An Introduction To Sticky Rice

How to Eat Sticky Rice

Before even diving into a hot basket of steaming sticky rice, make sure you do a temperature test much the same way you stick your big toe in a lake before jumping in (although I don't recommend you trying the exact same method with a basketful of sticky rice). Should you find the sticky rice to be a bit too sticky, you could put a few drops of cooking oil in the palm of your hand and rub them together to prevent too much stickiness.

The way in which to eat sticky rice is to take one handful and roll it in your hands like Play-Doh, so throw that Western notion of, "Don't eat with your hands" right out the proverbial window here, as not only is this the correct way, it is the only way! After having made a nice optimum sized snow-ball of sticky rice, begin breaking off bite-size morsels at a time and roll these into balls as well. Solid morsels are used for dipping into sauces (soy sauce and fish sauce are simple sauces to try) or stir fry broth. Using this same method, make indents with your thumb into a small ball-shaped morsel for "scooping" up bits of food. In time you will be a pro (practice makes perfect). And make sure you wash your hands before you eat as always! Enjoy, and don't get caught making little animal shapes with your rice, because you really shouldn't play with your food!

A Sticky Solution

Once, when I was a kid in elementary school, I brought a miniature basket of sticky rice with me as lunch. In addition to this, I had something called seen haang which is what many Lao describe as Lao beef jerky. All of the kids at my table were fascinated by what to me was a typical lunch. Some scrunched up their eyebrows. Some even asked if they could try some. Well, in very little time, I looked down to find that I had no more sticky rice left, or any beef jerky. Consequently, the curiosity of my peers and the benevolence of my giving nature made me “empty” inside. “Wanna PB and J?,” my concerned friend Kevin asked me. “No,” I said. “But I’ll take your apple or your fruit roll-up."

But soon after that, more and more kids were asking me to bring sticky rice to school, which was going for the highest bitter: The kid with the ham and swiss usually won. Soon after that, kids were coming over my house just to have some sticky rice…Did these kids think that we were growing it in our backyard? After a while, I had to declare an embargo, per Mom. But every so often kids from around my block would say, “Let’s go to your house to play,” only to later on find them elbow-deep in my family’s sticky rice basket. It was certainly a big hit.

Pssst!  There's A LOT of rice in Laos!
Pssst! There's A LOT of rice in Laos!

History and Cultivation

Khao niao is the literal English translation of sticky rice. It’s also often called “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice” due to its naturally semi-sweet flavor and its gluten-like texture once steamed. Contrary to what its name implies, it does not contain gluten, for those of you that are indeed gluten-conscious. In actuality, glutinous rice is glue-like due to its lack of amylose but rather a high amount of amylopectin (a type of starch) which gives it a sticky quality. With this said, small quantities of cooked sticky rice may be sufficient for an appetizing meal.

Glutinous rice is grown in Japan, China, the Philippines, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea and especially Laos (my country), where a whopping 85% of all rice cultivation is glutinous or sticky rice. This fact alone suggests that sticky rice is Laos' most important crop and records show that sticky rice was being cultivated in Laos for at least 1,100 years. There is also speculation that sticky rice was used as mortar in the construction of the Great Wall of China as well, which would then conclude that it’s been cultivated for the last 2,000 years. Chemical testing proved this theory to be correct, as the city walls of Xian does contain remnants of glutinous rice!

The most common type of glutinous rice is white in color, which is milled, and black or purple in color or unmilled sticky rice. The difference is that the bran or husk of unmilled rice is not removed in many cases. I've tried both black and white glutinous rice and really can't tell the difference. However, many believe that there is a difference in taste and swear by it. With the combination of coconut milk and mango, the black glutinous does appear to by more appetizing for some reason.

Preparation and Cooking

The above is a picture of a huat (sticky rice basket) and the pot or steamer that accompanies it. The steps in which to prepare and cook sticky rice is pretty simple. I'll show you how it's done, so here is what you will need:

  • A steamer and huat or sticky rice basket as pictured above
  • A large spoon, preferably a wooden spoon (I don't recommend a metal spoon as it will stick)
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A pot or pan lid--the heavier the better
  • A sticky rice basket
  • Uncooked sticky rice, sweet rice, or glutinous rice (8 ounces uncooked equates to 1 serving)

Step 1: The very that you will need to decipher is how much uncooked sticky rice you will need. I recommend using the formula of 8 ounces of uncooked sticky rice per serving, but you may want to add one extra serving to this formula to ensure that you have a little extra sticky rice for your meal, as you can always reheat cold or utilize leftover rice (more on that later). You will need at least 4 hours of pre-soak time, as sticky rice needs to be soft for maximum results. With this said, you should be proactive in preparation. You could consequently pre-soak your uncooked sticky rice overnight or first thing in the morning before you head out to work to ensure its readiness for steaming. Just add the uncooked rice in your bowl and fill it the bowl about 2 inches above the level of your rice with cold water.

Step 2: Fill your steamer with no more than 3 or 4 inches of water and place on your stove to boil and cover the steamer with a lid. After at least 2 hours has elapsed, you'll want to strain your rice by using your hand and remove any sediment (in some cases tiny pebbles) that may have found a way to your milled rice. You may also want to rinse and repeat to ensure that the rice is free of such sediment.

