Firstly, Lao people are the biggest sticky rice eaters in the world. It is eaten at most meals if not all! Secondly I have left NZ and am on my way to Luang Prabang where I will son be indulging in sticky rice most days.
Not many people what makes it sticky. It is the actual type of rice, and not the way it is cooked, it’s more official name is glutinous rice. A specific type of starch makes it sticky and it can get very sticky.
In Laos people eat sticky rice because when eating with your hands, as you do, it is easier to scoop up food or make a ball of sticky rice and dip it in side dishes, it really is very easy to eat. It is also easy to cook, cooked in a basket steaming over a pot of water. It is also said to give you more energy for longer which is important when you are working all day on the farm or in fields.
I have cooked the more expensive purple or black sticky rice for dessert for many of you. It is especially tasty with coconut milk, sugar and a dash of salt topped with fruit. Another favourite is white sticky rice with mango – yum. The only trick is you need to soak sticky rice in cold water for a day beforehand so it’s not a dessert for last minute guests.