In North and Northeast Thailand, sticky rice, or khao neow, is a staple enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even today Thai farmers pack sticky rice in small bamboo baskets along with grilled chicken and vegetables for their lunch. As a middle school student in Bangkok, one of my fondest memories was when my father would pick me up from school with a snack of steamed sticky rice and coconut-grilled pork skewers.
Ingredients and Cooking Utensils
4 cups Thai sticky rice (also called sweet rice or glutinous rice). If you use black sticky rice, mix 3 cups of white sticky rice mix with 1 cup of black sticky rice
4 pcs of chicken leg quarters
Steamer and cheesecloth (optional)
Microwaveable glass container with lid (another option to cook sticky rice)
Mortar and pestle (to make marinade paste)
4-5 cilantro roots, rinsed
2 tbsp garlic cloves, peeled
2 ts black or white peppercorns
½ cups coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai light soy sauce
2 tbsp Thai soy sauce
2 tbsp Thai oyster sauce
2-3 tbsp whiskey or other liquor
Marinate and Grill Chicken
To marinate chicken, first make the traditional paste, which is common for chicken and other types of meat, by mashing cilantro roots, garlic and white pepper using a mortar and pestle. Mix the paste in a mixing bowl with the marinade sauce ingredients and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Grill marinated chicken on both sides on a barbeque or grill pan until cooked through.
Cook Sticky Rice
Sticky rice should be soaked for at least 3 hours. The best way to cook Thai sticky rice is to steam with a steamer and cheesecloth, or in a bamboo steamer. When steaming, the heat should be medium low and not too high. After steaming, the texture should be soft and not dry.
Add water to the bottom section of the steamer, lay cheesecloth on the second section of the steamer, drain the rice and spread the rice evenly on the cheesecloth. Cover with the steamer lid. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to medium heat and steam for 10-15 minutes. Check the rice and flip over to evenly cook and steam for 10-15 minutes more until cooked through. Remove from heat and keep in a bamboo basket or container to keep the rice warm.
If you do not have a steamer, you can put the pre-soaked sticky rice in a microwaveable glass container, add water just above the level of the sticky rice, cover with a glass lid and cook for 4 minutes in a microwave. Remove the cover, flip the rice over with a spatula, add a bit more water if needed and then cook for 4 more minutes. Check the texture of the sticky rice, which should be soft but not too mushy.
Serve grilled chicken hot off the grill or use WATCHAREE’S peanut sauce or pad Thai sauce as a dipping sauce. Make Thai papaya salad or spicy Thai salad as a side dish. If you can find Thai Singha beer in your area, it will definitely bring the Thai atmosphere up a notch. Enjoy!