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Khao Need (Thai Sticky Rice)

3 cups Thai long grain sticky (glutinous) rice

In a large bowl (large enough to hold at least twice the volume
of rice, about 6 cups) cover rice with cold water by 2 to 3 inches.
Soak rice 8 to 24 hours. Alternatively, soak rice in warm water
(about 110F) 2 hours. The longer soak allows more flavor to develop.

Drain rice and transfer to a Southeast Asian rice steaamer basket
or lined sieve (see note). Set steamer basket or sieve over several
inches of boiling water in a large pot or deep kettle. It is
important that the rice NOT TOUCH boiling water. Cover rice with
a lid and steam, checking water level occasionally to make sure
pot or kettle doesn't boil dry and adding more boiling water if
necessary, 25 minutes, or until rice is shiny and tender.

Transfer rice to a basket or bowl, breaking it up into smaller
lumps, and immediately cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel.
(Rice dries out if exposed to air as it cools, so keep covered
until serving.)

Serves 6

Note: There are a few options for steaming sticky rice: If you
can't find conical baskets used for cooking sticky rice as well as
the lightweight pot the basket rests in as the rice steams.
Otherwise, use a large sieve lined with cheesecloth or muslin and
put it over a large kettle of water. In Thailand and Laos, cooked
sticky rice is kept warm and moist during the meal by serving it
in small covered baskets, which can also be found in some Southeast
Asian markets.


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