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Purple sticky rice inside a bamboo basket

How to make purple sticky rice

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5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Have you ever had purple sticky rice before? If not, you’re in for a fun treat! Today, I’m going to show you how to make purple sticky rice, a beautiful and tasty glutinous Thai rice. You only need 3 ingredients to make purple sticky rice. White and black stick rice and water. 


  • 2 cups white sticky/sweet/glutinous rice
  • 2/3 cup black sticky/sweet/glutinous rice
  • Water to cover the rice completely, around 10 cups


  1. Combine both rice in a medium-sized bowl. Add the water, and use your clean hands to mix the black and white rice until the rice are evenly combined. Watch the water turn light lavender. It’s magic! (: Let it soak for at least 5 hours. Longer is ideal.
  2. Drain the dark purple water from the rice and rinse in water 2 more times until the water is somewhat clear. See how beautiful the rice is with the violet hue!
  3. Fill the bottom of your steamer with enough water to boil your rice for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the rice at all, or it will turn the rice soggy. Wet the cheesecloth, place it in the center of the steamer, and put the drained rice in it.
  4. Wrap the cheesecloth completely around the rice. Place a lid over the cheesecloth, turn the stovetop to high heat, and start the steaming process. You can use any steaming tool you have. See notes on tools used to steam sticky rice. 
  5. After 20-25 minutes, the rice is ready. Let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove it from the hot cheesecloth to a rice basket or a medium-sized serving container, spread the rice around evenly, and let it cool for 5-10 more minutes before serving. I usually sprinkle a little salt on it before rolling the rice with my fingers into whopper-sized balls. Sample it before serving. Take note of the sweet smell of the rice, too—it’s such an aromatic and comforting smell! Enjoy your fun and beautiful purple sticky rice!


  • I like to store my cooked sticky rice in a bamboo basket at room temperature. Use it up in a day or two, or it will harden.
  • You can also store sticky rice in food containers in the fridge for 3 days. The rice will harden, but you can lightly rub some water on the surface of the rice and then microwave it for 1 minute or so before serving again.
  • You can also portion out the sticky rice into smaller Ziplock bags to keep in the refrigerator but be sure to let the rice cool off to almost room temperature before storing it in plastic to prevent the leaching of toxic chemicals into your rice.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: easy
  • Method: steam
  • Cuisine: Thai