Step 3: Now take your huat or bamboo basket and completely rinse it with water in your sink, as a dry basket will may cause it to burn while steaming. Pour your uncooked rice into the basket and give it a good "shake" in an up-and-down motion to free the rice of as much water as possible by taking hold of the basket's "ears" with both hands. As soon as the water in your steamer begins boil, place the basket of sticky rice on top of your steamer and cover it for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Now uncover the basket and take hold of its "ears" again and use the "shake" method once more. By now, you'll find that your rice is now one clump rather than a scatter of glutinous rice grains. Much in the same way you flip a pancake, you'll want to flip your rice (which should be triangular in shape) just once so that the top of the "clump" is facing downward and allow it to steam cook (with the lid covering the basket) for another 5 minutes.

Step 5: After 5 minutes has elapsed, shut off the burner and uncover the basket which will now be emitting steam profusely. You may want to blow and use your "shake" method once more to cool the rice. Please be careful by the way, as the rice is hot enough at this point to cause burns upon contact! Pour the now cooked sticky rice into your rice basket and carefully toss it the rice with a large wet spoon (hopefully a wooden spoon). Should the rice stick to your spoon, simply wet it again and continue to toss and blow on the rice while it is inside the rice basket. After doing this for about 3 minutes or so, your rice should be cool enough and so is ready to be eaten!

Note: If you are not ready to eat just that instant, you could leave the sticky rice basket uncovered to let cool. On the other hand, if you want to keep the sticky rice warm, just close the sticky rice basket. In addition to this, you could cover the sticky rice basket with a dish towel to help keep your sticky rice warm.

Need more help? Watch this!

Please click to enlarge

Kai Yang
Kai Yang
Seen Haang or Lao Beef Jerky.  I'm not sure what those little colorful spiky balls are however.
Seen Haang or Lao Beef Jerky. I'm not sure what those little colorful spiky balls are however.
Laarb Gai
Laarb Gai
Kai yang and tom maak-hoong
Kai yang and tom maak-hoong

What goes well with sticky rice?

Okay, this is somewhat of a trick question, because the real question be, "What doesn't go well with sticky rice?" In either case, here are some great dishes that should be enjoyed in the morning, noon, or night along with sticky rice:

  • Kai Yang: Pronounced Guy Yong, this is a well seasoned grilled young and very lean chicken which taste similar to Chinese spare ribs (but better). I recommend using free-range chicken when preparing this for the best results as it's much healthier and is free of hormones.
  • Seen Haang: As I've earlier mentioned, seen hang is a very popular prepared food item made with very lean beef which is then seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar and then dried in the sun. As soon as it's dried for a full day, it is then momentarily deep-fried and served as a meal item (as there is much more than one during a sitting).
  • Laarb: As there is much more than one kind of laarb, the picture to the right is of the chicken variety. Laarb is a type of tossed and seasoned salad made primarily with meat and meat items you may or may not be accustomed to eating, such as cow kidney, heart, liver, and tripe. However there are a plethora of alternatives and can be kept pretty simple diversely appealing. Other laarb include beef, pork, shrimp, and fish laarb.
  • Stir Fry: I'm sure I don't have to explain to you want stir fry is, so I won't! There are endless varieties of stir fry all throughout the continent of Asia, made popular due to the lack of wood for fuel in many cases (short preparation time). In Laos it is no different and makes for a quick yet appetizing meal.
  • Tom Maak-Hoong: Tom maak hoong (or som tom Thai) is a spicy unripened papaya salad that is very popular in both Laos and Thailand. It's made with shredded unripened papaya, chili peppers, lime, and fish sauce among other things. (It's also been known to cure hangovers too!)

Although I only listed a fraction of what is available in Lao cuisine, these are just some of the more popular dishes from Laos. If you have not yet tried the dishes as I've listed, I highly recommend that you do with sticky rice, as they are savory and have a cacophony of taste explosions. If unable to acquire these dishes, I suggest that you find other ways of accompanying your sticky rice, like substituting these dishes with fried chicken, sliced seasoned steak or pork. If you are vegetarian, seared tofu would be a good compliment.

Would you like to learn how to make this?

Delicious coconut sticky rice with mango dessert
Delicious coconut sticky rice with mango dessert

Watch this video and you will!

Lasting Impressions

Thank you very much for visiting my hub and allowing me to share with you the most important crop of my native Laos. As there are too many ways to use sticky rice, I could only list a few of them. By the way, if you do find that you have some left over sticky-rice, you could always re-steam it. If the sticky rice becomes too hard to do so, you could always deep fry it and have yourself a delicious snack.

My other Food and Drink Hubs include 15-Minute Pork Chops, 20-Minute Rice, and Beer Lao.  In addition to this, I also wrote about some of the most exotic and admired fruits of the world, which include the Durian, Mangosteen, and Jackfruit, so click away!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you'll rejoin me once my next hub, "An Introduction to Lao Desserts" is published. Here is not only a "taste" of what you will find, but also a few bonus photos as well in which several are made with sticky or glutinous rice (their depictions and NOT the actual photos!). In the meantime, please enjoy!

Khanom chun dessert made with sticky rice

Khao doem with black beans

This is khao doem is of the salted pork and yellow bean variety

Wickless dynamite? No, dessert.

