Brands for stickier sticky rice?
February 8, 2014 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I've lately been trying to make thai-style glutinous rice but may attempts so far have not been as satisfyingly sticky as I had hoped. I think it may be down to needing a more authentic brand.

Generally, I've been using this technique but with the rice under the domed lid of the pot (not touching).

I've tried soaking it for a few seconds to soaking it ±36 hours. More soaking seems better.

I've steamed it between 30-120 minutes. About an hour gives the best results so far.

I've tried "basting" it during the steaming process. This seams to make it more mushy than sticky. It also seems mushy when I re-steam partially dried leftovers.

I've tried steaming between 1/4 cup and 1 full cup at a time, in case the total mass affects steam penetration. It doesn't seem to.

I do find that day-old sticky rice seems somewhat stickier than freshly steamed but I've had it piping hot and luxuriously chewy in restaurants-- why can't I have both at home?

My first attempts were with PC Brand Sticky Rice. This resulted in something closer to what I'd expect in sushi.

My most recent attempts were with Rooster Brand Sweet Rice which is significantly better (you can pick up a small hunk of it with just your fingertips) but not really up to my standards.

TL;DR I want a hot, sweet, chewy mass of starch and I'm just not getting it.

My hypothesis is that I am going to need a more authentic brand of sticky rice to get what I want, so I'm asking for recommendations. I'm in a semi-remote area of mid/western Canada at the moment so I'll probably have to order online. On the other hand, if you think the problem is in my methodology, let me know. I could spring for cheesecloth if that's the limiting factor-- it just seemed like a messy thing I could avoid.
posted by onehundredand80 to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'd really recommend getting a bamboo steamer and using that. I have one which I line with cheesecloth to use for glutinous rice, and it comes out really well almost every time. The only time I have have problems is when I let the water run out of the wok that is producing the steam.
posted by procrastination at 3:05 PM on February 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

You need sushi rice. Yum! (Any brand of it should do, but it's not the same as what you've been using)

We just use a cheap-o rice cooker.
posted by jrobin276 at 3:07 PM on February 8, 2014

I would give it a try with short grain rice.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:24 PM on February 8, 2014

Thai glutinous rice is NOT sushi rice -- it's a totally different thing.

If you want to go all in, you should order rice, steamer, and woven basket from these people.
posted by neroli at 3:39 PM on February 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

Soak it overnight and use a bamboo steamer.

(Go to a Thai restaurant and ask them how to do it. They will tell you.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:11 PM on February 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree with neroli that Thai sticky rice is not sushi rice.

You can make sticky rice in the microwave, try the method here. The Rooster brand you were using should be fine.
posted by pravit at 4:12 PM on February 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

From the site you are looking at, they recommend a brand which I've seen before: 3 Horses.

Or, like others say, you could go to your local Thai or Lao restaurant and ask what they use.
posted by Fortran at 5:30 PM on February 8, 2014

Just to clarify -- I think it's clear that the OP knows the difference between sticky rice and sushi rice. I was just correcting earlier answers.
posted by neroli at 6:02 PM on February 8, 2014

I use 'Botan Calrose Rice' which Google tells me is what a lot of people use for 'Sushi Rice', but it's not really Sushi Rise per-se. It's medium-grain, rather sweet, and rather sticky. I give it a quick rinse (maybe) and throw it in the rice cooker. If you want sticky like picking up chunks with your fingers or making rice balls sticky, Botan.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:36 PM on February 8, 2014

Best answer: I asked the chef at the Lao place I'm in love with, Bangkok Golden, and she said that Wang Derm Sanpatong 2014 New Crop is best. Now, as for finding it...
posted by Fortran at 6:39 PM on February 8, 2014

We've been eating a ton of sticky rice lately, and we are currently also using the Rooster Brand superior sweet rice. The method we use (taken from Japanese Family Style Recipes cookbook) creates excellent sticky rice.

1. Put 2.5 cups of rice in a pot
2. Rinse until the water is almost clear (this is usually takes me 4-5 rinses)
3. Add 2.75 cups of water to pot
4. Let it sit for 30 min
5. Cook the rice over medium heat, covered, until the water begins to boil
6. Turn heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until there are "dimples" in the rice when you peek under the lid
7. Remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for another 5 minutes
8. Remove lid and toss the rice with a bamboo paddle or wooden spoon.
9. Cover the pot with a dry dish towel and replace lid until ready to serve.

I find the Rooster Brand is okay, but not really the best rice. The last bag we had was Sekka which is readily available. It made a nice sticky rice.
posted by valoius at 7:27 PM on February 8, 2014

Best answer: If you still plan to soak overnight check to see if it is soaked properly by pressing a grain between your fingernails. It should break easily if it is hydrated properly. Another thing is to take a small portion of soaked rice and put it in with the new batch of rice soaking (I am not sure if it is valid but I was told that it "helps" the new batch.)

I assume that you are rinsing three times and then letting it soak. But the more you rinse the less starchy it will be. Three times was how I was taught unless I was making gruel/jook and then only rinsed it once or twice because I wanted the higher starch.
posted by jadepearl at 7:48 PM on February 8, 2014

I followed the video instructions on this Lao cooking blog and got excellent results.

I didn't have the bamboo basket but was able to improvise with one of those cheap dim sum steaming baskets and some cheese cloth IIRC.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:42 PM on February 8, 2014

Rinse, rinse, rinse! If I want good, sticky rice, I have to rinse it in a strainer a couple times. Then, throw it in the rice cooker like usual.
posted by xedrik at 10:00 PM on February 8, 2014

Best answer: Oh hey, fortuitous timing--I made mango-less sticky rice this very afternoon (mango-less because it's not yellow mango season in any country exporting to my part of North America). I use the Thai Table recipe that's linked above and can tell you from experience that the microwave actually produces dramatically better results than the stove.

The stuff I made today was short grain Koda Farm's Sho-Chiku-Bai aka mochigome (more Japanese style but still nice and sticky when cooked). I've also had good luck with Orchids Premium Sweet Rice.

I have some long grain in the pantry too, but it's a local company exporting directly from Thailand so no help to you there. One other long grain brand I've used is Alter Eco's purple Thai sticky rice. The color takes some getting used to but it was the only thing available in rural North Dakota just south of Canada, so maybe it's available in rural actual Canada.
posted by librarylis at 10:20 PM on February 8, 2014

Best answer: and can tell you from experience that the microwave actually produces dramatically better results than the stove.

This is very true. I'm not that picky about brands of sticky rice, but any time I've attempted to make it with whatever old rice I have on hand, the rinsing + microwave is way stickier than the stove. In general, the microwave is the best tool in a basic, western kitchen for steaming. I've never had much luck with the rice cooker, though I have one of those basic teflon bowl ones which are perhaps ill-suited to sticky rice.
posted by bluefly at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2014

Response by poster: I wouldn't have guessed it but it seems like microwaving might be the thing to do! It took a while to test it because we had to order and install a new microwave but my very first batch, done yesterday according to pravit's link turned out wonderful and was super easy.

I only managed to try out one other brand because a lot of places don't deliver here, but my results were not different with a more authentic brand, contrary to my hypothesis.

I've also since found that the method I was using (with the splatter guard) may have been exactly the method I ought not to have been using. As per this blog entry, using a splatter guard method produces rice that is "fluffy and separated, not in gluey wet blobs or clumpy". So the opposite of what I'm after. I want my gluey blobs, plz.

(Special thanks to fortran for that mini fact-finding mission! Even though I can't find a way to get that rice...)
posted by onehundredand80 at 3:50 PM on March 19, 2014

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