I always thought that I’d never master the secret of How to Cook Sticky Rice but then I found the easiest ever method that works every single time. With no need for a rice cooker or any specialist equipment, this easy step by step guide shows you how to make glutinous rice in just 25 minutes.
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I get it right every time and I can always turn any leftovers into Sushi Rice. I almost always add the little bit of ginger that I’ve included in the instructions for extra pep but this can be left our for a lovely plain foil to the rest of your dish.
I often make large batches of sticky rice and then freeze it in individual portions. I then microwave the rice from frozen to reheat. You could also store it in the fridge but I wouldn’t do this for more than a day. Make sure it is in a sealed container otherwise it will absorb the other fridge smells/flavours.
Ingredients for Sticky Rice
You can buy “sushi rice” in all of the supermarkets as well as Asian Grocers or online. But unless I go to one of the really large Chinese Supermarkets, I find that it can be a little pricey. Especially in the quantity I eat it!
But never fear! I have a handy alternative. Pudding rice is almost identical. And it is half the price. I can’t tell the difference and this is what I buy 90% of the time.
You’ll find pudding rice in the dessert section of the supermarket, near the flan cases and condensed milk. Not with the other rice as you might imagine!
Please don’t be tempted to try and use other short grain rices like arborio. These risotto rices are similar but totally different at the same time as looking quite similar. Save arborio for making a risotto like my Chorizo and Butternut version.
I almost always add a little ginger paste to my rice for a little extra flavour. I use the ginger that comes ready minced in a jar. This ensures that I never waste ginger or break another garlic crusher!
You can leave the ginger out if you wish or add a little more.
The amount of water needed is very simply twice the volume of the rice. So if I cook one cup or ramekin of rice, I use two cups or ramekins of water.
I’ve provided the weights and volume measurements below for ease. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll likely want to convert to working by volume.
You do always want to start with cold water. The time that the rice sits in the cold then warming water is part of the cooking process.
Make it Allergy Friendly
Sticky rice contains no dairy, gluten, egg or nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How to Cook Sticky Rice – Equipment
You can alternatively add the rice to a large mixing bowl, mostly fill the bowl with water and swish the rice around the water with your hand. The water will turn cloudy. Drain the water and repeat until the water doesn’t turn very cloudy anymore.
The vast majority of Japanese kitchens are very small but almost all contain an electric rice cooker. Throw the rice and water in, set it and leave it. It sounds very simple but as I don’t actually cook rice everyday and I have room to store a range of saucepans, I do not own one.
Using a pan isn’t difficult so that’s the method I stick to. But if you have a rice cooker then ignore me completely and follow the instructions that came with it!
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
How to Cook Sticky Rice – Step by Step
Start by putting 100g Sushi Rice in a sieve and rinsing under a running cold tap for 30-40 seconds. Use your fingers, a spatula or just the force of the water to agitate and move the rice around in the sieve. Leave aside to drain.
Take the rinsed rice and add to a lidded saucepan with 2 tbsp Ginger Paste. Add 300ml Cold Water to the pan and stir the rice and ginger around.
Put the lid on and place on a medium-high heat until the water is boiling. At that point, fully seal the lid, turn the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 minutes. I use kitchen paper to ensure a proper seal.
Turn the heat on the rice off but do not remove the lid for at least 10 more minutes. This will allow the rice to steam and continue cooking.
The rice will then be ready to serve. You can add seasonings at this stage to turn the rice into Sushi Rice.
Still Have Questions?
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Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
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Instructions in Brief
How To Cook Sticky Rice
- 100 g Sushi Rice
- 2 tbsp Ginger Paste
- 300 ml Water
- Start by putting 100g Sushi Rice in a sieve and rinsing under a running cold tap for 30-40 seconds. Use your fingers, a spatula or just the force of the water to agitate and move the rice around in the sieve. Leave aside to drain.
- Take the rinsed rice and add to a lidded saucepan with 2 tbsp Ginger Paste. Add 300ml Cold Water to the pan and stir the rice and ginger around.
- Put the lid on and place on a medium-high heat until the water is boiling. At that point, fully seal the lid, turn the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 minutes. I use kitchen paper to ensure a proper seal.
- Turn the heat on the rice off but do not remove the lid for at least 10 more minutes. This will allow the rice to steam and continue cooking.
- The rice will then be ready to serve. You can add seasonings at this stage to turn the rice into Sushi Rice.