I've been fortunate to have grown up eating rice as a staple in my household and introducing it to my American born kids. For people who are trying out new Southeast Asian cuisines, all the various type of rice varieties may be confounding, so I'm here to help you understand what the difference is between jasmine rice and sticky rice.
My plan with this post is to also include details on the types of dishes that you can cook to serve alongside both of these staple dishes, so you'll know when and where to use them during meal time.
Differences and Similarities Between Sticky Rice and Jasmine Rice
What is the main difference between jasmine rice and sticky rice?
Jasmine rice (also known as Thai fragrant rice) is a type of white rice that has a long grain and primarily grows in Southeast Asia (like Thailand). When cooked, the grains are more plump, fluffy, and tend to stick to each other. Sticky rice (also known as Thai sticky rice) is a type of glutinous rice that is generally steamed. When steamed, the grains are opaque, stick to each other, and have a gummy taste.
Jasmine rice is usually eaten with a spoon or chopsticks from a bowl. Sticky rice is often served in a community bamboo rice serving basket where everyone takes a fistful to eat from their individual plates.
What are the physical similarities and differences between jasmine rice and sticky rice?
Before being cooked, jasmine rice has a more opaque and transparent grain color whereas sticky rice has a rich white color to the grain. After being cooked or steamed, jasmine rice becomes more white whereas sticky rice becomes more opaque in color.
What are common dishes that both sticky rice and jasmine rice share?
In Southeast Asian dishes, there are not a lot dishes that sticky rice and jasmine rice share. It can often be argued that anything sticky rice can be served with as an accompaniment, it can also be used with jasmine rice. From a traditional and authentic point of view, I don't think this is accurate.
There aren't a lot of dishes that should be shared. Mainly because each of these respective types of rice grains hail from different regions.
What countries are each of these rice grains from?
Jasmine rice hails from Thailand most commonly. Sticky rice hails from Laos most commonly.
Nutritional, Cooking, and Taste Comparisons Between Sticky Rice versus Jasmine Rice
What's healthier: sticky rice or jasmine rice?
Sticky rice has 238 calories per cup whereas jasmine rice has 205 calories per cup.
Sticky Rice versus Jasmine Rice Nutrition Facts
- Total Fat: 2g versus 0.4g
- Cholesterol: 0g versus 0g
- Sodium: 290mg versus 1.6mg
- Potassium: 40mg versus 55mg
- Total Carbohyrdrates: 50g versus 45g
- Protein: 3.6g versus 4.3 g
- Glycemic Index: 86 versus 68-80
Sticky rice nutritional facts can be found here and jasmine rice nutrition facts can be found here.
What tastes better: jasmine rice or sticky rice?
Jasmine rice is a softer tasting rice with fluffy textures whereas sticky rice is more of a gummy, chewy texture. Jasmine rice is better suited for accompaniments that may be more liquid in nature whereas accompaniments with sticky rice are generally low in liquid so that you can grab it with your fingers and thumbs with the sticky rice.
What's harder to cook: jasmine rice or glutinous rice?
Glutinous sticky rice takes a little longer to took and requires a special sticky rice bamboo steamer basket. Sticky rice also requires overnight soaking (unless you make sticky rice with a pressure cooker).
Jasmine Rice - What You Need to Know
Jasmine rice is grown generally in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and southern Vietnam.
It has a slightly sweet flavor. When cook, it is soft and moist in texture.
Jasmine rice is best when it is served with stir fry, grilled meats, and braised foods.
Sticky Rice - What You Need to Know
Sticky rice (known as glutinous rice) is grown majorly in Southeast and East Asia.
It has a chewy flavor. When cooked, it is opaque in color. Glutinous rice does NOT contain gluten despite the name.
Popular dishes served with sticky rice include larb and it's use as a popular Thai dessert, sticky rice with mango.
Both jasmine rice and sticky rice are absolute staple grains in Southeast Asian cuisines. While I couldn't give you a verdict on what is better, I would implore you to try out both jasmine rice and sticky rice in your next meal. They are both supporting actors in the dishes that they are meant to accompany.
Want to learn more about sticky rice? Check out these posts:
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