This should get me through the winter

A bamboo ka toke for typical Lao cuisine dining

Mortar and pestle used in the preparation of many Lao dishes

A Pituresque Sticky Rice Paddy

More by this Author

Comments 132 comments

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Wow, how long did this hub take? It must be the most complete exploration of sticky rice online! Congratulations. I am thrilled to read it.

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Useful Knowledge 7 years ago


You did an excellent job putting this hub together. I know it must have taken you some time. I have never tried sticky rice before. However, after your presentation, I can almost taste it now. I am impressed with this hub as your talent always seems to amaze me.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Storytellersrus--I was just thinking about that! It took me about 12 hours to put together. I ended up with more photos than I needed and so am saving them for my Lao Dessert hub. Yeah, I did a lot of research and had to grill my mom about some techniques too. I had fun writing it, however. Thanks for the compliment!

Useful Knowledge--Hey, you know I wanted to get this one over and done with, as it was weighing on my mind. The tid bit about my childhood was all true by the way. Americans and non-Lao alike really do like this rice. Come to think of it, I forgotten to mention that it does make you a bit sleepy when you eat too much of it :D Thanks as always! I love hearing from you!

Daniel Carter profile image

Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

What a fab hub! I LOVE sticky rice, but had no idea how to prepare it. Now the bachelor in me is willing to explore and I'll bookmark this for reference. Thanks a heap, dohn!!

Catherine R profile image

Catherine R 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

What a fantastic hub dohn! And really great photos. I love sticky rice but have never prepared it myself so your instructions are good to have - I think I will give it a go. My parents lived in Sabah, Malaysia when I was a teenager and I used to go out from England for my school holidays. One treat that we often had was little rice cubes - done in banana leaves. We used to order satay and dip the rice cubes in the peanut sauce. I am salivating at the memory!

Leop profile image

Leop 7 years ago

Dohn, you did it again. Love the sticky rice! the pictures says it all. This is excellent. I have a sweet tooth so, for me I will go for the Coconut with sticky rice and mango. mmm. Thank you.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hello, Daniel. Thanks so much for the comment. I really like it too and really had no choice in the matter, as I ate it almost every day or every other day as a staple. I'm happy that this was helpful, as that was my intention. I'm glad to be of service ;)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Catherine R--Yes, I'm very familiar with sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, as it's a perfect snack or meal on the run. The great thing is that not only is it aromatic, but easy to carry and reheat via microwave. Thai and Lao dishes are indeed very similar. I'm glad I was able to bring back the nostalgia of that time! Thank you for reading :D

Leop--Thanks for the compliment, Leop. It means a lot. I'm surprised that so many readers and Hubbers have had sticky rice before--pleasantly so. Although it could be difficult to make, fresh coconut milk is the way to go...I might explain about that process someday as well! Thanks again.

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

Give me sticky rice anytime! Love love this yummy hub sweetie! Make sure to bring me some when you visit ok? Really fabulous! They serve it here in the Thai restos, and some are available in Filipino stores. I have to try some you featured here.

keira7 profile image

keira7 7 years ago

Yum sticky rice. Love it!

Great hub and I really liked the pictures aswell.

Thanks Dohn. I am so glad to be your fan. Take care, bro.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

What an absolutely fabulous hub - with everything I can ever need! Fortunately, I've traveled and lived in Asian countries and had the pleasure of enjoying the rice - the desserts and the fabulous meals.

Will book mark this now! Thanks a million!!!!!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

IslandVoice--It's wonderful to hear from you again! One day I will visit, so make sure you have an appetite ;) Thank you for the compliment. I really put a lot of effort into this hub and had to actually shorten it, being that it was so long! Thank you again!

Keira7--I don't think I could ever get tired of Jasmine or sticky rice. I grew up on it and nothing else I eat satisfies me like sticky rice. Thanks for reading and especially for being a fan :D

BkCreative--Thank you so much for commenting and for the praise. It really means a lot to me. Hearing such great feedback makes writing hubs a joy to accomplish. I will eventually write a Lao Dessert hub, so I hope to see you there. Thank you!

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Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I have never tried sticky rice...what have I missed? You make it sound awesome and the pictures are making me hungry!

It sounds like it takes a long time to prepare and knowing that the city walls of Xian does contain remnants of glutinous rice might give the faint of heart second thoughts about trying it. LOL

But seeing as you have had this as a staple in your diet, it can't be bad!

I can't HONESTLY say I will try to make it, but I can HONESTLY say I will have to find some place where I can try it!

Another great hub Dohn!

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast

Wow, I feel like finding a Laotian restaurant and getting me some sticky rice and pork dish. Thanks dohn!

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

Great hub, Dohn - I really learned a lot here. I never knew "how" to eat sticky rice; it sounds delicious. The childhood story was touching and I love that picture of the sticky rice paddy.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks, Flightkeeper (that was my plan). But I'd much rather you cook it yourself--It tastes better :D I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks, Lily Rose. I always had to teach my friends on how to properly eat sticky rice. It certainly is an experience. That story really did happen and did spread throughout school. It really was funny. I actually had sticky rice for dinner and would have, whether or not I wrote this hub! I'm glad you liked it.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

Thank you for this. Sticky rice is my way of life here. My girlfiend makes it every day in the traditional way and I eat it usually daily. Mind you she does an excellent steamed rice as well and that is better for some meals. Whichever I have to be sure I eat early enough to find some left. So many Lao/Thai/Khmer eat at our restaurant/bar that food can and does run out. Usually I can buy a small plastic bag of hot sticky rice off one of the street vendors. Great and informative hub.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You certainly are living the dream Peter. I wish you and I could swap places if just for a week! I'm making plans to visit Laos within the year, so I hope you have some food for me when I come and visit you.

