Rice is a staple at every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a lot of different ethnicities. I remember as a kid thinking the rice cooker (which held permanent residency on our kitchen counter) was magical because it continuously spit out an endless supply of rice. Every time I opened the lid no matter what time of day it was, it was always filled with fresh cooked steamed rice. Obviously I missed the part where my mom filled the rice cooker with rice and pressed the “ON” button. Again, I was young! One of my favorite meals is a bowl of white rice with a plate of salty cooked skin on shrimp. As my love of food continues to grow so does my love for new flavors and new gadgets in my kitchen. My two new items have everything to do with rice…… STICKY RICE!!!!!! (aka Sweet Rice)
My favorite new item is the kratib khao niew and the huad neung khao niew (Sticky rice holder and steaming pot/basket)
Thanks to my good friend Sandy Khammanithong, I’ve been able to dive into the Thai/Laos culture, cook beside her and learn about spices & vegetables that are indicative to Thai cooking.
The kratib khao niew is a traditional serving container for sticky rice. The traditional way to serve the rice is to serve yourself by grabbing a handful. It’s very playable so you can actually flatten it out and scoop up whatever is on your plate. You can also roll the rice between your palms and then break off pieces and dip into sauces. This goes against everything my mother taught me about not playing with my food. Because sticky rice is…well…sticky, it’s easier to handle with bare hands then to use a spoon or fork. I really like the consistency of sticky rice. It’s a bit more filling and harder to digest than white rice and I feel like it has more substance plus I really like the hint of sweetness that it has compared to white rice.
The Huad neung khao niew is the steaming pot used to cook sticky rice. It’s more difficult to cook than white rice because you have to soak the grains for a bit to get them soft. Then the rice goes into the bamboo basket and is steamed to perfection! Happy Eating.