Easy Sweet Sticky Rice Recipe

Sweet sticky rice, glutinous rice or sticky rice, is a beloved ingredient in many Asian and Southeast Asian desserts. Its naturally sticky and chewy texture and subtle sweetness make it a perfect base for delightful treats. This guide will walk you through a straightforward and delicious recipe for sweet, sticky rice that can be easily prepared in your kitchen. Whether you’re a dessert enthusiast or looking to explore new flavours, this easy recipe will allow you to create a mouthwatering dessert that’s sure to please your taste buds.


For the Sweet Sticky Rice

  • 1 cup glutinous rice (sticky rice)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Topping (optional)

  • Ripe mango slices
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Sliced bananas
  • Crushed peanuts

Equipment Needed

  • Medium-sized saucepan with lid
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Steaming basket or rack
  • Serving platter

Let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making this easy, sweet, sticky rice recipe.

Preparing the Sticky Rice

  1. Begin by rinsing the glutinous rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch from the rice and ensures it cooks evenly.
  2. Once rinsed, place the rice in a medium-sized saucepan with a lid.
  3. Add 1 1/4 cups of water to the saucepan and give it a gentle stir to distribute the rice evenly.
  4. Cover the saucepan with the lid and let the rice soak in the water for 30 minutes to an hour. This soaking process allows the rice grains to absorb moisture, ensuring they cook perfectly.

Cooking the Sticky Rice

  1. After soaking, place the saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the covered rice for approximately 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on the rice to prevent it from boiling over.
  3. While the rice is simmering, periodically check the consistency. The rice should absorb most of the water and become tender and sticky, but some moisture should still be left in the saucepan.
  4. After 15-20 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and keep it covered. Let the rice sit in the covered saucepan for an additional 10 minutes. This allows the residual steam to finish cooking the rice and ensures it becomes perfectly sticky and tender.

Preparing the Sweet Coconut Sauce

  1. While the rice is resting, you can prepare the sweet coconut sauce. Mix 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a separate saucepan.
  2. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is warm. Be careful not to bring it to a boil.
  3. Once the sauce is ready, please remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Serving the Sweet Sticky Rice

  1. After the 10-minute resting period, the sticky rice should have absorbed most moisture and become beautifully sticky.
  2. Transfer the cooked sticky rice to a serving platter or individual dessert plates.
  3. Drizzle the sweet coconut sauce generously over the sticky rice. The coconut sauce will add flavour and enhance the dessert’s creaminess.
  4. Add toppings such as ripe mango slices, toasted sesame seeds, sweetened condensed milk, sliced bananas, or crushed peanuts if desired. These toppings provide texture and extra flavour to your sweet, sticky rice.

Enjoying Your Sweet Sticky Rice

  1. Serve the sweet, sticky rice warm or at room temperature. It can also be chilled if you prefer a colder dessert.
  2. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scoop sweet, sticky rice portions onto dessert plates.
  3. Garnish each serving with your choice of toppings, and feel free to get creative with your presentation.
  4. Savour the delightful combination of sticky, tender rice and sweet, creamy coconut sauce, enhanced by the chosen toppings.

Tips and Variations

  • Toppings: While ripe mangoes are a classic topping for sweet, sticky rice, you can get creative with your choice of toppings. Try fresh fruit slices, toasted coconut flakes, or chocolate or caramel sauce drizzle.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, you can use a microwave or steam the rice briefly to restore its stickiness.
  • Gluten-Free: Sweet sticky rice is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable dessert option for those with gluten sensitivities.


Sweet sticky rice, with its irresistible combination of sticky, tender grains and creamy coconut sauce, is a dessert that delights the senses and satisfies sweet cravings. This easy-to-follow recipe allows you to create this delectable dessert in the comfort of your kitchen. Whether enjoyed on its own or topped with your favorite fruits and garnishes, sweet sticky rice is a delightful treat that captures the essence of Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps outlined in this guide, and indulge in the simple pleasure of homemade sweet sticky rice.

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