Thank you for the response. It's great to hear that your diet is very much like mine. It's tough for me to eat Western food sometimes, as it is not as flavorful or satisfactory to me as Lao food (I'm sure you can understand). I sometimes cheat and go for fast food but then regret it always.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Super hub, Dohn! I love sticky rice and choose it over anything else when I'm in the Far East. Those pictures are all great and the food looks so mouth watering! You've done such a detailed hub - enjoyed every bit of it!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Shalini. It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed reading and viewing this hub. I can't get over how many people have actually tried sticky rice (I had it for dinner tonight, by the way, as usual). I only know how to make a couple of these dishes correctly and am still learning how to perfect them! Thanks again, Shalini.

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poetlorraine 7 years ago

I could not be more impressed with that hub, absolutely wonderful....... never even heard of sticky rice can you believe. Did you take all the pictures also????

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Oh, I wish I did. I do have a few pictures, but found in that mine were nearly as good as the ones I found! You should try it some time as it's absolutely delectable ;) Thank you so much for visiting this hub, Poet. You're always welcome to come on by.

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

I love sticky rice and I ususally eat it using chopsticks but not my hand. I think I'm too lazy to wash after the meal :) You made me salivate dohn and it's almost lunch time now, so guess what I'm gonna have??? Thanks.

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hubpageswriter 7 years ago

Superb hub! This deserves 10 stars definitely, Dohn. Thanks for writing about this. I've always wanted to know where sticky rice originates from. Now I know, thanks so much..this must have taken you quite some time to write. It's fabulous, just so you know. I'll be looking forward to more hubs, for sure..

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Shamel. Chopsticks, really? I think that might actually be more work than necessary! Whatever works for you, I guess. I love your new avatar, by the way :D I just had sticky rice for dinner last night (and probably again today as well). Thank you again.

Hey, HPWriter. I really did spend a bit of time on this one and had to even employ the help of my mom (fact checker) which I seldom ever do. Some of the facts I found really were pretty cool. Thank you so much for the compliment! I appreciate your praise!

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

I had rice with grilled chicken as promised dohn, thanks to you :) Actually, I find it easier to use chopsticks than hands. I guess I'm not used to it... Thanks bro.

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

I'll be eating some tonight! (But not cooking it myself. We have a few good Thai restaurants here in Doha). Fish sauce, red chillies, lemon grass - hungry already...

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Not a problem, Shamel. I've found that eating too much of it can make you sleepy. I'd advise anyone to not eat it too much before going on a long trip while driving, as it could be counterproductive! Thanks again.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

How are you Paraglider? Once I took my ex-girlfriend out to a Thai restaurant in Burlington, Vermont that was situated in the middle of a pond (very cool setup) which hosted a great Kai yang with sticky rice and a jahyre just as you described. It really was awesome (almost as good as my mom's). Now you're making me hungry :D Thanks a bunch and thank you for reading me.

myownworld profile image

myownworld 7 years ago from uk

you really have mastered the art of a perfect hub! informative, interesting and well presented....what more can one say? i loooove sticky rice thanks for posting!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you so much for that, myownworld. It's safe to say that I take pride in constructing my hubs and thoroughly enjoy doing so, but not as much as hearing from my friends. Thanks for the comment!

phantom_moon profile image

phantom_moon 7 years ago from Sacramento California America

OMG!!! I just love sticky rice. I have made the coconut rice with mangoes before but never used sticky rice...simply because I don't know how to make sticky rice. Well thanks to you I have no excuse and it looks like I have some shopping to do. Thank you so so soooooo much for sharing, I can't wait to try out some of theses Lao recipies :)

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Your Hub made me so hungry that I would immediately eat your photos if this would be possible.

I adore will go to the kitchen to cook "normal" parboiled rise on normal way, plus will ad some Tamari souce... and soya steakes....

I did not know that for sticky rise it takes so long time to prepare it.

Your Hub is excellent, thumbs up!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

I really appreciate this Hub and have bookmarked it. Thumbs up!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Phantom_moon--Thanks for the comment! I found that if you are indeed luck enough to have an Asian grocery store nearby that sticky rice should be a bit more cost-effective if you bought it locally rather than the internet. Where I live, I can buy a 25 pound bag for under $20, so it certainly is cheaper in that sense. Shipping that much weight over the net would be astronomical! Thanks for visiting me and I'm glad that I was able to help.

Tatjana-Mihaela--Yes, unfortunately sticky rice does take a bit of time to prepare. My mom says that 2 hours is the minimum amount of pre-soak time one needs to effectively prepare the sticky rice for steaming, but my internet sources argue that you need at least 4. Well, in either case, it's well worth the wait! Thanks for the comment and as always, I appreciate it.

Patty Inglish--Thanks for bookmarking this hub, Patty. I really am happy to hear that! I hope that this hub "takes off" and that I get lots of hits! Thanks!

