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How to Make Sticky Rice

How to Make Perfect Sticky Rice at Home

Sticky rice

If you love sticky rice, you're in luck — the ingredient is surprisingly easy to make at home, as long as you have the right type of equipment and rice. Sticky rice is made from a specific rice variety; you can't achieve that iconic stickiness and chewiness with just any rice. Specifically, it uses glutinous rice, which can usually be found at specialty Asian stores or health markets. This dish is traditionally eaten throughout Southeast Asia, and it's found in Thai, Chinese, and Filipino cuisines, to name a few.

When making sticky rice, be sure to keep the pot covered at all times, even when it's time to eat; the ingredient can quickly dry out. It's best to only remove the lid to scoop out a serving, then cover it back up immediately. Enjoy!

Rice and water in a large bowl

Add soaked rice to steamer basket

Fold cheesecloth over rice

Sticky rice

Sticky Rice

Original Recipe


The instructions for this recipe can be used with any amount of rice. This means you can halve or double the recipe as needed. Sticky rice needs to soak for at least 6 hours in cool water before cooking, so plan accordingly. Alternatively, you can soak the rice in hot water for about 2 hours if you're in a rush.

How to Make Sticky Rice


  1. 2 cups sticky rice (also known as sweet or glutinous rice)


  1. Place the dry rice in a large bowl and add cool water until there's about 3 inches of water above the rice.
  2. Let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight. For a softer texture, soak it for longer.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Fill a pot with a few inches of water.
  5. Place a steamer basket in the pot, making sure the bottom of the strainer isn't touching the water.
  6. Line the basket with cheesecloth or parchment paper. The rice should not come into contact with the basket.
  7. Fold the excess cheesecloth or parchment paper on top of the rice.
  8. Cover the pot and turn on the heat to medium-high.
  9. Steam for 35-45 minutes. Avoid removing the cover as much as possible.
  10. Enjoy immediately.
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