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Simple Recipe to Make Sticky Rice in Microwave – Thai Sweet Rice

If you are wanting a quick and simple way to an easy recipe to microwave sticky rice, I’m going to share with you this cheater recipe on how to do just that.

Traditionally, when making authentic Thai sticky rice, it is generally steamed in a bamboo steamer in an aluminum pot for half an hour. However, we all know that for some of us westerners, we may not want to have kitchenware for a single recipe that takes up a lot of room.

For the best tasting sticky rice, steaming is the way to go.

If you are short on time and don’t mind giving up a small once of texture, making sticky rice in the microwave might be a great alternative to buying a bamboo steamer basket.

how to microwave sticky rice

About Sticky Rice

Sticky rice is known by a few monikers like:

  • Khao Niew
  • Thai Sweet Rice
  • Thai Sticky Rice
  • Sweet Sticky Rice
  • Glutinous Rice

In addition, there are a lot of different desserts that use sticky rice as a base, like mango with coconut sticky rice.

If you want to know the physical difference, below is a photo of sticky rice versus jasmine rice. It has a deeper white color than that of jasmine rice opaque coloration.

glutinous rice microwave

Problem with Traditional Method of Steaming Sticky Rice

Steaming sticky rice requires you to have a special bamboo basket and aluminum pot set for making it. In addition, the traditional method requires at minimum 4 hours of soak time in order for the rice to expand and soak in the moisture (which then provides that sticky, gummy texture everyone loves).

microwave sticky rice recipe

All About Microwaving Thai Sweet Sticky Rice

Microwaving sticky rice saves you from having to take up pantry room for the big bamboo basket and pot along with a few hours of time savings. 

There are some recipes I’ve found on the internet that say that you can soak it for less than 15 minutes, but I really don’t think that works. You need to soak the rice so that the water can expand the rice grains and allow for it to expand when steaming, which provides that sticky, gooey, and delicious chewy texture that sticky rice is known for.

If you do plan on microwaving sticky rice, it is very important that you get a microwave safe bowl along with a microwave safe lid or cover that has a vent. The reason why is because you’ll be microwaving this for 7 minutes straight. For those who have used a microwave before, that is a pretty long time to be cooking something at full power!

If you are craving Thai sticky rice without having to go to your local Thai restaurant, below is the recipe and instructions on how to achieve delicious sticky rice that you can make right at home.

How to Cook Thai Sticky Rice in the Microwave

Ingredients for Sticky Rice

  • Thai Sweet Sticky Rice
  • Water

Instructions for Making Sticky Rice in the Microwave

Wash off the impurities, and soak the rice in water.

  1. Using a large bowl, place the amount of sticky rice you want to make into the bowl and pour in cold water. Using your palms, take the sticky rice and roughly rub the rice in your hands to remove the impurities from the rice.
  2. Drain the cloudy water out, refresh the water again, and rub the rice. Do this action a couple of times until the rice runs clear. 
  3. This action prevents the rice from getting too mushy from the starch residue from the rice before it is washed.
  4. Allow the rice to soak for at least two hours.

Preparing to Microwave

  1. Find a microwave-safe bowl along with a microwave-safe plastic wrap. You’ll want to ensure that the lid or plastic wrap either has a slip or will allow you to partially cover the bowl during microwaving without stopping.

First Phase of Cooking in the Microwave

  1. Drain the rice and put it in a microwave safe bowl. 
  2. Cover the rice with hot, boiling water in the microwave bowl with just enough water to cover the rice.
  3. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid with a slit or microwave-safe plastic wrap with a slit to allow all the steam from escaping, but not allow pressure to build up in the bowl.
  4. Microwave on full power for 7 minutes.

Second Phase of Cooking in the Microwave

  1. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave with oven mitts because the bowl will be very hot.
  2. Remove the lid or plastic carefully, tilting the bowl away from your face to ensure the steam does not blow into your face.
  3. Using a spatula or a fork, mix the rice together as well as fluff the rice up to increase air circulation around the rice grains.
  4. Put it back into the bowl with the lid or plastic wrap and heat it at full power for an additional 3 minutes.

Preparing the Sticky Rice from Microwave

  1. Carefully remove the hot bowl from the microwave with oven-safe mitts and take the lid off tilting the bowl away from you.
  2. Put the rice onto a clean flat surface (preferably using a cooking Teflon matt) to allow the steam to escape and allow moisture to spread across all the different rice grains.
  3. Add the rice to a sticky bamboo rice basket or serving bowl and serve with your favorite delicious Thai dish or Lao dish!

microwave sticky rice

Serving Sticky Rice

Sticky rice can be served by itself, but it’s often served with other entrees like larb gai and green Thai papaya salad.

Summary for Microwave Sticky Rice

While sticky rice is absolutely delicious when done authentically via a bamboo steamer, sticky rice in the microwave isn’t all that bad and it’s fast to make. Making use of modern technology like a microwave is supposed to help all of us save time, and I know that this will definitely allow you to save a ton of time and room in your pantry.

how to microwave sticky rice

More Easy Thai Sticky Rice Recipes That You’ll Love

If you love sticky rice as much as our family does, see below for some other recipes. Please write a five star review and help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!

Sticky Rice Using Microwave

Sticky Rice Using Microwave

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Sticky rice in the microwave is possible if you try these awesome steps. This is the quickest way of making sticky rice, almost as good as making it the authentic way!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of glutinous sticky rice
  • water

Instructions

    Wash off the impurities, and soak the rice in water.

    1. Using a large bowl, place the amount of sticky rice you want to make into the bowl and pour in cold water. Using your palms, take the sticky rice and roughly rub the rice in your hands to remove the impurities from the rice.
    2. Drain the cloudy water out, refresh the water again, and rub the rice. Do this action a couple of times until the rice runs clear. 
    3. This action prevents the rice from getting too mushy from the starch residue from the rice before it is washed.
    4. Allow the rice to soak for at least two hours.

    Preparing to Microwave

    1. Find a microwave-safe bowl along with a microwave-safe plastic wrap. You'll want to ensure that the lid or plastic wrap either has a slip or will allow you to partially cover the bowl during microwaving without stopping.

    First Phase of Cooking in the Microwave

    1. Drain the rice and put it in a microwave safe bowl. 
    2. Cover the rice with hot, boiling water in the microwave bowl with just enough water to cover the rice.
    3. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid with a slit or microwave-safe plastic wrap with a slit to allow all the steam from escaping, but not allow pressure to build up in the bowl.
    4. Microwave on full power for 7 minutes.

    Second Phase of Cooking in the Microwave

    1. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave with oven mitts because the bowl will be very hot.
    2. Remove the lid or plastic carefully, tilting the bowl away from your face to ensure the steam does not blow into your face.
    3. Using a spatula or a fork, mix the rice together as well as fluff the rice up to increase air circulation around the rice grains.
    4. Put it back into the bowl with the lid or plastic wrap and heat it at full power for an additional 3 minutes.

    Preparing the Sticky Rice from Microwave

    1. Carefully remove the hot bowl from the microwave with oven-safe mitts and take the lid off tilting the bowl away from you.
    2. Put the rice onto a clean flat surface (preferably using a cooking Teflon matt) to allow the steam to escape and allow moisture to spread across all the different rice grains.
    3. Add the rice to a sticky bamboo rice basket or serving bowl and serve with your favorite
    4. delicious Thai or Lao dish!

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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