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How to Make Sticky Rice: To Rinse or Not To Rinse?

How to Make Sticky Rice: To Rinse or Not To Rinse?

Dec 30th, 2006, 09:36 AM
  #1  
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How to Make Sticky Rice: To Rinse or Not To Rinse?

I am stuck on sticky rice! I spent 4 nights in a remote village in Laos and we ate sticky rice for each meal, every day. I love it!

Please help me perfect cooking sticky rice!

Since my return, I purchased some glutinous rice from our local Asian market. I searched the internet for recipes and some say don't rinse and others say you must.

I have made sticky rice twice. Once it turned out quite good but not as sticky as I had in Laos. :-?

The second time the bottom layer against the cheese cloth was very soggy.

I haven't bought the proper woven basket for cooking it so maybe that is my problem. I am making it in a colander with cheese cloth draped over it and setting that in a big covered pot.

For any of you that cook this on a regular basis, please help! I want to make it again today.
eurotraveller is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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BTW, I did soak it for at least 6 hours each time. The first time I also rinsed it until the water was fairly clear. The second time I just rinsed it a coule of times.

Thanks!
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Dec 30th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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We enjoy sticky rice as well. You can actually find it in most large supermarkets under the generic name "jasmine rice". The rice I buy comes from Thailand in 4 lb cloth bags.

I don't know whether it makes any difference if you rinse it or not - I usually do - about 3 rinses. I don't think its necessary to soak it for any length of time. I cook it just like you'd cook any other kind of rice and it turns out fine - I think this is different from your method. Basically, I bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan and add 1 cup of rice. Then I give it a little stir, turn the heat down and put a cover on, simmering it for 15 minutes. Then I allow it to stand another 5 minutes without removing the cover. All of the water should be absorbed by this time. I then just fluff the rice with a fork and serve it - comes out perfectly (for me anyway) every time. It sounds like the method you are using is to steam the rice - I really don't know whether that makes it stickier or not - if you boil the rice, it turns out pretty sticky.

I'll be interested in hearing anyone else's feedback on this one.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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I just found this post on the internet so I am going to try to cook it without the cheese cloth!

"If you are unable to find the special basket, try using a straw or wire-mesh colander placed on a rack over a steamer. Avoid steaming the rice directly on a steamer rack lined with dampened cloth (as suggested by some sources) because the moisture the cloth absorbs is likely to turn the grains touching it into a mushy, gooey mass."
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Dec 30th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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Hi Craig. Sounds like we are talking about two different kinds of rice. You don't "fluff" sticky rice because it is somewhat bound together.

With sticky rice you must use glutenous rice. It is dry steamed rather than placed in water to cook, if that makes sense. Once cooked, you roll it into little balls and actually use it to eat with, picking up other morsels with the rice balls.

Does that make sense?

Cheers!


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Dec 30th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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ET - Actually I don't think "fluffing" my rice does much at all as it really does tend to stick together - its just force of habit with me - something I do with all rice. You could easily roll my boiled rice in little balls and use it to pick up food the way they do in Laos and northern Thailand. We just don't eat that way at home. Steaming is not really a "dry" process - the rice has to absorb water whether by immersion or steaming. Since I don't own a bamboo steamer and don't want to waste cheese cloth, I've always boiled my sticky rice with good results.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Craig, by "dry" steaming I meant it is not immersed in water, only steamed above it.

I am 99% sure that Jasmine rice or long grained rice is not used to make sticky rice. It must be "glutenous" rice or "sweet" rice.

Anyone else?
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Dec 30th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Jasmine rice and sticky rice are not at all the same thing. Jasmine rice is what is typically used for sushi and does stick together a bit, but the rice itself is completely different. We have been to a few rice mills and seen the difference. They do not look alike at all. Before they are cooked or afterwards.

Jasmine rice if what I typically cook at home - mostly because it comes out perfect every time and is quite good.

Eurotraveller - we are crazy for sticky rice too. I can eat it for every meal I swear.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Jasmine rice generally refers to long grain rice.

The Rule of Thumb is that the shorter the grain, the stickier it gets when cooked, due to the higher ratio of starch amylose to starch amytopectin.

"Sushi rice", risotto rice, "nor mai" are all short grain rice. It does not matter whether you pre-rinse it or not. I generally do that in a colander (with small holes!) just to wash away any dust that may be present.

- Craig is correct: the ratio of water to rice is ~2 to 1. I usually use a lot less: 2 cups rice to 3 and 1/2 cup water and it turned out fine everytime.

- there is no need to steam it. You can cook directly in a pot. My way of doing it is to cook the rice and water together over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower to medium heat - and watch carefully - till the liquid is "almost" all absorbed. Turn heat down to low and NOW cover up the pot and let it steam for 10-15 mins.

