What is sticky rice?

Laotian sticky rice called khao niew is the base of every meal. It is ubiquitous there. Sticky rice is made from a glutinous rice that has a higher sugar content that regular rice which makes it sticky when steamed. Although it is from a glutinous rice it is actually gluten free.

They serve this rice in individual little bamboo baskets called lao aep khao. It has a lid to keep it warm. The traditional way to make the rice is in a bamboo basket that is placed over a pot and then covered with a lid.  I was able to get the setup on Amazon as I wanted to make sure it was authentic as possible. The rice is flipped over in the bamboo basket and never touches the water.  It does not expand like regular rice does and it must be soaked overnight to get it right. If you would like to pick up an authentic steamer pot and basket you can get it here. https://laochili.com/products/sticky-rice-cooking-set

The rice is called sweet rice or sticky rice and usually you will find it from Thailand.  Any other rice is not sticky rice and would not be authentic.  You can pick up the rice here. https://laochili.com/products/phool-ngeun-non-glutinous-natural-organic-rice-1-1kg

They take the sticky rice and make small balls with it and then dip it in any number of sauces or use it as a scoop sort of like a spoon to pick up meats and things.  They always dip one piece of sticky rice in chili sauce or eggplant dip, to begin a meal.  If you don't have the bamboo basket set up, you can use a steamer basket with cheese cloth and get a near perfect result.  Enjoy!



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