Sticky Rice with Coconut

Sticky Reice with Coconut (Photo by Charles Haynes/flickr)
Sticky Reice with Coconut (Photo by Charles Haynes/flickr)

Sticky (glutinous) rice is the ubiquitous ingredient for many of the sweet snacks enjoyed in Asia. The method of cooking it is markedly different to those used for rice which is not sticky.

Serves 4.


250 g/8 oz long grain glutinous rice,
white or black
200 ml/7 fl oz coconut milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
grated fresh coconut


Soak rice for 6-8 hours in water to cover. Drain in a colander or sieve, put rice into a heatproof dish and stir in coconut milk, sugar and salt.

Steam over boiling water for 1 hour or pressure cook at half pressure for 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle take small spoonfuls of rice and form even-sized balls. Roll in fresh coconut and serve on the same day as they do not improve with being refrigerated.

If preferred, serve with a sprinkle of toasted and roughly ground sesame seeds mixed with a good pinch of sea salt.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)