- To make sticky rice like what they serve in Chinese dim sum, I use chicken stock instead of water, and add 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs rice wine and 2 tsp sesame oil to the mixture.

- Before I cover up the rice and turn it to low heat, I also add some goodies: shredded re-softened Chinese shitaki mushrooms, julienned ham or char-siu Chinese BBQ pork, 1 cup of mixed chopped vegetables (I sometimes use the frozen mixed pea/corn/carrots; if you use fresh ones you will have to pre-cook it to about 90% done); chopped green onion, fresh shrimps cut into chunks.

When it is done you may still see some free liquids on top of the rice. Just use a spoon to stir everything and the liquid will disappear.

Presto! you'll end up with a ready to eat - one pot dinner for 2 people.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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The Lao type of sticky rice is nothing like dim sum sticky rice. We just returned from Laos a month ago and had dim sum at a restaurant here a week ago. It has no meat or vegetables or flavoring in it at all. It is cooked in small woven baskets that you can get at most asian markets. Lao sticky rice is very plain - yet somehow delicious
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Dec 30th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Maybe this will help:

http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/Ingred...ticky_rice.htm
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Dec 30th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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I asked about sticky rice in Thailand too, and no, it`s not Jasmine rice, which is what I have on hand now. I was told sticky rice has a higher sugar content, than regular rice. I loved it too. My favorite was sticky rice cooked in bamboo leaves on the grill. I have been looking for some sticky rice to buy but am not sure what to get.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Wow, John, that was a lengthy explanation of many rices! Thanks!

I am specifically talking about the typical sticky rice from Laos and the northern part of Thailand.

It is not the jasmine rice that Craig talked about which is cooked in water. As I mentioned, the rice is actually steamed above the water.

I just returned from my local Asian market where I found the traditional woven bamboo steamer basket for $1,99! I also bought some bird chilis, which I will mash up in my mortar and pestal and then eat with the sticky rice!

I wish I had paid more attention when the Lao ladies were up cooking sticky rice at 5 a.m. as I lay trying to sleep on the floor under a mosquito net. Next time!

I will report back in a couple of hours to let you know how it all turned out this time.

Cheers!
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Dec 30th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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ET - Hope your authentic sticky rice turned out well. After going back and forth on this thread, I have a deeper appreciation for the differences between jasmine rice (which is sweeter than most) and the short grained sticky rice which you experienced in your travels. We were last in northern Thailand in 2000 so our taste memories must have faded a bit. That being said, the jasmine rice is not bad and easy to prepare and sweet...
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Dec 30th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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I asked my Thai friend who is a chef and he says you must soak the rice overnight.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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Wow! What a difference the right steamer set up makes!

My sticky rice is finished, my chilis are ground up and they both turned out very well! The rice is perfectly sticky and the ground chilis are HOT!!

Craig, I must say that I do love jasmine rice as well.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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Thanks peteralan. We must have been typing at the same time since I didn't see your post until now.

Yes, everything I have found says to soak at least 3 hours but preferably overnight so that is good info. Apparently you can speed up the process by soaking in warm water but I wouldn't want to try it.

I don't know if there will be any sticky rice left when dinner comes around because I keep going into the kitchen for a nibble!
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Dec 30th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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It seems like you have gotten the answer to your question, but I will add one more comment. According to my husband, who makes sticky rice all the time, its best to soak it overnight, but he has made it many times by just soaking a few hours (when he forgot to soak overnight). He doesn't rinse the rice, just pours it into the bamboo steamer which sits in the tall metal pot. He also covers the top with a towel or lid. When its finished he puts it in the small bamboo sticky rice containers, which keep it nice and warm until ready to eat.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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While cooking long grain rice if you remove the lid and stir for just a couple of seconds a few times during cooking then it will get sticky.
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Dec 30th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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We use jasmine rice - most if not all sold in Australia is imported from Thailand - as our all-purpose long grain rice. The only difference I can tell between it and "standard" long-grain rice, much of which is grown locally, is that it's slightly scented. It looks different to sticky rice - the grains have a slightly translucent look whereas sticky rice grains are more of a chalky white.

We also keep basmati rice, which has a nutty flavour, on hand for Indian dishes, and arborio of course for Italian risotti and the like.

It sounds like you're on the right track, eurotraveller. Maybe I'll get one of those bamboo thingeys myself. Maybe from the Chinese guy whose shop I went to to buy lemon grass and coconut juice. "You pure Australian," he said, "why you buy this Thai stuff?"

So much for multiculturalism... I left wondering what a "pure Australian" could be these days (unless Aboriginal?)
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