Khao Neow ~ Laos Sticky RicePosted on Sep 23 in Laos, Laos Foodby ShelynPrint
“We eat sticky rice. Normal rice makes me feel weak. Only sticky rice makes me strong.” – This is my first understanding about sticky rice through the conversation with a driver during the first hour in Laos.
We took a cab from Vientiane town to Rivertime Ecolodge and Resort. It’s always the best time to chat with local when you were in the cab. Most of the South East Asia drivers are very friendly and helpful to provide us information except for the minority who don’t speak English well. I don’t remember how did we actually start the topic about sticky rice that later stirred our interest and curiosity to mark it as our first priority in the food hunting list. We therefore ordered the sticky rice in our very first meal in Laos, and in every subsequent meal.
Sticky rice was arranged neatly on the trays to be dried under the sun – Luang Prabang
Sticky rice is known as Khao Neow in Laos language. It’s a daily food for Laotians just like how Chinese eat rice everyday. Don’t be doubtful of its name as people don’t call it ‘Sticky’ for no reason. It’s indeed sticky that you could hardly separate each grain of rice. Since it’s sticky, it’s more compact than normal rice. That’s why it’s more filling and makes ones ‘stronger’, as illustrated by the driver.
I don’t like to fill up my stomach with rice that takes up the space for other food, so I ordered normal rice for most of the meal, whereas Don ordered sticky rice for every meal since his stomach is bottomless.
Close up of the sticky rice
Ever wonder how to make sticky rice? Steps to make sticky rice is pretty simple, similar to the way we cook normal rice:
1. When purchasing sticky rice, make sure the label states “Glutinous”.
Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous (< Latin glūtinōsus) in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.
2. Soak the rice in hot water for two hours or at least six hours if soak it in cold water.
3. Pour soaked rice into a bamboo steaming basket. Cover the rice with a lid.
4. Add water into the pot to allow it to boil.
5. Then put the rice basket into the pot to cook for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the steaming basket from the pot and flip the rice. Cook for another 5 minutes.
7. The rice is now ready to be served.
Simple enough and yet delicate!
If you think it’s not creative enough to cook the rice in the bamboo basket, you can barbecue sticky rice instead!
We came across a small stall that sells sticky rice barbecued with butter and egg.
It tastes like, hmm.. how should I describe it? It tastes like sticky rice and egg! (Eh hem)
Anyway, it tastes better than just plain sticky rice. Actually I kind of like it, it’s a brilliant idea to barbecue it with butter and egg, awesome!