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the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
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Bai Dam-neub
Steamed Glutinous/Sticky Rice

 

 

Food_-_plate_of_rice_-_thumbnail

As you may notice, this sweet rice is called either 'Sticky rice' or 'Glutinous rice'. It is used widely in Southeast Asia.

 In Cambodia, sticky rice is mostly prepared and eaten as dessert or snack.  Whereas in Thailand and Laos, it is frequently eaten with savoury dishes such roasted chicken and green papaya salad.

Traditionally the Khmers cook sticky rice using a cooking pot or a steamer. As time passed, due to a busy lifestyle and advances in technology, people tend to prefer an easier and quicker method of cooking. The following are five different methods of cooking sticky rice. I have tried and tested them. They are:

  1. Cooking pot method
  2. Steamer method
  3. Rice-cooker method
  4. Metal sieve method                      
  5. Microwave method
     

I have tried and tested all the methods. They work very well – one is easier than another. I however prefer to use a rice-cooker. Not only does it cook perfect rice, this method is the easiest and most convenient method for cooking rice. But, if you don't have a rice-cooker, the other mothods are not all that difficult either.

Like other rice, ticky rice does not contain gluten. So, it’s an excellent choice for the coeliac/celiac people who are on a gluten free diet.

Tips: 

If you are likely to cook sticky rice again the next day, keeping half-a-cup of the soaking water from the rice, and incorporate it in the water for soaking the next day batch of rice. This way, the enzymes and good bacteria from the old soaking water will go to work and make better tasting and nicer textured rice. 

Sticky rice will become ‘stickier’ the longer it sits. So, if you want it very sticky, make it ahead of time. It can be kept in the fridge for 2 days. To reheat, sprinkle it with some water and place in the steamer or microwave. 

Wet the fork or the chopsticks first before using it to fluff the rice. This will minimize the rice from sticking to them. 

Should you prefer a creamier taste, substitute ½ cup of coconut cream for water (i.e. if the recipe calls for 2 cups of water, then use 1½ cup of water + ½ cup coconut cream). This will also give the rice a better texture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 2 

Foreword Note: (it is important to read this before continuing)

As already mentioned on the left, there are 5 methods of cooking sticky rice. Whatever method you are using, the rice has to be washed and soaked first

1. Use a big bowl to put the rice in and add plenty of water. Over the sink, stir it by hand for a few seconds to allow the rice to settle down to the bottom and the dirt to float up; and tilt the bowl to one side to rinse off the cloudy water and unwanted bits of dirt. Repeat the same process one  more time. 

2. Then soak the rice in plenty of water for at least 3 hours or overnight. The water should be at least 2 cm/1 inch above the rice. 

Please note that if you need to cook more than 1 cup of sticky rice, as a rule of thumb, normal measurements for all the methods will always be: equal part of sticky rice with equal part of water. For example, if you need to cook 3 cups of uncooked sticky rice (before soaking), you will need 3 cups of water. The cooking instructions remain the same though the cooking time will be a few minutes longer. And of course, a bigger pot / steamer will be required. 


Cooking-Pot Method:

Ingredients: 

Sticky / glutinous / sweet rice 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Salt 1 pinch
Small heavy base cooking pot around 15 cm/6 inch diameter

Method:

3. Wash and soakthe rice – see the note above. Drain the soaked rice using a sieve. 

4. Transfer it to the cooking pot. Add water and saltand stir to mix. Partly cover and bring to the boil over a medium high heat about 4-5 minutes. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. 

5. Turn the heat to the lowest setting possible. Close the lid tightly so no steam can escape. Continue to simmer for another 5-8 minutes. Then take the pot off the heat completely. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so. The rice is cooked when it becomes translucent. Use a fork or a pair of chopsticks to fluff the rice.

