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Thai Sticky Rice in your Thermomix

Image of a wooden platter with grains of cooked sticky rice.

Can you cook Sticky Rice (or Kao Niew) in the Thermomix? Sure you can, but it has to be steamed, not boiled. Thai sticky rice (being a Glutinous rice) is not the same as our normal Australian favourite rice grains. It can be hard to find in our major supermarkets in Australia, as they don’t usually stock it. But pop into your local Asian supermarket, and you’ll be sure to pick some up.

Some people love it, and some don’t.  Have you had it before? I’d love to know what you think.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

In Thailand, this rice is often used in place of bread to mop up curries or serve in any way we western folk might use bread. I particularly like it as an accompaniment to a red or green curry.  But you may have had it before as part of a sweet dish, like Mango Sticky Rice.

You need to look for a Thai brand of Glutinous rice, sometimes called “sweet rice”, even though it’s not sweet.

What does raw sticky rice look like?

A handful of raw Thai Sticky rice.
Raw Sticky Rice

This kind of rice is opaque white, rather than slightly translucent.  I was shown how to steam this rice in a traditional bamboo basket where you cook it for around 25 minutes, flipping it ½ way through the cooking process.  But you know what? It works perfectly in your Thermomix Varoma too. Yes, the Varoma. How cool is that? And no flipping is required.

Rules for cooking Thai Sticky Rice

Traditional Bamboo steamer used to cook Thai Sticky Rice.
Traditional Cooking Pot and Steaming Basket for Sticky Rice

For taste and texture, sticky rice is best soaked and then steamed rather than boiled. Traditionally it’s cooked in a bamboo basket over a steaming pot.

Rules

  1. Purchase Thailand Glutenous Rice, sometimes called “Sweet Rice.”
  2. Wash the rice.  I add it to a bowl, cover it with water, then, using my hand, swish it around and drain.  Do this 3 times, and you should be good.  If you don’t, the powdery stuff that’s among and on the rice will make your rice gluey rather than just sticky. 
  3. Soak the rice.  I like to start soaking in the morning. Try to get at least 4 hours of soaking in for best results before steaming.  You can even do it the night before if you like. But be warned, the longer you soak it, the more fragile the rice is, and it can break if you’re rough with it.  Think about what would happen to a stick of Chalk. This rice isn’t as fragile as chalk, but you know what I mean.
  4. After soaking, drain really well.  I tend to drain it in my Varoma, giving it a gentle stir after a few minutes.
  5. Leave some air holes in between the rice so the steam can come up through the Varoma, and cook the rice evenly.

More things you should know about Sticky Rice

Why do we have to soak the rice before cooking it? Washing and soaking will ensure each grain can absorb the steam evenly. This rice is chewy in texture; without soaking, you can have undercooked bits between the fully cooked rice. Nobody likes chalky bits in their rice. 😂

It’s really cool. It doesn’t matter how much rice you cook in your Varoma at once, 1 cup or 3 cups; you can use the same amount of water in the bowl below without fear.  That’s because it’s steam that is cooking the rice, so providing you have enough water and it’s boiling when you add the varoma to the top, it will take around 25 minutes, but if you have a mountain of rice in your Varoma check it after 25 mins and see if it needs longer.

Just remember it’s really filling and doesn’t keep well after cooking like other kinds of rice. So just make what you need for your current meal.

Cooked sticky rice that has gone cold, tends to go firm and a bit rubbery.  So, cook up what you need and keep it warm until serving time. You guessed it, pop it in your Thermomix Server® after cooking, and it will keep fine in there for ages.

How can you tell if your sticky rice is cooked?

Sticky rice starts off white and opaque, but it becomes translucent and glossy when it’s cooked. The best Idea is to give it a taste; you’ll be able to tell if the grains are still a little chalky and need cooking longer. You’re looking for the rice grains to be separate, still firm, but stick together when rolled/pressed between your fingers. Sticky rice has a chewy texture.

A traditional bamboo basket filled with cooked sweet Thai Sticky Rice.
A traditional serving basket that keeps the rice warm
Small Thermomix Server filled with sticky Rice.
Sticky rice in my small Thermomix Server®

Serve Sticky Rice with one of these…

Image of a wooden platter with grains of cooked sticky rice.

Thai Sticky Rice in your Thermomix

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becs-table.com.au
Traditionally made in a bamboo steamer, however if you're a Thermomix owner your Varoma is perfect for the job.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian, Thailand
Servings 2 or more
Method Thermomix

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix and Varoma

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Thai Sticky Rice see my description, it has to be the right type of rice
  • 1 litre Water, Unit measurement remains the same for 1 cup or 3 cups of rice we're using it for steaming Boiling or straight from the tap, see method

Instructions
 

  • Wash the rice 3 times in a sieve, then allow it to soak for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. *See my notes above
  • Once your rice has soaked, gently move it to your Varoma, leaving some holes through to the base so the air can circulate well. Leave this to drain; you want as much water to be drained off as possible.
  • Now either add 1litre of water to your TM bowl and set to kettle mode 100°C or boil your jug and weigh in 1 litre of boiling water.
  • Once the TM has the boiling water in it, add the Varoma to the top and set it for 25 minutes/Varoma/speed 2.5 *See Notes on time and Qty of rice.

Notes

As a rule, we make 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of Thai sticky rice per person, depending on what you will serve with it.  
I often make just under 1 cup of sticky rice for the two of us, which cooks well in 25 mins with the above method.  However, when I make 1 1/2 cups, it takes about the same time. 
If you were going to make, say, 3 cups of rice, set the TM for 20 minutes, then gently stir the grains to make sure they’re all cooking evenly, then add back those little air holes and set again; you will most likely have to cook for another 15 minutes (for a total of 35 mins), but you won’t need to add more water at this stage. 
See my notes in the post above; To know when it’s cooked through, you’re looking for all the grains to become translucent and shiny.

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