Sticky rice is eaten as a staple meal, sometimes replacing rice in many rural households. Basically eating sticky rice keeps a person full for longer periods and for farmers and hard labor workers, they need energy sustenance for longer periods with lower cost and sticky rice is often the answer for them.
Sticky rice is not made from usual rice but gluttonous rice. The gluttonous rice needs to be soaked for at least a few hours, preferably overnight before it is being cooked. There are a few ways of cooking the sticky rice. For example below, you have a basket on a special container:
The steel container below the basket actually contains water. The soaked sticky rice is placed on the basket which is placed over the steel container. The gluttonous rice is then boiled until the sticky rice on top is cooked. After that, the rice is dished out and placed to cool:
Usually they would be fitted into small plastic bags or serving baskets based on meal sized portion:
As I am from Malaysia, we are quite familiar with sticky rice. In Malay language it is known as pulut and we have many variations such as lemang, kuih koci and dumplings. However it is only when I was staying in Thailand that I slowly learned to occassionally replace my regular rice with sticky rice for meals. My favourite is to eat sticky rice with barbeque pork (moo ping), barbeque chicken and som tum. Even eating alone with a kind of Thai chili called nam pik kah pit (similar taste to sambal belacan in Malaysia) is something I find very enjoyable.
However if your body is not used to gluttonous rice, you may notice issues such as digestion problem (a lot of wind), joint pains and aggravate one’s blood sugar. Hence gluttonous rice is not suited to someone who is having indigestion (it is harder to digest), acid reflux, diabetes and arthritis. I known of a man from a rural village who had diabetes. He worked hard and had sticky rice with almost every meal to be able to keep himself fuller for a longer period. When he went to a place to work where board and meals were provided, he was being given white rice with other dishes instead of gluttonous rice. After a few weeks, he found his blood sugar readings had stabilised.
When I first started eating sticky rice, I used to get joint pains. I was taught to slowly ease into it and to eat a little bit on and off till my body got used to it. Nowadays I do occasionally enjoy replacing my rice with the sticky rice.
Mango Sticky Rice
The mango sticky rice variant is still the sticky rice but this time sugar and a little bit of coconut milk is added to the cooking. With Thai mangos, which is delicious and its texture seemed not found anywhere else, it makes a delicious combination. It is quite a popular food for locals as well as those visiting Thailand.
But for those with blood sugar problems (eg diabetes), you need to becareful as it would spike one’s blood sugar.
Sometimes, black sesame is added to cook the sticky rice which give another type of variant: