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+ servings

Sticky Rice (Khao Niew)

Cuisine Lao, Thai
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people



  1. Add rice to a bowl and wash until the water run clears.

  2. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the rice and soak for at least 4 hours to overnight.

  3. Bamboo steamer basket and pot: fill pot with water making sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the steam basket. Add rice to bamboo steamer basket, place basket on pot, cover with a small lid, steam for 20-30 minutes flipping a little over halfway through. To flip rice: hold the sides of basket and flip the rice over like you would eggs.

  4. Cheesecloth or tea towel method: after soaking your rice, drain the it, place it on the cheesecloth or tea towel and fold the cloth over the rice to cover it. If you have a steamer pot, bring the water to a boil, add the cheesecloth to the top pot, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender but not overcooked.

  5. A mesh strainer method: bring a pot of water to a boil (you want to make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of your strainer), add soaked rice into a large strainer (make sure the holes in your strainer are fine) that will fit your pot, place strain on top of the pot, cover and steam for 20-30 minutes flipping the rice halfway through with a spatula.

  6. Stovetop method: add a colander to a large pot, add water until it barely reaches the bottom of the colander, add rice to colander, cover, and steam for 20-30 minutes flipping the rice halfway through with a spatula.

  7. Instant Pot method: add one cup of water to the Instant Pot, make sure water isn't going to touch the rice (use the trivet if you need to), place a colander or steamer that will fit inside the pot, add the rice, close the lid, seal it, and cook the rice on high pressure for 12 minutes. Let it natural release for 10 minutes.

  8. All methods: remove rice, place on a flat surface, fluff rice with a spatula, and then place in container.