Sticky rice, also called sweet rice and glutinous rice, is a staple in several Asian countries. True to its name, cooked sticky rice has a sticky, glue-like texture and you can find several brands selling great-quality sticky rice.
So, what are the best sticky rice brands? The best sticky rice brands take on a sticky, dense, and tender texture when cooked due to the total or near absence of amylose starch, without becoming mushy.
Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the best sticky rice brands and our top picks of the best ones:
What Is Sticky Rice?
Sticky rice is any type of rice that is high in amylopectin starch and low in amylose starch. Available in long-grain and short-grain varieties, it is the near absence of amylose starch that makes it so sticky.
Used in both sweet and savory dishes, sticky rice is also high in dextrin and maltose and sticks together in a single mass when cooked.
Its flavor depends on several factors, the main one being the level of refinement. If it is the whole-grain variety, it will take on a nuttier flavor.
If it is polished, i.e., white, the taste will be more subtle. Japanese sticky rice tends to be sweeter, while the Southeast Asian variety is more aromatic.
Regardless of the type, sticky rice has a chewy texture and the grains clump together without becoming too soft and mushy.
How To Make Sticky Rice
Unlike other types of rice that are usually boiled either on the stovetop or rice cooker, sticky rice is generally steamed. Here’s what you need to do to make the best sticky rice:
- Soak the rice in a large bowl with water for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Drain the soaked rice and rinse it with cold water.
- Transfer it to either a parchment paper or cheesecloth-lined steamer basket or heat-safe plate.
- Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and transfer the steamer basket or plate to the pot.
- Cover and steam the rice until it becomes tender, which should normally take about 20 to 40 minutes.
If you’re more of a visual learner, below is a tutorial for making sticky rice with 7 different methods from Pailin’s Kitchen on YouTube.
How Is Sticky Rice Used?
Sticky rice is a staple in several Asian cuisines and is used in a variety of dishes including desserts, dumplings, as a stuffing, and as a preferred side dish for all kinds of savory dishes.
While most recipes call for the sticky rice to be steamed, it can also be stir-fried and prepared like Italian risotto.
In Chinese cuisine, long-grain sticky rice is normally used for savory dishes and the short-grain variety is used for desserts.
This is because long-grain rice is firmer and less sticky and tastes better in savory dishes. Short-grain rice is stickier and better suited for desserts such as sweet rice cake and stuffed lotus root.
Best Sticky Rice Brands – Buyer’s Guide
With the increase in the demand for sticky rice in the US, you will now find several brands selling the popular rice.
Available in stores as well as online, it may be labelled as sweet rice, glutinous rice, pearl rice, mochi rice, or waxy rice.
Here are all the things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best sticky rice brand to prepare your sweet and savory dishes with:
Type Of Rice
Sticky rice is any type of rice with a high amylopectin and low amylose content, whether it is short-grain, long-grain, whole-grain, brown, or white rice.
Some of the most common types of sticky rice include:
- Thai sticky rice – long-grain and more floral aroma,
- Japanese sweet rice – short-grain with opaque grains, a sweet flavor, and a very sticky texture,
- Black and purple sticky rice – cultivated in Southeast Asia, the bran is black or dark purple when raw which dyes the white inner endosperm when cooked.
Texture And Stickiness
Sticky rice has to be sticky. It is the texture and amount of stickiness that varies between the different types and brands of sticky rice.
It should be sticky, but not too sticky to turn your dish into mush, and its texture must allow you to pair it with other ingredients and dishes.
Sticky rice can be short-grained, medium-grained, or long-grained, and the type you choose depends on the recipe you are using it for.
Short-grain rice is slightly more glutinous and stickier than the medium and long-grain variety.
As you move up, the texture becomes less sticky, and for this reason, short-grain sticky rice is mostly used for desserts, whereas long-grain rice is used in savory dishes.
The starch content in the rice determines how sticky it will be. If it’s overly starchy, it will take on a liquid consistency. The level of starch should be such that it allows the grains of rice to clump together properly.
Different varieties of sticky rice have a different flavor based on their level of refinement. Brown sticky rice tastes nuttier than white sticky rice, just as regular brown rice differs from regular white rice.
Depending on your flavor preference and what you’d like to use the sticky rice for, you may choose among the different types.
Packaging And Best-By Date
Contrary to popular belief, rice does not have an indefinite shelf-life. Its quality deteriorates over time, which is why it is advised to refer to the packaging and best-by dates printed on the label.
If the packaging date is older than a year, the sticky rice grains will start to become harder and require more water and a longer time for softening.
The best-by date refers to the date the sticky rice will retain its best quality. When choosing a batch, pick one with the farthest best-by date.
After opening the pack, keep it in a dark and dry place in an airtight container. You may also store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer.
Best Sticky Rice Brands
With so many brands offering the “best” sticky rice, it can often be difficult to choose the right one for your dishes.
A few important things that you should consider include the type of rice, the level of refinement, the texture and stickiness, taste, and the packaging and best-by dates.