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cosette 7 years ago

dude, if i could, i would so have sticky rice paddies and bamboo growing everywhere! what a great hub. i am going to make some and eat it just the way you said. sheesh, no one ever explained this stuff before. thank you!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

"No one ever explained this before," this is EXACTLY what I want to hear! I tried being as thorough as possible and find that such info isn't easy to come by, which makes my content pretty darn good, might I add :D Thanks for the compliment, cosette! I means a lot!

perfumelover profile image

perfumelover 7 years ago

How awesome! I've never seen rice cooked in a basket like this! My family just sticks with the modern rice cookers. Also I'd love to try that dessert you presented--rice, coconut and mango!! Amazing!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, perfumelover. I'm glad that I was able to share this with everyone. You should try the mango and sticky rice recipe from the video as it is very simple to make and all you need is a can of coconut milk, ripe mango, and sticky rice! It's really easy. Thank you for the comment.

lancelonie profile image

lancelonie 7 years ago

Mmm...!!! I should be wearing that t-shirt 'coz I love rich and sticky ride! :)

lancelonie profile image

lancelonie 7 years ago

I mean rice, not rich. LOL!

Well, I want to be rich anyway... :))

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks for that, lancelonie. I appreciate your comment. I hope to hear from you again.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific Dohn, just terrific. You're a great writer and a great guy!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Paradise7! What can I say in response to that? Thank you so much for reading this. I always look forward to hearing from you!

MissE profile image

MissE 7 years ago from Texas

So very cool! I love this hub about sticky rice. Your writing style is great, the subject is interesting and even though I just ate, I'm getting hungry again!!! Good job! :)

juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

A fantastic hub! I very much enjoyed reading this as my mouth watered for delicious steaming sticky rice that we consumed daily for our one year in Japan. You made me homesick. Cheers!

pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

wow! yum...yum! Very informative and stickilicious hub! Sticky rice is one of our family's all time favorites.. but we usually cooked it for desserts, merienda and in different occasions. We're cooking it almost the same of what you have listed here Sir although a little different in name and presentation...Rice is part of our (Filipino) daily lives, the food we can't live without. As for me, I love rice, actually im working in a rice research institution.. (hopefully in the future, i can make a hub in a unique way about rice- like what they says here "Rice is life"..) Thank you very much for sharing this, 2 thumbs up! :)..really great!

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 7 years ago from New York, NY

gees i just finished dinner and now you got me hungry again. I love love sticky rice and my most favorite thing to do with it is what you mentioned at the begining . where you take it in your hands and make little balls and dip. . yum . i love to dip and this tops the list. . as does this Hub of yours .. but Im not surprised . glad I came upon it. . specially as I am watching the Yanks not looking so good tonight! Thanks to sticky rice I am smiling anyway;)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

MissE--Thank you very much for the compliment. I just had sticky rice AGAIN for dinner! I usually have it 4 times a week for dinner and sometimes for lunch. I'm glad I was able to give you an appetite!

juneaukid--Thanks for commenting! Wow, it sounds like you've been everywhere thus far! You certainly are fortunate to have done that. It's great to hear from you.

pinkhawk--You work for the rice research institute? That's really cool. I'd really like to see your rice hub if you decide to publish one. I have many friends from the Philippines right here at HubPages. Perhaps I found another one? Thank you so much for commenting!

wavegirl22--Hey, thank you! I'm sure you don't have any problem finding a good Thai restaurant where you are ;) However, you might find it challenging to find a Lao restaurant! Don't worry about the Yankees, my friend as they just scored 6 runs in the top of the 7th inning! And about me being right? I called it a week ago: Yankees in 5 games against the Halos, Yankees 6 against the Phillies. Whaddaya think of that?

Thanks as always! I love to hear from you and you know it!

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Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Dohn, I must say--I am starving! I have eaten the khao doem before stuffed with pork and loved it so much! Very beautiful and extremely informative hub, Dohn! Now I have to find something to eat--it is early morning for me...and hot tea is not making a dent in my tummy!

EnrapturedFlame profile image

EnrapturedFlame 7 years ago

Sticky rice is the best! Ohhh.. and Vietnamese or Lao pho! That should be your next hub. Yummy!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hi, AIDY. I'd send you a basket if I could! That's awesome that you tried khao doem before. I could probably write a hub on just that. I love the smell of banana leaves in the morning! Thanks for the comment. Khao doem and hot tea go great together by the way!

Hey, EnrapturedFlame! It's been a while since I last heard from you! Pho is definitely a possibility. My friend awsydney from Sydney, Australia wrote a hub on that. Thank you for reading me. I hope to hear from you again!

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kephrira 7 years ago from Birmingham


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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks, kephrira. I appreciate the comment.

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Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

john, very nice, and the photos are beautiful. I did not know that you had to presoak sticky rice for so long! Don't they use sticky rice in sushi and California rolls. We made them at home a few times but the first time I used too much rice vinegar and the tasted like German California rolls.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hi, Dolores. In my research, I found that many suggest that you pre-soak your sticky rice for at least 4 hours, but my mom says 2 hours is the absolute minimum and that you can get away with it with 2 hours of pre-soak time. The rice that is used for sushi is not the same, as the best quality sushi rice is "pearl rice." Good eating takes time :D I'm glad that you enjoyed it, Dolores! Thank you.

