How To Make Sticky Rice Without Soaking?

Sticky rice, or glutinous rice, is a staple ingredient in many Asian cuisines and can create various delicious dishes. Traditional methods for preparing sticky rice involve soaking the rice to obtain its characteristic stickiness.

However, there are alternative techniques that do not require soaking. This article, will explain how to make sticky rice without soaking.

What Is Sticky Rice?

Sticky rice, also known as sweet or sticky rice, is significantly chewy and denser than standard white rice. We love to couple it with meats and use it in desserts because of its ultra-satisfying texture.

Long-grain sticky rice, typically labeled as “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice” and should be a Thai product, is used in Thailand. Short-grain glutinous rice is also available but primarily consumed in China and Japan rather than Southeast Asia.


  • Glutinous rice (sticky rice)
  • Water
  • A steaming container or a steamer
  • Clean cheesecloth or a kitchen towel

How To Make Sticky Rice Without Soaking?


Here are the step by step instruction to make sticky rice without soaking.

1. Rinse The Sticky Rice

Before cooking, sticky rice must be thoroughly rinsed under cool running water. This step helps remove any impurities and superfluous surface starch.

To ensure thorough cleaning, agitate the rice with your fingers while rinsing.

2. Prepare The Steamer

Prepare a bamboo or metal sterilizer for use if you have one. You should line the steamer with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel to prevent the rice from adhering.

The lining will also make it simpler to handle the prepared sticky rice.

3. Add Water To The Steamer

Add enough water to the bottom of your evaporator to generate steam.

Ensure the water level is below the surface of the steaming basket or the platform you’re using so that the rice doesn’t come into direct contact with the scalding water.

4. Place The Rice In The Steamer

Spread the sticky rice, rinse, and drain evenly over the cheesecloth or kitchen towel in the steamer container.

The rice should be arranged in a single, uniform layer to ensure consistent steaming.

5. Cover And Steam

Place the basket over the pot of boiling water to steam it. By adding more steam, the rice will be cooked.

Put the lid on top of the sterilizer to keep the steam flowing. Make sure the lid fits tightly so that the gas doesn’t escape.

6. Steam The Rice

The sticky rice needs to be steamed for 30 to 45 minutes. The exact amount of time needed will depend on how much sticky rice is used and what kind it is.

Sticky rice should get soft and almost see-through when it’s done cooking. Make sure to check on the rice often so it doesn’t get too done.

7. Test For Doneness

Take a small quantity of the sticky rice, allow it to cool for a moment, and then taste it to determine if it is done. It must be tender, sticky, and faintly chewy without being mushy.

8. Remove And Serve

When the rice has reached the desirable consistency, remove the steaming basket carefully from the heat.

Be careful, as it will be extremely heated. Allow the rice to settle for several minutes before serving.

Tips For Success

This method does not require extreme precision, but there are a few things to bear in mind:

1. Don’t Add An Excessive Amount Of Water

The instruction is to add enough water to rise 0.5-1 inch above the rice, and while you don’t need a ruler, you don’t want to add an excessive amount.

The larger the quantity of water, the hotter it remains; if the water is too hot, the 20-minute soak time may be too long, resulting in too tender rice.

2. If you’re Cooking A Large Amount Of Rice

Consider shortening the soak duration. I have successfully used this method for up to three containers of uncooked rice.

For the same reason as above, if you cook more, you may need to reduce the soaking time by a few minutes; significant quantities of water retain heat for longer.

4 cups would not present a problem, but 5 or more cups could start to make a difference.

If you’re Cooking A Very Small Amount Of Rice

If the quantity of water is 1 cup or less, add a bit more because a small amount of water will cool down quickly. Therefore, instead of coating the rice with 0.5-1 inch of liquid, use 1-1.5 inches.

Change it to suit your likes! This method is great because once you know how it works, you can change it to get the look you want! If you want the rice to be softer, either add more hot water or let it soak for longer. Cut down on the marinating time if you want a firmer structure.

By following these steps and mastering the art of creating sticky rice without soaking, you can enjoy this delectable grain in a fraction of the time, making it a versatile and convenient addition to your cooking repertoire.

Read More: What Is In A Thai Iced Tea?

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