Laotian sticky rice called khao niew is the base of every meal. It is ubiquitous there. Sticky rice is made from a glutinous rice that has a higher sugar content that regular rice which makes it sticky when steamed. Although it is from a glutinous rice it is actually gluten free. They serve this rice in individual little bamboo baskets called lao aep khao. It has a lid to keep it warm. The traditional way to make the rice is in a bamboo basket that is placed over a pot and then covered with a lid. I was able to get the setup on Amazon as I wanted to make sure it was authentic as possible. The rice is flipped over in the bamboo basket and never touches the water. It does not expand like regular rice does and it must be soaked overnight to get it right. The rice is called sweet rice or sticky rice and usually you will find it from Thailand. Any other rice is not sticky rice and would not be authentic. They take the sticky rice and make small balls with it and then dip it in any number of sauces or use it as a scoop sort of like a spoon to pick up meats and things. They always dip one piece of sticky rice in chili sauce or eggplant dip, to begin a meal. If you don’t have the bamboo basket set up, you can use a steamer basket with cheese cloth and get a near perfect result. Enjoy!
Laotian Sticky Rice (Khao Niew)
- 2 cups of sticky rice about 1/2 cup per serving
- water for cooking
- Put the rice in a bowl and cover with water, let it soak overnight
- Drain the rice and rinse with cold water a couple times
- Put water in the pot and bring to a boil
- Place the rice in the bamboo basket and set it on top of the pot making sure the basket is not in the water.
- Cook for 15 minutes and then holding the sides of the basket flip the rice over like you would flip an omelette. In one swift movement.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes
- put the rice in individual bamboo baskets or in a bowl and serve hot.
- The rice will be sticky and tender. Use a wooden spoon to serve.
- Note: if you are using a steamer basket instead of the specially made bamboo basket, do the same thing except place the rice in some cheesecloth, so you can flip it over.