Steamer Method:

 Ingredients:

Sticky / glutinous / sweet rice 1 cup
Water enough to fill the steamer up to 5 cm/2 inch
Salt 1 pinch
Steamer ** and Muslin cloth 

3. Wash and soakthe rice – see the note above. Drain the soaked rice using a sieve. Sprinkle the drained rice with salt and mix well.

4. Bring the water in the steamer to the boil over medium heat.

5. Remove the tray/rack from the steamer, and then line it with a piece of wet muslin cloth leaving the edges hanging over the rim of the tray.

6. Transfer the rice to the muslin lined tray/rack. Spread it evenly (It is best to keep the rice mound no higher than 5 cm/2 inch*). Cover the rice with the edges of the muslin cloth.

8. Replace the tray/rack on/in to the steamer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is translucent. Check half way through cooking, use a fork to turn the rice over to ensure that it cooks evenly. Also check that the water doesn’t run dry and top it up with boiling water if necessary. Once cooked, use a fork or a pair of chopsticks to fluff the rice.

* Depending on the size of your steamer and the amount of rice you cook, you may need to do it in a few batches.

** Bamboo steamer can also be used by placing it in a large wok, is better than a stainless steel one. Somehow, it cooks more evenly and imparts a subtle flavour to the rice.


Rice Cooker Method:

Ingredients:
 

Sticky / glutinous / sweet rice 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Salt 1 pinch
Rice cooker  

3. Wash the rice – see the note above. Unlike other methods, rice should not be soaked more than 3 hours. Drain the soaked rice using a sieve.

4. Transfer the well drained rice to the rice cooker. Add the water and salt and stir well. Cover and turn the rice cooker on.

5. When the rice cooker automatically switches off (after 15-20 minutes), let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes. The rice is cooked when it is translucent. Fluff it up with a fork or a pair of chopsticks.

 Metal Sieve Method:

Ingredients:

Sticky / glutinous / sweet rice 1 cup
Water enough for filling the pot to 5 cm / 2 inch
Salt 1 pinch
Metal sieve* whatever size available as long as it big enough to hold the soaked rice
Cooking pot – a bit bigger thant the sieve
Kitchen towels / papers

This is a practicalmethod for students or people with a limited number of kitchen utensils.

3. Wash and soakthe rice – see the note above. Drain the soaked rice using the sieve. Sprinkle the rice with salt and mix well.

4. Fill the pot with water up to 5 cm/ 2 inch. Over medium heat, gradually bring to the boil . Make sure that the water does not touch the rice.

5. Slot the sieve in the pot, cover the pot with a wet T-towel or kitchen papers to make a tighter fit for the lid. Cook for 25 minutes or until cooked - when the rice is translucent. Half way through steaming, use a fork to turn the rice over to ensure even cooking. Also check the level of the water in the pot – top it with boiling water if necessary. Fluff the rice with a fork or a pair of chopsticks. 

* A metal splatter guard can be a good substitute. However, as it is flat as a plate, you will need a big dome shape metal bowl or an inverted pot to use as cover. The pot can be any size – as long as the splatter guard can sit steadily on top; and the metal bowl is smaller than or the same size of as the pot opening and doesn’t touch the rice.


Microwave Method:

Ingredients:

Sticky / glutinous / sweet rice 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Salt 1 pinch
Glass bowl & a non-metallic plate
Microwave - mine has 800W-D power(cooking time may vary depending on the power of your microwave) 

3. Wash and soakthe rice – see the note above. Drain the soaked rice using a sieve.

4. Transfer the well drained rice to a glass bowl. Add water and salt and stir well. Cover with the plate and turn the microwave on to full/high for 3 minutes.

5. Then take the bowl out, use a fork to stir the rice around so it will be cooked evenly. Replace the bowl in the microware, cook for a further 3 minutes.

6. Repeat the above process one more time. After 9 minutes of cooking, the rice should now be cooked – when it turns translucent.  If not, depending on the power of your microwave, cook for a further minute or so. Once cooked, fluff it with a fork or a pair of chopsticks.