How to Make Thai Sticky Rice

  • 01 of 10

    Prepare Sticky Rice Ingredients.

    Sticky Rice step 1
    Package of Thai Sticky Rice. D.Schmidt

    SERVES 2-3 as a Main Entree OR 4-6 as a Side Dish

    For a one-page version of this recipe, see my: Savory Sticky Rice with Pork & Mushrooms.

    First, prepare your ingredients. For this recipe you will need:

    • 2 cups Thai sticky rice (also called "sweet rice" or "glutinous rice")
    • 5 regular strips bacon (OR 3 thickly-cut strips)
    • 1/3 cup diced shallots OR purple onion
    • 1 cup shiitake mushroom, diced
    • 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
    • 1 red chili, finely sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed...MORE chili OR cayenne
    • 1 + 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 1 + 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce, OR 2 more Tbsp. regular soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
    • 3 spring onions, sliced
    • 1 package banana leaves (available frozen at most Asian stores), OR cheesecloth
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Soak the Sticky Rice.

    Sticky rice step 2
    Soaking the Sticky Rice. D.Schmidt

    Cover 2 cups sticky rice with an inch of water. Leave to soak at least 30 minutes. (Note that sticky rice has a hard outing coating that requires soaking, otherwise you will end up with hard rice.)

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Fry a Few Strips of Bacon.

    sticky rice step 3
    Frying Bacon. D.Schmidt

    Place 5 strips of regular bacon (OR 3 thickly-sliced strips) in a frying pan or wok (here I'm using local organic bacon). Add a little water to get the bacon frying, then fry 5-8 minutes, or until bacon is cooked (chewy rather than crisp). Remove bacon and slice it into small pieces. Pour half of the bacon fat, reserving the remainder in the pan (this will help flavor the rice).

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Add the Vegetables.

    Sticky rice step 4
    Adding the Mushrooms, Garlic, and Onion. D.Schmidt

    Return the bacon to the pan. Also add 1/3 cup shallots or purple onion, 1 cup diced mushrooms, 1 tsp. garlic, 1 sliced red chili (or 1/2 tsp. crushed chili), and 1 of the sliced spring onions. Stir-fry over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Add the Rice and Sauces.

    sticky rice step 5
    Adding the Soy Sauce. D.Schmidt

    Now add the drained sticky rice, plus 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 + 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce, and 1 + 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce (OR 2 more Tbsp. regular soy sauce). Stir-fry briefly to combine. Remove from heat.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Prepare Your Steamer.

    Sticky rice step 6
    Preparing the Steamer. D.Schmidt

    Prepare a bamboo steamer, or use a colander placed inside a pot (as shown here). Line the colander or steamer with banana leaves OR cheesecloth. If using frozen banana leaves, either allow to thaw 30 minutes or quickly rinse under hot water to soften them.

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Line the Colander with Banana Leaves (or Cheesecloth).

    Sticky Rice step 7
    Lining the Colander with Banana Leaf. D.Schmidt

    If using banana leaves, cut them into sheets using scissors. Two layers are best.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Place Rice in Prepared Colander/Steamer.

    sticky rice step 8
    Transferring Rice into Prepared Steamer. D.Schmidt

    Turn the sticky rice into your prepared colander or steamer.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Steam the Sticky Rice.

    sticky rice step 9
    Folding over the Tops of the Banana Leaf for Steaming. D.Schmidt

    If there is extra leaf at the top of your colander, gently fold it down over the sticky rice. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of water in the bottom of your pot. Now cover the colander with a tight-fitting lid and steam the sticky rice on high heat 30 to 35 minutes, or until rice turns translucent and is soft and sticky to taste. Check the water in the pot from time to time, topping up when necessary.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Serve your Sticky Rice!

    Savory Sticky Rice with Mushrooms, Green Onion, and Pork
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 03/02/10

    Top the sticky rice with the remaining sliced spring onions, plus extra red chili and basil if desired. To pretty up the dish, place a fresh banana leaf inside a serving bowl or on a serving platter, and mound the sticky rice on top. (To bring out the green of the banana leaf, rinse under hot water). ENJOY!