If you are still confused and the number of options is overwhelming you, don’t worry as we’ve picked some of the best sticky rice brands for you to choose from:
|1.||Three Rings Thai Sticky Rice||Authentic brand of sweet-tasting Thai sticky rice|
|2.||Burma Spice Sticky Rice||100% pure and free of preservatives or fillers|
|3.||Three Ladies Brand Sanpatong Sweet Rice||One of the most authentic brands of Sanpatong sticky rice|
|4.||Golden Phoenix Premium Thai Sticky Rice||Sustainably grown and harvested by local farmers and experts in Thailand|
|5.||Three Elephants Thai Sweet Rice||Thai brand known for its premium quality and amazing aroma|
|6.||Annie Chun's Cooked White Sticky Rice||Pre-cooked restaurant-style sticky rice|
|7.||McCabe Organic Sweet Rice||100% certified organic|
|8.||Bibigo Restaurant-Style Cooked Sticky White Rice||Takes as little as 90 seconds to cook|
|9.||Rom America Sticky Rice||US brand that promises great quality|
|10.||Hakubai Premium Sweet Rice||Popular with gourmet chefs due to its versatility|
|11.||Fresh & Wild Purple Sticky Rice||Purple-colored sticky rice made with exotic premium grains|
1. Three Rings Thai Sticky Rice
Three Rings Thai sticky rice is a product made in Thailand used to create both sweet and savory dishes, particularly a classic Thai dessert called Thai mango sticky rice.
It is an authentic brand of sweet-tasting Thai sticky rice that suits a variety of recipes and is a popular choice for a variety of customers all over the country.
Reserving the top spot on our list of the best sticky rice brands, it is rich in protein and carbohydrates and contains no fats, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, or sugar.
It comes in a 5 lbs. bag that can last you a long time, allowing you to make as many as 45 servings. It is also available in a 10 lbs. pack if you wish to buy it in bulk.
2. Burma Spice Sticky Rice
Another great brand of authentic long-grain sticky rice, Burma Spice sticky rice comes straight from expert harvesters in the Californian wetlands.
Each batch of this delicious rice is handpicked and shipped so that you receive the highest quality of sticky rice perfect for preparing meals, just like in your favorite Thai restaurants.
Free of preservatives or fillers, it is 100% pure and comes with a full money-back guarantee. Sold in an attractive resealable bag to keep the contents fresh, this brand deserves a spot among the best sticky rice brands in the market.
3. Three Ladies Brand Sanpatong Sweet Rice
One of the most authentic brands of sticky rice out there, this Sanpatong sweet rice by Three Ladies is known for its superior quality.
A distinctively long-grain variety of white sticky rice that has naturally evolved from native white rice into a more glutinous variety, Three Ladies is one of the best and most authentic-tasting brands of sticky rice on the market.
4. Golden Phoenix Premium Thai Sticky Rice
This premium quality sweet sticky rice by Golden Phoenix is sustainably grown and harvested by local farmers and experts in Thailand; home to the best sticky rice in the world.
Made with premium, well-milled rice grains that become sticky when cooked, this sticky, sweet, glutinous rice is a staple in Asian cooking.
Easy to cook, the grains can be finely ground to make rice flour that can be used to prepare several dishes. It is also gluten-free, making it the perfect choice for people with gluten allergies.
5. Three Elephants Thai Sweet Rice
Three Elephants is a Thai brand of sweet sticky rice that is popular all over the world due to its premium quality and amazing aroma.
Suitable for use in a variety of Asian and non-Asian dishes, it has a sweet flavor with a perfectly sticky texture.
Free of sodium, fat, or cholesterol, it is easy to prepare and can be served on its own or paired with your choice of condiments.
6. Annie Chun’s Cooked White Sticky Rice
Annie Chun’s is the leading manufacturer of gourmet Pan-Asian foods and allows you to make restaurant-style sticky rice in a matter of minutes.
Gluten-free, vegan, low-fat, and free of any added flavors, preservatives, or fillers, it is pre-cooked and can be heated in the microwave as well as on the stovetop.
Packed with proteins, it is extremely easy and convenient to prepare, especially when you are in a hurry. For added convenience, the sticky rice comes in individual microwave-safe bowls.
7. McCabe Organic Sweet Rice
Certified organic by CCOF and OCIA, this sweet rice by McCabe is a safe and healthy choice that you can use to prepare several sweet and savory dishes of your choice.
Available in white as well as brown varieties, it is a product of the US and is grown in California. Other than being 100% organic, it is also climate-pledge friendly.
Available in a variety of sizes, from 10-36 lbs., it is one of the best brands of sweet sticky rice, as well as a variety of other whole grains, beans, flours, sesame seed products, and teas.
8. Bibigo Restaurant-Style Cooked Sticky White Rice
Another brand of cooked sticky white rice, this product from Bibigo offers a quick and efficient way to prepare sticky rice in as little as 90 seconds in the microwave.
This medium-grain rice can be used for a variety of sweet and savory dishes. It comes in individual microwave-safe bowls, with each bowl containing about 7.4 ounces of rice.
It is vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat, making it a great choice for people with dietary restrictions.
9. Rom America Sticky Rice
Produced and packaged in the US, this brand of sticky rice is easy to cook and can be used to prepare a variety of dishes such as mango sticky rice, Yaksik, and Samgye-Tang.
Striving to bring the best quality products with honesty and integrity, Rom America is a brand you can trust.
Carefully selected to bring out the best in Asian foods, it is available in different types including brown sticky rice and black wild sticky rice.
10. Hakubai Premium Sweet Rice
Used to prepare traditional Japanese dishes such as Ohagi, Sekihan, and cherry blossom Mochi, this sweet sticky rice by Hakubai is a product of the US, grown and milled in California.
Popular with gourmet chefs due to its versatility, it is among the best brands of sticky rice on the market and rightfully deserves a spot on this list. It is also certified kosher.
11. Fresh & Wild Purple Sticky Rice
Traditional and beautiful purple-colored sticky rice made with exotic premium grains; this variety is native to Thailand and is traditionally used as Thai dessert rice.
With a sweet flavor, it takes on a sticky texture and turns indigo when cooked.
It has a rich taste and pairs well with assertive flavors. Since it is not hulled, it has a nutty flavor and more fiber than white rice.