaratabandhu from Food52 has a awesome guide on alternative ways to steam it on their ‘The Best Way to Make Thai Sticky Rice (No Fancy Basket Required)‘ article. We like the colander method! 🙂
Recipe Ideas for Short Grain Glutinous Rice usages:
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
You can typically find these at Asian supermarkets but they have been growing in popularity and they have also been spotted at local grocery stores as well as specialty grocery stores.
If it is still difficult to find locally, it can be purchased online as well.
Any type of rice is somewhat flavourless and we mostly gauge how we use it or how much we enjoy it with it’s texture.
One of the best things about sticky rice is the texture. The longer grains have less of a chewy bounce than the short grain variety – partially because the short grain rice has a rounder and bubbly shape which gives it more chewiness.
Whether you go with long grain or short grain, they both are great and can be used interchangeably unless you are a traditionalist\purist, then I would use the type that the traditional recipe calls for.
All rice should be contained in a well sealed container in a cool dry area away from moisture.
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