1. For sticky rice, you need to go to an Asian grocery store and buy the type that says "Sweet Rice." That's what sticky rice is. It does taste sweeter than regular Jasmine steam rice. The key is to soak the rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking. My method is to steam it with one of those basketweaved-hat-shaped steamer/holder (don't know what the English word is for it) in a metal pot on the bottom, filled with boiling water, cover the rice with a lid. Both the "steamer" and metal pot (specifically for cooking sticky rice) are also available at the Asian grocery stores. Steaming time depends on the amount you're cooking (I just check after initial 15 minutes for the texture and color to see if it's fully cooked).
2. For the regular steam rice, also best to shop from an Asian grocery store (instead of using Uncle Ben's, which I have tried, too), it's best to buy the type that says "Jasmine Rice" from Thailand. It MUST be from Thailand because of all the regular Jasmine rice available, the Thai crop has the BEST texture and taste, in comparison to Japanese, Taiwanese/Chinese, or Korean. The "Thai Crop 2007" (as each year's crop is stamped with the type of crop it is, if it's "new crop" or not) is the fluffiest I have seen in over 3 years. The key of cooking it into a "fluffy" texture is by "washing" it (actually rinsing by flipping and squeezing it repeatedly until the water turns white, pour out and change the water, rinse again) 5-6 times, until the water is "clear," which you can see through the water to the rice. And each annual crop's texture is slightly different in terms of how much water is needed to perfect that "fluffiness." In addition to the cup-measure method to gauge the water, which I personally use my wrist as the measure by placing my palm on top of the rice, one previous crop might require a certain cup that you're used to, but the next year's crop might require a bit more or less to obtain the similar degree of fluffiness. Then there are some (like the crop from 2 years ago) that just come out sticky no matter how much or less water you play around with. Remember, even after the button of the rice cooker pops up, and the light goes off, let the rice steam for another 10 minutes or so for it to be fully cooked. And don't ever try hot or warm water in attempt to shorten the cooking time, as this changes the texture outcome as well, because this doesn't allow enough time for the rice to soak up the water, and it will come out hard and undercooked.
I'm Vietnamese-Chinese. We eat rice at home every day, 3 meals a day, both Jasmine and sticky rice. And Thai sticky rice is my husband and daughter's favorite, so I cook that for Thai dishes as well.
· 1 decade ago