After returning to the U.S. several years ago, my hankerings for Thai sticky rice with mango or Vietnamese "xoi" usually ended in despair. Making steamed sticky rice just seemed too complicated, as it involved specialized bamboo steaming baskets or cheesecloth. This meant I was not getting my sweet rice fix. And that was sad, since I love sticky rice so.
But now I have found an easier way to make it! All you need is a rice cooker with a steaming basket and a few other simple supplies. You could also try this steaming method on the stove top with a stainless steel steaming basket; I think it would work just as well. The one drawback to using a coffee filter is that it can affect the taste of the rice, which is why I recommend using unbleached filters and bamboo for
- Corn husks (recommended) or coffee filter (preferably unbleached)
- A rice cooker with a steaming basket insert
- An empty mason jar or medium mixing bowl
- 1 and 1/2 cups raw "sweet rice" from Thailand or Vietnam (not sushi rice)
- Bamboo skewers, optional
|Dry sweet rice|
|Wet sweet rice before soaking|
|After hours of soaking, grains have expanded.|
3. Dump the soaked rice onto the middle of the filter in the basket. Pat the mound down a little if necessary, so that the lid of the rice cooker does not touch it when closed.
|Using corn husks instead of a paper filter gives rice a better flavor.|
4. Turn on the rice cooker to the "Cook" setting. Allow to steam for about 30 minutes. Serve sticky rice hot or at room temperature. Keep rice covered until ready to serve.
|Sticky rice becomes slightly translucent after cooking.|
As for toppings, we often add peanuts and/or sesame seeds and coconut. In Vietnam, we often ate it with shredded cooked chicken and soy sauce. If you'd like some other authentic recipes for Thai sticky rice or Vietnamese "xoi," I recommend these: