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how to pervent sticky rice when steaming | Family Cuisine

To prevent sticky rice from sticking to the bottom of a bamboo steamer, place a layer of cheesecloth over the surface.

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How to pervent sticky rice when steaming

Sticky rice is a versatile ingredient used in many forms of Asian cooking. In addition to many savory dishes you may be familiar with, like zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) or shumai, sticky rice (also called sweet rice or glutinous rice) is also used in dessert recipes.

Our family loves sticky rice. Near or far, we have not met one person who does not love its chewy texture.

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But in order to use it in certain recipes, you have to pre-cook it. Which brings us to the question, how do you cook sticky rice?

In this quick recipe, we’ll show you how to make glutinous rice without a rice cooker or any special equipment.

A Foolproof Method for Cooking Sticky Rice

Cooking sweet rice or glutinous rice is somewhat different than cooking regular rice. You need less water to cook it, which makes steaming a better option than a pot of simmering water.

Some more high end Chinese and Japanese rice cookers have special settings for it, but most don’t have that feature. More importantly, those rice cookers can be expensive!

sweet rice also called sticky rice by

We prefer to cook glutinous rice with a foolproof soaking and steaming method. Not only does the rice come out perfectly every time, each kernel stays relatively separate (rather than having the grains meld into one big sticky block, which can sometimes happen in a rice cooker).

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No more mushy, soggy or undercooked sticky rice. And no special equipment required! All you need is a large, deep pot with a lid, an empty tuna can (or a steaming rack if you have it), and a heat-proof dish. If you have a bamboo steamer (my favorite steaming tool) or a metal steamer, that works too.

Check out my other article on steaming food for more info on how to set up a steaming apparatus without special equipment!

Tips for Preparing Glutinous Rice

Before we get to the recipe instructions, here are some important tips for cooking sticky rice:

  • Beware, it really is sticky! When handling cooked glutinous rice, it’s best to wet the serving tools and your hands to prevent sticking.
  • It’s also not a bad idea to line the steaming plate or dish with parchment paper or a natural steamer liner.
  • Another important tip is that glutinous rice dries out and hardens quickly at room temperature. Make sure it stays warm and covered before serving or adding to a recipe.
  • It’s best to serve it hot, since cold, hardened glutinous rice can be hard to digest.

How to Make Sticky Rice: Instructions

Add the sticky rice to a mixing bowl or other deep container. Fill it with water so that the water level is at least 3 inches above the rice, as the rice will expand when soaking.

Soaking Sticky Rice,

Soak for 6 to 24 hours. Soak it longer if you want your sticky rice to have a softer texture.

Drain the water (no need to shake off the excess water), and evenly arrange the soaked rice on a heat-proof, rimmed plate or bamboo steamer lined with natural steamer liners or parchment paper.

Soaked Glutinous Rice on Bamboo Steamer,

If using the heatproof plate, place on an empty tuna can or metal rack at the base of a deep pot with a lid, filled with a couple inches of water.

Read more: how to make boiled scrambled eggs | Family Cuisine

For more instruction, check out our post on how to set up a steamer. Otherwise, place the bamboo steamer in a wok with water or in a tiered metal steamer (which is what we used).

Steaming Sweet Rice,

Cover and steam for 30-45 minutes.

Covered metal steamer,

When making larger batch, steam in two batches or steam longer. You can check the rice and increase the steaming time if need be.

Steamed glutinous rice,

Keep the sticky rice in the steamer or covered to prevent drying out until you serve it or use it in a recipe (see below!)

Cooked Sticky Rice,

Recipes Using (Pre-Cooked) Sticky Rice

  • Sticky Rice Shumai
  • Sticky Rice Stuffing
  • Sticky Rice Stuffed Chicken
  • Pork Chop Sticky Rice Bake
  • Sticky Rice Hashbrowns
  • Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

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