How to make Sticky Rice

Learn how to make Sticky Rice in a microwave oven! This easy glutinous rice recipe will be your go-to side dish to accompany all your Asian dishes.

A plate with sticky rice with chopsticks on the side.

Glutinous Rice Recipe

Is rice a staple in your house? It is in mine!

It’s an easy side dish that we’ll eat with dishes like this Asparagus and Shrimp Stir Fry, Shrimp in Coconut Sauce, chili, Kalua Pork or any other main dish that we want to add a starch to.

Long, short, medium grains, brown, jasmine, basmati, so many variations!

But have you noticed that when you go to an Asian restaurant the rice isn’t light and fluffy, it’s sticky from the gluten!

How to make Sticky Rice - The Foodie Affair

When I first started cooking I thought that making rice in large quantities must yield rice that clumps together, a result of not getting the water and rice ratio correct.


Sticky rice is prepared in a manner that releases the starch molecules so you get the soft and sticky rice texture.

How to make Sticky Rice - The Foodie Affair

Steps To Make Sticky Rice

The technique is easy, but you do need to make sure you have time to let the rice soak in water (at least for an hour), and be sure to use short-grain rice.

I bought sticky rice at an Asian store, but I’ve noticed that my regular grocery store sells rice packaged with the tittle “sushi rice” and that is the same short-grain rice I bought.

I really don’t know the science behind getting rice to the sticky point (heehee!), but I made perfect rice the first time I cooked it.

In the microwave it only took a mere 6 minutes, and I’m sure this can also be mastered on a stovetop.

Either way, follow a couple of key steps; clean the rice with warm water several times, and cook the rice in boiling water.

How to make Sticky Rice - The Foodie Affair

Not only can you put your prepared rice in a mold that will hold the shape beautifully when plated, but you can also master your chopstick skills!

Grab a little rice, and a nice bite size chunk will stick together.

No eating one rice kernel at a time!

How to make Sticky Rice - The Foodie Affair

What To Serve With Sticky Rice

This rice is delicious with just a sprinkle of seaweed and sesame seeds, but I think you’ll also enjoy these dishes;

How to make Sticky Rice - The Foodie Affair

Looking For More Rice Dishes?

For all your Latin dishes be sure to make my Spanish Rice!

Easy Spanish rice recipe made in a skillet in 20 minutes! Enjoy with all your Latin dishes #rice #spanish #Mexican #sidedish #easyrecipe
Sticky rice in a blue and white bowl

How to make Sticky Rice

This is the same rice you get from an Asian restaurant. Make this glutinous sticky at home using a microwave and add to all your favorite dishes.
4.59 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian, rice, side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • Put one cup of rice in a bowl and add warm water covering the rice by 1/2″. Swish with fingers releasing the white milk gluten, and then drain water. Repeat the rinsing process until water is clear (may take 3-4 times). Add warm water to bowl one final time and let sit for at least an hour. Drain water and add 1 cup of boiling water to the rice. Cover bowl with a tight fitted lid and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir rice with a fork ensuring all pieces are evenly moist. Place lid back on the microwaveable bowl and cook on high for an additional 3 minutes. Season with seaweed, soy sauce. Enjoy!


Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 3mg


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

I learned the technique to this reccipe by following this How to make Sticky Rice video.


Learn how to make sticky rice in a microwave oven, and then add this glutinous rice recipe to all your favorite Asian dishes.  #rice #microwave #stickyrice #glutinous #sidedish #Asian
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4.59 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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  1. Actually…the way you are doing it is way to complicated. The asian way of making it is to steam it for 20-30 minutes (in a rice steamer on the stove)!
    It’s a lot simpler and tastes better!

  2. This looks sooo delicious! What a neat trick – we are huge rice fans, and chopstick fans, and I never thought to do this. I will definitely be trying this recipe out!

    1. I never really new why some people rinsed their rice, but in the video it’s mentioned that rinsing also removes some calories too. I’ll be rinsing forever more now that I know that tidbit 🙂

  3. I am guessing when you refer to sticky rice you are referring to short grain rice cooked to clumped together and not glutinous rice which is also referred to as sticky rice.

  4. Hello Sandra, we have “Sticky rice” or as we call this glutinous rice in Asia. We use this for making many desserts and also wrapped up in coconut leaves with savoury fillings or my favourite is mango sticky rice.

    1. Yes, I have since seen some sweet recipes using this type of rice, and just mentioned the mango sticky rice recipe in my comment to Renee. I’m excited to experiment more with it! Maybe you have a few recipes I can try?