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How to Make Sticky Rice (Stovetop or Instant Pot)

Thai-style sticky rice is the perfect side dish for grilled meats, spicy Thai salads, or your other favorite Thai dishes. Use these step-by-step instructions for the stovetop (no special equipment needed) or Instant Pot to make sticky rice that will easily roll into balls.
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: instant pot, sticky rice
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00


  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker or Large Pot
  • Colander


  • 2 cups Glutinous or “Sweet” Rice (see note)
  • Water


  • Measure rice into a bowl and cover with water by a few inches. Soak for 4 to 10 hours.

If cooking on the stovetop:

  • Place a colander inside a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid (it’s okay if the lid sits slightly ajar or there is a small gap above the colander).
  • Add water so that it reaches to just below the bottom of the colander.
  • Drain the soaked rice into the colander and put the colander inside the Dutch oven.
  • Place over medium heat bring to a simmer.
  • Cover the Dutch oven / pot and reduce heat so that the water stays at a low simmer. Steam rice, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Using a large spatula, flip the rice like it’s a pancake. (This will help it to cook evenly)
  • Put the lid back on and continue steaming the rice for another 10 to 20 minutes, checking it for doneness every few minutes towards the end of the cooking time. (You’re looking for the rice grains to be separate and firm, but stick together when rolled / pressed between your fingers.)
  • Take the rice off the heat, but leave the lid on until ready to serve. Serve rice warm, within 15 minutes of preparing it.
  • If cooking in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker:
  • Add 1 cup water to the bowl of the Instant Pot.
  • Using a colander that will fit inside the bowl of the Instant Pot (and is approved for use under pressure), drain the soaked rice.
  • Place the colander with the rice into the bowl of the Instant Pot. (Note: The water should not touch the rice; if needed, add a rack so that the rice sits above the water.)
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set the pressure cook / manual setting on high for 12 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally for 12 minutes and then manually release.
  • Unlock the lid but leave it on, slightly ajar, until ready to serve. Serve rice warm, within 15 minutes of preparing it.


Not all varieties of rice will make sticky rice. Look for rice labeled “glutinous” or “sweet” which is available at the Asian / international market.


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Sodium: 16mg