Thai Sticky Rice: A Sweet and Savory Delight for your Plate

Embark on a journey into the vibrant world of Thai cuisine and uncover the unique delight of Thai Sticky Rice, also known as “khao niew” in Thai. This versatile and beloved staple dish can be relished as a dessert or a side dish alongside savory accompaniments. With its distinctive texture and captivating flavors, Thai Sticky Rice has won the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts around the globe. In this recipe guide, we’ll guide you through the art of preparing this traditional Thai favorite, from selecting the perfect rice to crafting a sweet or savory masterpiece that will undoubtedly make a lasting impression.


Sticky Rice:
  • 2 cups glutinous rice (also called sticky rice)
  • Water for soaking and steaming
  • Banana leaves or parchment paper (optional for steaming)
For Sweet Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Sangkaya):
  • 1 batch of cooked sticky rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Fresh mango slices or other tropical fruits
For Savory Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Moo Ping):
  • 1 batch of cooked sticky rice
  • Grilled or barbecued pork skewers (moo ping)
  • Sweet chili sauce or nam jim jaew (Thai dipping sauce)
  • Fresh cucumber slices


1. Preparing Sticky Rice
  • Begin by rinsing the glutinous rice in cold water several times until the water runs clear.
  • Soak the rice in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. This is a necessary procedure for getting the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the soaked rice to a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves or parchment paper.
2. Steaming Sticky Rice
  • Place the bamboo steamer over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the rice doesn’t touch the water directly.
  • Cover the rice with a lid or another layer of banana leaves and steam for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked.
3. Sweet Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Sangkaya)
  • Put the coconut milk, sugar, and a little salt into a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring the contents to a simmer over medium heat, where the sugar will dissolve.
  • Gently fold the cooked sticky rice into the coconut milk mixture, allowing the rice to absorb the flavors and become creamy.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature sweet sticky rice, topped with fresh mango slices or your favorite tropical fruits.
4. Savory Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Moo Ping)
  • Prepare the grilled or barbecued pork skewers (moo ping) according to your preferred recipe, or purchase them pre-made.
  • Serve the cooked sticky rice alongside the pork skewers.
  • Provide sweet chili sauce or nam jim jaew as a dipping sauce for the pork.
  • Accompany the dish with fresh cucumber slices for a refreshing contrast to the savory flavors.
5. Savoring the Flavors of Thailand
  • With your Thai Sticky Rice dish prepared and presented, it’s time to savor the unique blend of textures and tastes that define this traditional treat.

Thai Sticky Rice is more than just a dish; it reflects Thai culture and is a canvas for creative culinary exploration. By following this recipe, you’re not just cooking a meal; you’re embarking on a journey into the heart of Thailand’s culinary traditions. Whether you’re relishing the sweetness of khao niew sangkaya or the savory allure of khao niew moo ping, Thai Sticky Rice promises to transport you to the bustling streets and vibrant markets of Thailand, where flavors and memories are created with every mouthful. So, gather your ingredients, immerse yourself in the magic of Thai cuisine, and enjoy the delightful experience of crafting and enjoying Thai Sticky Rice that’s authentically delicious and satisfying.

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