Indigenous profile image

Indigenous 7 years ago from Earth

Thank You for delicious hub!:)

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tim-tim 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Love sticky rice!

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VelociRabbit 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

What an excellent hubpage! Thank you for sharing something that I've been very curious about. I think I'm going to have to try sticky rice now.

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Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for a useful Hub. I like sticky rice. Its so nice, that you could even eat it plain. A similar one we have here is called "Thai Eagle Rice". I cook it until its soft and use a spoon to press it, till its all sticky - such a lovely aroma.

Your Hub has given me some more ideas for when next I'm cooking. I must say, it would be nice to cook it the Traditional way as you do. Cheers.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks for the great comment, indigenous! And thank you, tim-tim. It's great to hear that you do.

Thank you, VelociRabbit, for visiting and reading me. I'm happy to be able to pass on the information. I think you will enjoy it.

Hello, Lady_E. I'm happy to be of service. I've been wanting to write this for some time now and am flattered over the responses it's garnered. I've not heard of "Thai Eagle Rice" but will look into it. The traditional way of cooking it is in itself the best way. I'm just glad that I don't have to remove the husk/millet too when preparing it like my ancestors did! Thank you.

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Lindsay Masterson 7 years ago

I am in love with rice in general and recently got a rice cooker when I was going off to college. It's definitely different than how you made rice here, but either was is way better than instant rice. Not enough people have the great appreciation for real rice like they should. It compliments any dish perfectly!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

The rice cooker that you got is most likely for regular white rice or brown rice, Lindsay, and so should not be confused with sticky rice, which is very different. Thanks for reading me! I hope I cleared that up!

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beccas90 7 years ago from New York

This is a stupendous hub! I love it. And I learnt a lot about sticky rice on the way of looking at he gorgeous photos. Wonderful job.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, beccas90. Thank you for reading me. I'm glad that you enjoyed this hub and that you learned a lot about sticky rice. I'm surprised to find that so many of my readers know about it. I hope you get the chance to try it.

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marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

A lot of middle eastern cultures eat out of one big tray with their hands, sitting on the ground. A lot of the meals also involve rice, although they do love their bread. I've always associated 'sticky rice' with a way of cooking rice such that it sticks together a bit more and used in things like sushi, making it easier to eat with chop sticks than 'normal' rice. I don't think that's the same thing though. Great hub!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hi, Marco. You are without a doubt correct about eastern cultures having an affinity for eating on the floor as it is in fact the norm rather than the exception. And in speaking about these cultures, I'd also like to add in that eating as a group (eg. family) is just as important as eating itself as people from eastern cultures will tell you is that the food certainly "tastes better" when "sharing" the food with one another. In Lao culture, several dishes of the food is shared with many. Thanks so much for the input Marco. I really appreciate it!

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Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Dohn121, I love sticky rice, too. I first had some in Taiwan. But I have never made it. Does Wal*Mart carry the right kind of rice to start with?

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Probably not, Aya. Your best bet is to go to a Asian food store to find sticky rice. The bigger the store, the better the price! In addition, I guess you could always order it through Amazon! Thanks Aya!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Probably not, Aya. Your best bet is to go to a Asian food store to find sticky rice. The bigger the store, the better the price! In addition, I guess you could always order it through Amazon! Thanks Aya!

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atlovesbm 7 years ago from Orange County, California

This hub made me hungry! :)

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, atlovesbm. Long time no see! Thanks for the comment :D

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Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

Well, you've made my mouth water ... and a few minutes ago you made my imagination run wild....gee, Dohn, you're getting me every which way! :D BTW, I love sticky rice -- my mom made the best but you've written the best article on it!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I just can't get over how many people have tried it! Maybe I should be manufacturing and selling sticky rice kits! Thanks again, Beth! I had a lot of fun writing this one. Momma's proud of me :D

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prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

I love this one, as Asian myself.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Really? Cool. Thanks for the compliment!

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Lee Thacker 7 years ago

I like the way your brain thinks, makes me feel alive listening to what your thinking, very cool...Keep it up ...PS Now I Know Why I bookmarked your page ;-) ...Hope you are doing well,

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ralwus 7 years ago

I have been wanting to read this ever since you published it, 'twas too busy. Now I want to come to your house and steal your sticky rice balls. Unless you invite me to dinner, and then I might leave them be. You have made me lustful for this food. You have made me sin, you should be sorry. thanks Dohn! CC

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Lee. Thanks for bookmarking this hub and for the comment! It's always great to hear from you :D I hope you're doing well yourself ;)

Hi Charles! LMAO You're always welcome to come over, Charles, you should know that! It would be an honor to have you over and share with you some beer Lao and sticky rice! If we're not careful, we just might have a good time :D Thank you.

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mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

This brings back so many memories! We also use the same pots and bamboo baskets to make them sticky rice. Think you can cook me up some?

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

It would be a pleasure, May! I was wondering when you'd get over here! I think that you for one would agree with me when I say that eating too much sticky rice makes you sleepy? It's like turkey but much stronger! Thank you, May :D

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

wow very nice hub I am hungry I love rice all kinds

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Lgali. Thanks for visiting! I'd send you a basket if I could!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Ohhhh, I completely skipped this hub of yours. Now I'm the one who has to restrain herself from biting through the monitor! The sticky rice and those food sure look tempting.

