Sticky rice is typically eaten with Thai North Eastern cuisine called Isaarn. Primarily its functions are to tame the heat factor of spicy salads and also to soak up the juices from said spicy salads. Basically, it's heat control. This chewy and dense rice variety is also a nice paring for the otherwise frequently delicate textures of spicy salads such as larb and som tum.
You will also find sticky rice paired with sweet desserts such as mango and other coconut desserts found in Thai food. This is the same grain with added coconut palm sugar and coconut cream that gives it that sweet creamy flavor. Here, we'll stick with the basic plain sticky rice which is usually eaten with savory foods.
Found at local Asian markets, this rice is labeled as either sweet rice or glutenous rice. Fear not, there is no gluten protein found in this rice, rather the gummy chewy textures gives it that name.
11/2 cups sweet rice
1. Soak rice overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches.
2. Strain off water. Line a steamer basket with muslin or 100% cotton cheesecloth. Add rice; fold edges of cheesecloth to cover rice. Set steamer basket over 3 to 4 inches of simmering water. Steam, covered, 10 minutes. Flip rice bundle over; steam an additional 10 minutes.