Sunday, 7 December 2008


Glutinous rice (also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, mochi rice and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.

Glutinous rice does not contain dietary gluten and thus should be safe for gluten-free diets.

In Malaysia, glutinous rice is known as pulut, and it is usually mixed with coconut milk (santan in Malay), along with a bit of salt to add some taste. It is widely used during Muslim festive seasons and weddings as traditional food, such as:

Palas - cooked pulut wrapped in triangular shaped crafts made from local leaves and left to be boiled for 3 - 4 hours to result nice shaped compression and to bring out the aroma or taste from the wrapped leaves.

Lemang - wrapped in banana leaves and inside a bamboo, and left to be barbecued/grilled on an open fire, to make the taste and texture tender and unique

Ketupat - square shaped crafts made from the same local leaves as palas, but it is usually filled with regular rice grains instead of pulut, but it depends on the maker.

Lopes - glutinous rice wrapped in individual triangles using banana leaves and left to boil for a few hours. The rice pieces are then tossed with grated coconut all over and served with palm sugar syrup.

It is also used to make desserts by the Malays and Peranakans.

In Chinese, glutinous rice is known as nuòmǐ (糯米). The Chinese use it to make savoury dishes such as Lor Mai Kai and the rice is also often ground to make glutinous rice flour. This flour is then made into niangao and sweet filled dumplings tangyuan, both of which are commonly eaten at Chinese New Year. It also sometimes used as a thickener and for baking.


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