Basic Sticky Rice
- 3 cups long-grain Thai sticky rice
Soak the rice in a container that holds at least twice the volume of rice: Cover the rice with 2 to 3 inches of room-temperature water and soak for 6 to 24 hours. If you need to shorten the soaking time, soak the rice in warm (about 100 degree) water for 2 hours. The longer soak gives more flavor and a more even, tender texture, but the rice is perfectly edible with the shorter soak in warm water.
Drain the rice and place in a steamer basket. Set the steamer basket over several inches of boiling water in a large pot or a wok. The rice must not be in or touching the boiling water. Cover and steam for 25 minutes, or until the rice is shiny and tender. Turn the rice over after about 20 minutes, so the top layer is on the bottom. Be careful that your pot doesn't run dry during steaming; add more water if necessary, making sure to keep it from touching the rice.
Turn the cooked rice out onto a clean work surface. Use a long-handled wooden spoon to flatten it out a little, then turn it over on itself, first from one side, then from the other, a little like folding over dough as you knead. This helps get rid of any clumps; after several foldings, the rice will be an even round lump. Place it in a covered basket or in a serving bowl covered by a damp cloth or a lid. Serve warm or at room temperature, directly from the basket or bowl. The rice will dry out if exposed to the air for long as it cools, so keep covered until serving.
Recipe courtesy Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid