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How to Make Thai Sticky Rice - Uttam Sheth's Blog

We’re about to learn how to make Thai sticky rice. - eatingthaifood.com
But first, let me first tell you a story…


Before I ever came to Thailand when I was in university, I sometimes went to a Thai restaurant in the US, and I would order green curry along with Thai sticky rice.
I can’t remember exactly how I would eat it, but I think I would just take some of the green curries, put it onto my sticky rice, and eat it off my plate using a fork.
Fast forward 10 years, after living in Thailand for years now, and learning so much about the food, I sometimes look back on that story, and I have to chuckle at myself.
Why?
Because in Thailand, eating green curry with sticky rice, just doesn’t go together; Most Thais would not even think of eating that combination.
Green curry is eaten with regular steamed rice. The reason is, green curry originates from the central region of Thailand, where regular rice is the staple.
Sticky rice originates from the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand, and green curry is not part of the local food culture.
Now let’s move into sticky rice…

Sticky rice is likely something you think about when you think about Thai food.
And there’s a good reason for that, sticky rice is one of the major staples of Thai cuisine… that is, in certain regions of Thailand (we’ll go over that in detail in this post).
Sticky rice in Thailand is eaten as a staple starch – the main filler of a meal, it’s also eaten as a snack along with something salty like grilled meat, and it’s also an important ingredient in many Thai desserts.
In this post, I’m not only going to explain to you how to make Thai sticky rice, but I’m also going to offer a bit of information about the culture of eating sticky rice and how it’s eaten in Thailand.
First, what is sticky rice?
In Thai, sticky rice is called khao neow (ข้าวเหนียว), which literally means rice sticky.
Sticky rice is a type of rice that is extremely sticky – in fact when you pick it up with your fingers, it will stick to your fingers.
The grains are glutinous, like tiny little gummy worms (it’s not sweet of course, but that’s closest texture I can think of).
But why is it so sticky?
This article by The Kitchn explains that all rice is made up of two different parts of starch components: amylose and amylopectin. Now, I don’t really begin to know what each really is, but sticky rice contains almost zero amylose and all amylopectin, and that’s the reason it’s sticky.
When you look at raw sticky rice, it looks almost the same as normal long grain rice, but you’ll notice the color is whiter and milky – it’s not transparent at all.
In Thailand, sticky rice is considered a serious energy food. And many people often think that if you’re feeling sleepy or need a nap, you may have eaten too much sticky rice (this is a joke, but I have heard many Thais use it)!
But there is a point to it – Thai sticky rice is higher in calories and takes longer to digest than regular rice. That’s one of the reasons why eating sticky rice is so common for farmers and laborers in Thailand – to have lasting energy.


That energy can either be used to burn as you work or if you don’t have any work, it just makes you sleepy.
I’m here to tell you, if you eat a bunch of sticky rice, you may feel the need to take a nap!

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