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rtacterri 7 years ago


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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hahaha! Thank you, Emie. I just knew you'd like this one. In the perfect world, we can eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce! Oh, careful! Don't get electrocuted!

Thanks, rtacterri! I appreciate it.

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emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

LOL. I'll be lucky if I don't gain an ounce. Hey did you see me in my last hub that you commented? I'm there, albeit a smaller version :).

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yup, I did! LOL That's what I meant when I said, "Nice pics!" I know, that sounds like a default comment, but I meant what I said! I like your avatar too by the way! I like mine and am seriously thinking about keeping it...IDK, we'll see what happens :D

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emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Hey dohn, thanks for the comment on the pics and my avatar. Why don't we both keep it until uhm let's say end of November. Then we'll look for other avatars for Christmas. :D

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

No, problem, Emie. Yup, why not? I'm not sure what I would do for an avatar for Thanksgiving anyway...Except for being a pilgrim, Native American or a turkey, LOL.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Turkey! Get a turkey avatar! LOL. I love turkey. I got to spend the Thanksgiving there and turkey was the main course. Yum!

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Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

What a nice detailed hub!

You seem to have a good knowledge about food too as well as other things.

Dohn, those pics don't get enlarged(the one's with the title, click to enlarge), have a look at it.

Wonderful hub in the end.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Gobble, gobble, toil and trouble (Get it? Withches + Turkey?) :P Hmmm...I will have to do some research on this one. Whatever turkey avatar I use has got to be funny! And yes, turkey is awesome...I had first dibs on the drumsticks the last 3 Thanksgiving and don't want to relinquish it!

Hey, UH. Thanks for the comment! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! It should be working now, as I forgot to click on the option to allow the pics to be enlarged :P Thanks again!

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blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Hey petunia cakes boy do I looooooove rice. No good with chop sticks though LMAO/

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

OMG! I've missed you it hurts O_O Just say the word and I'll be over with a basket, pumpkin! (Pumpkin basket?!) It's great seeing you :D I smiled when I saw that you commented!

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blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

You going to bring me a pumpkin??? Oooooo I so love your originality Dohn. Ummmm and what we going to do with the pumpkin??? Ummmmm I am not the best cook in the world but I am good at cooking up trouble LMAO. How does that sound??? xoxo

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Haha! That sounds good to me! I would love to get a taste of some of your TROUBLE BP! Maybe we'll make little pumpkins? :D Uh-oh, I hope I don't get band for commenting in my own hub! You're the best, sweetie.

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Hell yea Dohnny now u talkin' my language yeeee ahhhhh!!!!! Banned???? Never!!!!!I said worse that that and I'm still here. Anyway you can always say I started it.....I bags being on top yea baby yea!!!! xox

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Love it! You're awesome, BP! You'll always have a place in my heart (not to mention other places as well). You'll always be "on top" and you know this! :D

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Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

I finally got a rice cooker and it does a great job of making rice to have with my meals. I rarely server any other side dish now.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

That's great to hear, Artemis. I grew up on rice and know no other viable substitute! Thanks for visiting!

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divacratus 7 years ago from India

Well researched with lots of pictures to boot! Plus, what's that I see? A dessert in the form of dynamite? Goodness!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Yes,it sure does look dangerous, doesn't it? It is actually a portable meal in which you reheat over the fire and crack open and eat the sweet-rice filling. Thank you for visiting and again, welcome to HubPages. I trust you'll do fine here!

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zentango 7 years ago from Southern California

wow! makes a guy hungry just reading this!! EXCELLENT HUB!

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rollande 7 years ago

wow this is the best hub i have come acoss.Greta work done. anyone reading this will want to eat sticky rice!

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carriegoff 7 years ago from Michigan

I LOVE sticky rice!! I was born in the Philippines to Missionary parents and it was something we ate regularly. I miss it! Now I have to find some to cook for my family. Thanks for a great hub!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thank you for the compliment, zentango! I really appreciate it.

Wow. Thanks for that, rollande. That's great to hear and I hope that more people do go ahead and give it a try.

Thank you, carriegoff. That's awesome to hear. It's not too late to try it and I'm sure that your family will enjoy it.

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awsydney 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Man, you've done it again. This is no introduction??!! It's probably the most comprehensive writing above sticky rice that I've ever read, let alone making me hungry. Thankfully we can get these dishes here in Sydney, Thai mango pudding, yummm! I especially like the crispy skin chicken, will definitely go well if washed down with some Lao beer! Thanks for sharing dOHN.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, awsydney! It's great to see you again. Thank you for the compliment! I guess that I got a bit carried away with this one, as it was supposed to be a bit shorter! Thai mango pudding sound pretty darn good right about now! Yes, grilled or fried chicken is awesome with sticky rice and just about anything is good is good with Beer Lao ;) Thank you, mate.

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apricot 7 years ago from Italy

I just love sticky rice!! I got addicted to Khao doem with black beans in Bangkok. Ah! Happy memories!! This articles is so thorough!! (I wouldn't mind buying that T-shirt actually)

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks, apricot! One of the best things about Khao doem is the scent of banana leaves that triggers in me to salivate immediately. Talk about fond memories...Yeah, I want that T-shirt too, LMAO.

