Nicknamed “sticky rice” (fun fact: it is officially named “glutinous rice” (because it’s glue-like, not because it contains gluten), it is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and eaten in various forms in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Northeast India, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan. To not make this post ultra-lengthy (especially considering I am not an expert in Pakistani or Korean food), this tutorial is focused on Laotian sticky rice.
Sticky rice (khao niao in Laotian), is the main rice eaten in Laos and part of their daily diet. “Khao” means rice and “niao” means sticky. In Laos, it is cooked by soaking it for quite a lengthy time (usually several hours) and them steaming it inside a bamboo basket. Afterwards, it should be put on a wooden paddled surface so the steam gets released. You will know when it is ready when you are able to make little balls that stick to each other but not to your fingers. When it is ready, the ball is kept in a small bamboo basket (“tip khao“).