After kicking-off this series with how to cook jasmine rice in a rice cooker, today we shift our focus to sticky rice. Basically, different types of rice can be prepared on quite a number of appliances like a rice cooker, pressure cooker or even a slow cooker. The only important thing you need to do is to know how to cook the rice you have at hand using the appliance which is available, so basically, your skills need be equally versatile.
However, life itself is already a hassle, and the least thing you need to do is start worrying about what to do when you want to prepare sticky rice. That’s why today I’ll help answer all those questions you have on how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker, in this article.
What Actually Is Sticky Rice?
Also known as sweet or glutinous rice, sticky rice is a round-grained rice commonly used in Asian countries. Once cooked, it remains distinct with its sticky and glue-like texture, which is basically where it derives its name from. It’s versatile enough, in that it comes in both long-grain and short-grain options which suit a number of needs, considering that it also contains no gluten. Just how safer could it be?
It also goes well with a number of Chinese dishes and therefore, you can still pair it with either sweet or savoury options. Something to note is that with this rice, you’ll have to pay more with up to twice the amount you would spend on any other regular rice, but it truly gives value for money. Traditionally, sticky rice is meant to be steamed but that shouldn’t hinder you from making it in whichever way you love, and with how fast and effective a rice cooker is, cooking it shouldn’t be a problem.
The Difference between Sticky Rice and Regular White Rice
The majordifference between the two is derived from texture, where one is stickier than the other. This is because sticky rice comprises of amylopectin, unlike regular white rice which contains both amylose and amylopectin. When a brand has a higher percentage of amylose like most long grain rice do, it will always turn out fluffy and when the content is lower, the rice grains will stick together once cooked.
Another difference is in regards to the uses whereby sticky rice tends to be more versatile as we have already hinted. Generally, this rice can be used as a desert, when stuffing and also in dumplings.
However, the same is sub-grouped based on whether the rice is long or short-grain. Considering that long-grain tends to be less sticky and firmer, its best recommended for savoury dishes. On the other hand, short grain is best used in desserts because its texture is stickier.
A Simple Guide on How to Make Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker
For you to end up with the exact outcome your recipe states, you have to get the proportions right. This means that you have to know the target servings you want from the cooked rice so that you measure your sticky rice and water accordingly. In a nutshell, the ratio that works best for sticky rice is 3:2, meaning that if you have three cups of rice, you’ll only need two cups of water when it’s time to get the cooking started.
However, this can still be customized based on how you want the rice done. At this point, you can also gather any other ingredients that you would love to use, but the basic ones here are water and salt to taste.
- Wash the rice
Now landing on a good brand will give you rice that’s fairly clean, so not much cleaning should be needed, and that’s why most people often skip this part. However, depending on how dirty it is, you can have it cleaned in one or two rounds, ensuring that you change the water after every wash.
Cleaning sticky rice isn’t magical, and so you can also do it just like you would with any other white rice. Just cover your rice with clean water and rinse the rice by rubbing a handful against your palms. Repeat this process until you’re certain that it’s well cleaned.
- Let it soak
Place the clean rice in the rice cooker’s pot and cover it with your already measured water then stir gently. After that, cover the lid and let it sit for at least half an hour. Sticky rice grains are usually covered in some hard shells and the only way to soften it up is to soak the rice before you proceed to cook.
This is something that you can do for as long as you want, having in mind that the longer it soaks, the softer and tastier it gets. To keep the flavour, don’t change the water after the rice is soaked to your perfection because it’s what you’ll use for cooking.
- Cook the rice
This is the point where you can add your salt and any other seasoning of choice. Ensure that you stir and mix properly before you start cooking so that none of that settles in a particular corner of the pot. Being that the rice is fairly softer after the pre-soak, you’ll only need to cook it for about 15 minutes and your rice cooker should help you in setting the time for that to avoid any mistakes.
Once the timer goes off, let the rice rest for additional five minutes while the lid is still on before you start serving. Now with regular white rice, this would make the texture fluffy, but with sticky rice, it’s what makes the outcome stickier. This also means that if you don’t prefer it much sticky, you can skip this part.
As we have already seen, the secret in enjoying your sticky rice lies in how long you let it soak. That’s why for some, they start with the preparation process a day before the actual cooking takes place.
However, just like the level of stickiness, this can also be customized based on what excites you. And to help save time and energy, you can also make your sticky rice in bulk, store in sealed containers then refrigerate for the next time you’ll want some. But before you do that, allow the rice to cool down completely and also remember to consume the same in not later than two days after refrigeration.
At the same time, it’s important to know the type of rice you have before throwing it into the rice cooker now that we’ve already discussed how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker. This is what will ensure that you get all the flavour and texture as required.