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mtsi1098 7 years ago

ok I will have the Kai Yang, with a big bowl of sticky rice (butter and salt please) to go - I will be sending the ham and swiss sandwich :) - Well done

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks, mtsi1098! It's a deal :D I'm sure that you'll enjoy it! Thank you for the comment.

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anglnwu 7 years ago

Donh, your hub is very interesting and totally engaging. I'm familiar with sticky rice but Chinese people don't make rice balls out of sticky rice--too bad--or I'll have as many school friends as you.

I'm proud to tell u that I own a huat(didn't know the technical name until now) and I use it to make sticky rice. I like to mix 1 part white with 2 parts unmilled (black/purple) glutinous rice. I made that occasionally--I find washing the straw basket a chore.

Love all your side dishes--they look delicious and Laarb Gai is absolutely one of my favorite.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you so much for reading this. I thought you'd like it. Westerners really do love sticky rice (almost as much as the Lao). In truth, the Lao people are made fun of because of their affinity for sticky rice, as it is eating in 90% of their meals! Yes, cleaning the huat can be a chore. I find it best to soak the basket in cold water before cleaning it as it will cut down the work in half.

Funny about the Laarb Gai--I just had that for dinner last night and yes, it one of my favorites too!

I appreciate your coming over to read this. I'm glad that you enjoyed doing so. Thank you.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago

Tell me something--are Laoians (Laos, Laotians??) closely related to the Thais as I find most of the dishes you mentioned similar to Thai dishes?

LOL on the Laos' love for sticky rice. Chinese people eat them on occasions--usually auspicious--we believe that sticky rice causes the stomach to bloat. In essence, I think that sticky rice induces a feeling of satiety--which is a good thing if you're trying to lose weight.

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, the ethnic people of Laos are "Lao" and the the non-ethnic people of Laos, like the Hmongs, are referred to as Laotians. There is a distinction.

Yes, my parents have told me time and again that sticky rice can, in essence, make you fat if you eat too much of it, but doesn't everything? You're correct in your surmising that sticky rice does make you feel full after a minimal amount. A handful or two should be adequate for a full meal (one serving).

Thanks for checking back!

Ed C 7 years ago

awesome! I looove sticky rice!

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Ed C. I still can't get over how many people out there in cyberspace are familiar with it :)

Lamme profile image

Lamme 7 years ago

I just made the sticky rice and coconut cream with mango for my kids! Wow ... easy and delicious!!! I also bought myself a huat. I used to buy the frozen sticky rice and custard at our local asian market, now I can make something much better at home for pennies.

Your picture of the sticky rice paddy reminds me a lot of Sapa in northern Vietnam.

Thanks for the great hub!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Lamme. Yes, nothing compares to fresh food. The Asian market near me sells it fresh, made daily right next door at the a Thai restaurant, but it's pretty expensive-like $4.95 for a small portion. It's really for those on the run who work nearby and just don't have the time to make it themselves. Just as you said, it is really easy to make. Thanks for the comment!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago

Hi dohn121, I just stopped by to refresh my memory of how to make sticky rice. My kids love this and I'm making it again tonight ... put the rice on to soak this morning, so we're all set. Thanks again.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Haha! I'm glad I was able to help out! There's nothing like the smell of sticky rice steaming in the morning! My problem is eating too much--soon after, I become groggy and only want to head to bed. I hope your rice comes out well! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice hub, thanks for sharing.

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JasonPLittleton 5 years ago

Great hub.

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kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Kudos for this well-written hub! I'm Asian and I've grown up eating sticky rice for desserts and for viands. It's such a flexible, bland ingredient that can be mixed with anything to make yummy dishes. In the Philippines, we have glutinous rice cakes called kakanin and glutinous rice chocolaty porridge that could be eaten either hot or cold.

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Felina Margetty 4 years ago from New York, New York

Holy Moly, when I grow up I want to be just like dohn121.

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dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks everyone for commenting on my hub.

@Sun-Girl: You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

@JasonPLittleton: Thank you!

@kerlynb: Thank you for the compliment! I have a few friends here at HubPages who are also Filipino. I'm still learning about the many varieties of Filipino dishes and your comment has sure shed some light on some of them. Chocolate porridge? What's not to like? Thanks for stopping in :D

@Felina Margetty: I couldn't help to literally laugh out loud after reading your comment :D Thanks for the comment! I'm flattered for it.

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wachipisan 4 years ago

My family was introduced to sticky rice my my Vietnamese in-laws and we love it! So much so, that I need to cook enough for my niece's wedding reception. Do you have any advice for cooking large amounts of sticky rice? Enough to feed 100 people? I am planning on bagging it in serving size portions and keeping them warm in a cooler. I have cooked it before, but not this much at once! Do you know the maximum amount I can cook at once? (oz or cups )

loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

Wow......What an awesome hub. You did a great job putting this together. I learned a lot from the introduction to the end. Now I am ready to try my hand at some sweet sticky rice. Thanks for presenting such a great hub, well done indeed.

Laura 3 years ago

Ely, How funny. Lauren would love to be right there digging in the mud with him. The diterir she can get the happier she is. I love your back yard!

furtive profile image

furtive 2 years ago from Banff, AB

I was wondering if you knew where to get the plastic bags that sticky rice are often served in, or if you knew what they were called or if there was a particular brand.

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