How to make sticky rice with normal rice

Sticky rice, glutinous rice, is a staple in many Asian cuisines for its unique chewy and sticky texture. While traditional sticky rice is a distinct variety of rice, you can achieve a similar texture using regular rice found in most households. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to transform ordinary rice into extraordinary sticky rice, unlocking possibilities for your culinary adventures.

What is Sticky Rice

Before we delve into making sticky rice from regular rice, it’s essential to understand what makes sticky rice unique. Sticky rice gets its characteristic sticky and chewy texture from its high starch content. When cooked, this starch creates a sticky, glutinous consistency that is perfect for various dishes, from sushi to sweet rice desserts.


Regular Rice: You can use any variety of regular rice, such as short-grain, medium-grain, or long-grain rice. However, short-grain rice works best for achieving a stickier texture.

Water: Clean freshwater for rinsing and cooking the rice.


Rice Cooker or Pot: You can use a rice cooker or a pot with a tight-fitting lid for cooking the rice.

Colander or Strainer: For rinsing the rice.

Step-by-Step Guide

Selection of Rice

Choose the right type of regular rice. While any variety will work, short-grain rice is ideal for achieving a sticky texture. Sushi rice or Arborio rice are good options to consider.

Rinse the Rice

Place your desired amount of rice in a colander or strainer. Rinse the rice under cold, running water while gently agitating it with your fingers. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch on the surface of the rice.

Soaking the Rice

After rinsing, transfer the rice to a bowl and add enough clean water to submerge it fully. Allow the rice to soak for at least 30 minutes, although longer soaking can enhance stickiness.

Cooking the Rice

After soaking, drain the rice thoroughly. If using a rice cooker, add the rice and an equal amount of water, typically following the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific rice cooker. The water-to-price ratio may vary slightly based on the type and brand of rice.

Add the rice and the appropriate water if using a pot on the stovetop. Generally, for short-grain rice, you can use 1.25 to 1.5 times the amount of water for rice (e.g., 1.25 to 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice). Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Steam the Rice

After the rice is cooked, let it sit with the heat off for 10-15 minutes. This step allows the residual steam to soften further and gelatinize the rice, contributing to the desired sticky texture.

Fluff and Cool

Once the steaming process is complete, gently fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle. This helps prevent the grains from sticking together too much and ensures a more even texture. Let the rice cool slightly before using it in your desired recipe.

Tips for Perfect Sticky Rice

Choosing the right rice: While any regular rice will work, using short-grain rice like sushi rice will yield the best results in terms of stickiness.

Rinsing: Ensure you rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess surface starch, which can lead to clumping.

Soaking: Longer soaking times (up to a few hours) can enhance the stickiness of the rice.

Steam and Rest: Allowing the rice to steam and rest after cooking is crucial for achieving the desired sticky texture.

Recipes Using Sticky Rice

Now that you’ve transformed ordinary rice into sticky rice, you can use it in various dishes:

Sushi: Create homemade sushi rolls, onigiri, or sushi bowls with your sticky rice.

Sweet Sticky Rice Desserts: Make classic sweet sticky rice desserts like Thai mango sticky rice, Chinese glutinous rice balls, or Japanese mochi.

Dim Sum: Prepare dim sum classics such as sticky rice dumplings (zongzi) with flavorful ingredients.

Asian Rice Cakes: Experiment with different Asian rice cakes that use sticky rice as a base.

Glutinous Rice Porridge: Enjoy a comforting bowl of rice porridge, a staple in many Asian breakfasts.

Savory Rice Dishes: Use sticky rice as a side dish for various savory dishes, like Korean bibimbap or Thai pineapple fried rice.


Turning ordinary rice into extraordinary sticky rice is a simple process that opens the door to a wide range of culinary possibilities. With the right rice selection and proper rinsing, soaking, and cooking techniques, you can achieve a sticky and chewy texture perfect for an array of dishes, from sushi to sweet desserts. So, get creative and explore the sticky rice world with these techniques and recipe ideas.

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