Savory Thai Sticky Rice

Recipe by diner524
READY IN: 40mins


  • 2
    cups thai sticky rice, soaked in 31/2 cups water (also called Thai "sweet rice")
  • 3 -4
    slices bacon (or Thai sausage if you can find it)
  • 13
    cup shallot, diced (or purple onion)
  • 1
    cup shiitake mushroom, diced
  • 1
    teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1
    red chili, de-seeded and minced (OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (omit for mild rice)
  • 1 12
    tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 12
    teaspoons dark soy sauce (OR 2 Tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1
    tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3
    green onions, finely sliced
  • 1
    bunch banana leaf, thawed if frozen (OR bamboo leaves or cheesecloth)


  • Soak 2 cups sweet (sticky) rice in 3-4 cups water, or enough so water exceeds the rice by at least 1 inch. Soak for at least 40 minutes (if you lose track of time, it's no problem - sticky rice can soak up to 4 hours or longer). Note: Sweet rice has a hard outer shell that needs to soften before it can be cooked.
  • While rice is soaking, prepare your steamer. Line a bamboo steamer or colander with 2 layers of banana/bamboo leaf, OR use cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen cloth. To clean and thaw the leaf (if frozen), rinse under hot water. Cut the leaf large enough that it extends over the top. Place steamer over a large pot, and have a tight-fitting lid ready.
  • Place bacon in a large frying pan/wok together with 1-2 tablespoons water. Fry over medium-high heat until cooked (chewy, not crisp). Remove from heat, leaving all or half the fat in the frying pan.
  • Remove bacon from the pan and cut into small pieces (I use a clean pair of scissors for this, like they do in Asia - much faster and easier than a knife!). Place it back in the frying pan.
  • Also add to the frying pan the shallots or onion, mushrooms, garlic, and chili. Return to medium-high heat and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. If your pan becomes dry, add a little water (1-2 Tbsp.).
  • Turn heat to low. Add the drained sticky rice, plus the fish sauce and soy sauces. Also add half the green onion. Stir until the color of the rice has consistently darkened . Remove from heat.
  • Transfer the rice from the frying pan into your prepared steamer. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of water in the pot. Cover with the lid and steam over high heat for 30-35 minutes. (You may have to add more water to your steamer partway through.).
  • After 30 minutes, remove from heat. Allow to sit (with lid on) for 5 minutes. The rice should be soft, sticky, and slightly translucent. If there are any hard grains, steam 5 minutes longer. (Dig down into the middle of the rice when testing for "done-ness".).
  • Taste-test the rice for salt. Sprinkle over a little more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. If too salty, add a sqeeze of lime juice. Gently stir rice with a fork or chopsticks to mix inches.
  • To serve, slide the banana/bamboo leaf directly onto a serving plate. Or, if you want to pretty it up, line a serving bowl or plate with a fresh banana leaf. Mound the rice on top and sprinkle with remaining spring onion (add optional garnishes too if desired). ENJOY!