Left-over sticky rice? Don’t fret! I’ll show you 3 awesome ways on how to store sticky rice in this brand new post.
Everything You Need To Know
Most of the time when you cook rice, you end up having some leftovers right? Either you are in the group or you end up overestimating and cooking too much.
Leftover rice, one of the greatest challenges you will face is how to store it until you need to use it next. As we have seen in our previous posts, rice is one of the biggest bacteria harboring foods in your pantry.
Uncooked rice grains have spores of a bacterium better known as Bacillus cereus. These spores stay alive even after the rice is cooked and proceed to reproduce rapidly. Once this happens, you will find that the consumer will go through bouts of food poisoning that end up in vomiting and severe diarrhea.
So, no matter the plans that you have for your leftover rice, the way that you store it will most definitely determine how long it will last as well as how healthy it will be for consumption. This is especially the case with sticky rice.
This rice variant presents so many possibilities for the consumer because it is versatile. Once cooked, sticky rice can’t be stored in room temperature because this makes it vulnerable to the bacteria.
Sticky rice started as a staple in the Asian part of the world but is now being consumed as various meals all over the world. Also known as glutinous rice, it is mostly sticky because of its starch content, as we will see in the post. Let’s get started and see how you can store sticky rice and anything else you needed to know.
Sticky Rice vs. Regular Rice
There really isn’t a textbook definition for sticky rice. However, unlike regular rice, sticky rice is a japonica rice type that mostly grows in the South Asian region. It is a short-grained rice variant that contains high levels of starch known as amylopectin that brings about the stickiness when it is cooked.
The amylopectin is soluble in water, once it comes into contact with the cooking water; it dissolves and brings about the stickiness. Also, unlike regular rice, sticky rice has just 1% of amylose, which is the stiff starch. Regular rice such as white rice has been polished after it has had the bran and germ layer removed.
It has a high percentage of amylose content that results in the fluffy grain appearance depending on the cooking technique. You also need to keep in mind that sticky rice is not referred to as glutinous rice because it has high levels of gluten. It is given this name due to the fact that it sticks together just like glue once it has been cooked.
How to Store Sticky Rice
According to experts, any kind of rice that has been cooked should ideally be eaten on the same day. This is the case for sticky rice; if you have cooked too much or have some left over, you first need to remember that the longer it stays, the stickier it gets.
Keep Away from Moisture
You need to find a way to store it and ensure that when you need to eat it- within a reasonable time of course- it will still be good for consumption. It gets even trickier with sticky rice because you have to keep the bacteria spores away while ensuring that the rice doesn’t get too sticky and gooey.
In fact, the rule of thumb while storing sticky rice and any rice at that matter is to keep it away from moisture. Think of your airtight containers and zip lock or resealable bags that will ensure no moisture gets through to your rice. If you have a big bunch leftover, you can store it in smaller portions that you will reheat when you need to.
Reheating rice several times and putting it back into storage is setting yourself up for some serious food poisoning and we don’t want that.
Lucky for you, we have some tips on how to store your sticky rice until you need it.
1. In the Refrigerator
The easiest way to store your leftover sticky rice is sticking it into the refrigerator. See what I did there? It is important to note that you should not store your sticky rice in the fridge for more than four days.
As much as many articles state, you can store your rice for up to a month, experts say that you should only keep it for four days to avoid food poisoning.
- Start off by cooling your rice as fast as possible without leaving it in room temperature, which is very moist, and a breeding ground for bacteria. You can spread the rice out on a baking tin or any flat surface so that it cools really fast.
- Next, look for an airtight resealable container or an airtight ziplock bag and transfer the cooled rice. Be sure to remove all the air from the bag or container before sealing it then store the sticky rice in the refrigerator.
2. In The Freezer
Just as storing your sticky rice in the refrigerator has a limit, storing it in the freezer has one as well. You should not store your sticky rice in the freezer for more than a month.
Some people stretch it to three months but this means that you will be consuming rice that has experienced freezer burn.
This is when frozen food is damaged by oxidation or dehydration because it has come into contact with air while in the freezer. Frozen rice tends to have a different taste and tastes somewhat dry.
It also loses its stickiness if you are not careful with how you store and reheat it. You need to apply heat only when the ice on the rice is still intact, this way you know that it is not dehydrated.
- All you need to do is follow the cooling protocol, and then transfer the cooled rice into an airtight container or a ziplock freezer friendly bag.
- If you are using a ziplock freezer bag, be sure to press the bag so that all the air is out before sealing.
- Toss the bag of sticky rice in the freezer and place it flat so that it doesn’t take up too much space. This also helps in defrosting quickly when you need to use it.
3. Keep Warm Option on the Rice Cooker
Keep in mind that this option is only viable for a maximum of two hours.
If you are having a party or something of the sort, you can use the keep warm function to store your sticky rice without necessarily cooking it.
- Once you have finished cooking your sticky rice in the rice cooker, you can activate the keep warm option so that you don’t need to cool and reheat it, shortening its consumption period.
Can I Reheat Sticky Rice?
Yes, there’s a ‘but’:
Sticky rice is one of the most complicated rice variants to deal with. This is because of the high starch content that makes it have a gelatinized consistency.
Reheating creates room for moisture and as we discussed, rice and moisture don’t go together. Heating sticky rice will be a bit challenging when you want it warm but not stickier.
If you want to reheat your sticky rice, best bet is using a microwave. Depending on the volume of rice, place rice in a microwave safe container and cover it with some plastic wrap.
Set the timer on four minutes and start it up. Remember, if it is from the freezer; break it up so that you don’t end up with a cold inside and a hot outside.
Turn your sticky rice into an awesome fried rice. Try adding some butter on a heated pan plus a few tablespoons of water or broth.
Finally, you can use your rice cooker’s keep warm setting to warm it up without overcooking.
Sticky rice is such a fun and versatile rice variant. There are so many ways to experiment with it and make a delicious meal from mixing up various ingredients.
Now that you know how to store your sticky rice, do you have any interesting recipes you can share? Do you know of any other storage methods? Please talk to us and let us know!