How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker – The Beginners Guide

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker

If you’re wondering how to cook sticky rice in a rice cooker in this post you will find everything you need to know. Sticky rice is also called glutinous rice. If you’re unfamiliar with different types of rice, hearing the term glutinous rice might compel you to stay away from it.

It sounds full of gluten – and if you have or want to try a gluten-free diet – you might think that this is prohibited. But do not be fooled! Glutinous rice is actually gluten-free.

Sticky rice, also termed glutinous rice because of its glue-like texture once cooked, ranges from medium, short, to round-grain. It is grown in Southeast and East Asia and is highly popular in Thailand, Laos, and China.

It is used in different types of dishes, not only for salty, savory viands, but also for sweet desserts. That’s why sticky rice is also called sweet rice – not because it is naturally sweet-tasting, but because of its popularity in being used for desserts and served as a “sweet rice”.

What Makes This Rice Sticky

Rice contains starch that typically has these two components: amylose and amyloceptin. The stickiness of rice depends on the proportion of these two starches. The lower the amylose content, the stickier the rice gets – and sticky rice has almost 0% amylose.

Long-grained rice contains more amylose (around 19-23%) and is therefore not sticky once cooked. Examples of long grained rice are Jasmine and Basmati rice, curious how they differ? Know how here – what is the difference between jasmine and basmati rice.

Sticky Rice Dishes

As mentioned earlier, sticky rice is highly popular in Asia. Its unique sticky, texture though has captivated the taste buds of people not only in Asia but also around the world. Sticky rice (or glutinous rice or sweet rice) can easily be obtained at big supermarkets or Asian food markets. Sticky rice usually comes in white but it can range from shades of purple to brown, and to black.

Featured below are some Asian dishes that use sticky rice.

Pearl Meatball (China)

Pearl Meatball

It’s a Chinese traditional dish which is very tasty and easy to do. This is also a great example to show how you can use sticky rice.

A mixture of ground pork and vegetables seasoned with wine, soy sauce, garlic, onions, ginger, black pepper, and salt are coated with sticky rice on the outside. Perfect for holidays, dinner parties, or even as a snack.

Mango Sticky Rice dessert (Thailand)

mango sticky rice

This is a very popular type of dessert in Thailand. If you usually eat porridge for breakfast, this simple dish can be a great alternative. Moreover, mango with sticky rice will give you a large dose of energy.

Sweetened coconut milk mixed with sticky rice, mango, and sesame seeds. Can be served hot or cold!

Peanut Sticky Rice (Vietnam)

A simple mixture of sticky rice and peanuts cooked together topped with more roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.

In the video below, you have a great recipe how to make peanut sticky rice.

Now that you’re familiar with some dishes, you must be curious how to cook sticky rice. Look no further! Below we have a step-by-step procedure on how to cook sticky rice in the traditional way and by using a Cuckoo CR-0631F rice cooker which is on our list of top rice cookers.

How to Cook Sticky Rice the Traditional (Stove Top) Way

Before diving into making sticky rice dishes, it’s best to learn the most basic thing first: knowing how to actually cook sticky rice. First off, you need to buy the correct type of rice. This is not just any white rice, buy one labeled either of the following: “Sticky rice,” “Glutinous rice,” “Sweet rice,” or depending on your location it may also be labeled as “Mochi rice” or “Waxy rice.”

Compared to common white rice, sticky rice requires less water when cooked. The old-fashioned way of preparing sticky rice is through steaming, but it can also be cooked through boiling. Below we will cover how to cook sticky rice the quicker, easier way – through boiling.

The Procedure of Cooking Sticky Rice in a Traditional Way

You will need:

  • Pot with cover
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 3 1/2 cups of water (you can also use stock)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fork


  1. Pour 2 cups of rice and 3 1/2 cups of water into the pot. Stir then soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer you soak, the better the flavor.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp of salt then stir.
  3. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, turn heat down to a medium-low and partly cover the pot. Leave the rice undisturbed for 10 minutes and let it simmer.
  5. Using a fork, pull the rice away from the center to the side to check if all the water has been absorbed by the rice. If there is still water, continue cooking.
  6. Once all water has been absorbed, remove pot from heat and put the lid on securely.
  7. Let rice stand for 10 minutes.
    • The longer it sits, the stickier it gets
  8. Remove lid and serve the rice.

Cooking sticky rice traditionally and getting perfect results will require skills honed only through repeated practice. If you don’t get it the first time just try again. If it’s too much of a hassle for you or if you’re not comfortable with cooking – then you can buy a rice cooker that will do the job for you.

Having a rice cooker will bring out the right texture and flavor of sticky rice. It will allow you to cook various types of rice – not only sticky rice – without the risk of it being undercooked or overcooked.

No rice cooker yet? If you want to know how to use rice cooker, check out this simple guide.

How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker – Cuckoo CR-0631F

You will need:

How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker Cuckoo CR-0631F
  • 2 cups of rice
  • Water
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Take out the rice cooker’s inner pot and place on a level surface.
  2. Using the measuring cup that goes with the Cuckoo CR-0631F rice cooker, measure 2 cups of sticky rice and pour into the rice cooker’s inner pot.
  3. Pour water in the inner pot until it reaches water level “2” on the inner pot’s “glutinous” measuring scale. Stir rice.
  4. Wipe the exterior of the inner pot and the interior of the rice cooker’s main body. Completely insert the inner pot back into the rice cooker’s main body carefully and close the lid.
  5. Soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer you soak, the better the flavor but don’t soak for more than 4 hours.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp of salt then stir.
  7. Plug in the rice cooker and close the lid. Make sure there is nothing covering the steam outlet and that there is no water residue outside the rice cooker.
  8. Press the Menu button repeatedly until it selects GLUTINOUS.
  9. Press the Cook/Turbo button
    • Time remaining until rice is cooked will be displayed on the screen.
    • Do not open the lid while rice is cooking
  10. Once finished, the Cuckoo CR-0631F rice cooker will make beeping sounds and it will automatically change to Keep Warm function.
  11. Let rice stand for at least 5 minutes.
    • The longer it sits the stickier it gets
  12. Serve!
    • Make sure to unplug the rice cooker once done using

No rice cooker yet? We’ve saved you the trouble of picking out from hundreds of models and brands! Check out our best rice cookers list.


Congratulations! I hope you already know how to cook sicky rice in a rice cooker and much more. No need to stand in front of it during the whole process, or anticipate its boiling time.

Now you can impress your family and friends with your finesse in preparing sticky rice. You can make one of the dishes we mentioned above or experiment with sticky rice on your own and let your taste buds explore.

Although sticky rice is not as popular in the Western World, it does not mean that you should be afraid to give it a try. You can prepare sticky rice for breakfast or eat it as a sweet snack in the afternoon – it’s not common for rice to be used for dessert so be adventurous and give it a go. With practice, you can learn how to cook it stove-top or you can use a rice cooker to prepare it conveniently.

Do you have comments? Suggestions? Recipes you want to share? Leave them all below! We might even feature your suggestions in the future!