Sticky Rice Sweets

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

sticky rice sweets, which have as their main ingredient white, black, or purple varietals of glutinous or sweet rice, comprise hundreds of Asian desserts and sweet snacks. Low in amylose starch, opaque and waxy when uncooked and moist, glossy and tacky when steamed, sticky rice yields two basic types of sweets: those that incorporate the whole grain, and those based on a smooth or nearly smooth dough made with either sticky rice flour or steamed sticky rice that has been pounded, mashed, or otherwise transformed into a paste. Across Asia, sticky rice sweets of all kinds are often made or purchased to celebrate holidays like New Year’s, to recognize special occasions such as weddings, and to serve as offerings on religiously significant days.