Photo with cooked sticky rice using a rice cooker basket insert with great results

Best Way to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker (Basket Insert Method)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: how to cook sticky rice, steaming stick rice, sticky rice, thai glutinous rice, thai sticky rice
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Phasinee Doddeo
Cost: $1.50
How to cook sticky rice in a rice cooker with excellent results.
Even though your rice cooker may have its own program for cooking sticky rice or glutinous rice, we are confident using a microwave rice basket will give much better results. Please compare for yourself as we obviously cannot test every rice cooker's generic performance.
Print Recipe


  • Standard Size Rice Cooker


  • 2 cups Glutinous Rice
  • 1 bunch Pandanus Leaves adds aroma to steam
  • 1 pints Fresh Water


Washing the Sticky Rice

  • The sticky rice needs washing first so place your glutinous rice in a large bowl and put in lots of tap water - at least double the height of the rice in the bowl. Wiggle your fingers around in the rice like you are tickling it and the water will go cloudy.
  • Drain off that water and repeat with more water, more tickling and then drain. Repeat the washing process 3-4 times until the water is fairly clear.

Soaking the Sticky Rice

  • Place the washed sticky rice in a bowl and cover with water - enough to cover plus 1 inch.
  • Leave to soak for 2 hours or 4-5 hours if using old crop glutinous rice. If you use unpolished rice such as black rice then soak no longer than 4 hours as it will start to go bad. Most rice bought in stores is new crop rice.

Setting up The Rice Cooker

  • Look at the bottom of the rice cooker insert basket from the base to the underside of the bottom where the rice sits. Add in enough water to rise up halfway to the underside of the basket and no more. Do not use too much water (or too little) as the rice will end up either soggy (too much water touching the rice) or not cooked (too little water).
  • Place your rice in the basket using a muslin cloth if necessary should the gaps in the bamboo be too large. The muslin also makes it easy to get the cooked rice out later.
  • Close the lid of the rice cooker and set to cook for normal rice - note do not set for any specific glutinous rice program - just set as for cooking regular rice.

A Little Fluffing

  • After the program is finished the rice cooker should set itself to warm. You can remove the rice on return a little later. Not too long though as the rice will start to dry out after twenty minutes or so of being cooked.
  • Take the rice out of the basket and set on a flat surface, spreading out the rice with a fork to release any trapped steam. Gather up the rice and place in individual rice baskets for serving or a larger bowl.


If this is the first time you have used the steaming basket then you should wash with washing up liquid and rinse with clean water.
Then either place in a large saucepan of boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes to clean or run thorugh the microwave cooking sequence once with water but without rice.
This will remove any dirt and impurities before use and condition the basket for use.
Some baskets have quite large holes between the bamboo. For these use a single layer of muslin cloth to line the basket into which you put the rice whilst folding over any excess.
This muslin cloth can also be used to keep the sticky rice moist until ready for use. Sticky rice dries out quite rapidly if left uncovered.


Serving: 25g | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg