Glutinous Rice And Its Impressive Characteristics


Compared to other rice types such as jasmine rice or japonica rice, glutinous rice is much different in terms of texture and uses.

Glutinous rice’s definition

Glutinous rice is actually the name of a type of rice, and not of a particular dish, in particular, it is a variety of short-grain rice very low in amylose content. As long as the rice has a chewy texture, it is termed glutinous rice.


Glutinous rice’s definition

The composition of glutinous rice is unique in the way that when cooked, grains of glutinous rice stick together in a single mass. This stickiness is due to the fact that the rice is nutritionally high in amylopectin starch which provides a greater amount of calories for consumers. That is the reason why it also has a substitute name which is sticky rice.

Read more: Basmati rice: Things to know about this type of rice

Glutinous rice types

There are many assortments of glutinous rice varying from long-grain rice to short-grain one; sometimes white to purple; each of them has a different price ranging from 0.70- 2.26 USD/kg depending on its percentage of being broken as well as other measured qualities. However, glutinous rice can be perceived in 4 main types of rice, depending on its originating location.

Vietnamese glutinous rice

Vietnamese glutinous rice does not contain digestible gluten, therefore, it is safe for a gluten-free diet. What distinguishes Vietnamese glutinous rice from other types of rice is that glutinous rice does not contain amylose or contains negligible. It is amylopectin that gives Vietnamese glutinous rice its sticky properties.


Vietnamese glutinous rice

Japanese glutinous rice

A variety of Japanese rice can be categorized as short-grain rice and has opaque grain. Japanese glutinous rice, like its name, has a sweet flavor and a particularly sticky texture that’s extremely useful for making desserts.


Japanese glutinous rice

Thai glutinous rice

Different varieties of rice have different degrees of aroma and stickiness. For example, glutinous rice varieties from Laos, as well as Northern Thailand, have a tendency to be longer and have a more floral scent than that from Japan.


Thai glutinous rice

Common misunderstandings about glutinous rice

Sometimes, glutinous rice is misunderstood by people in terms of its name and characteristics.

Misunderstanding about the name

The name “glutinous” might be misleading as many people may think that it contains high levels of gluten. Contradictorily, the truth depends on what type of glutinous rice is being measured. For example, white glutinous rice has little to no gluten, but the whole grain variety tends to have a great deal of it.


Misunderstanding about the name

Gluten-free dieters can not eat glutinous rice

Due to that misleading assumption, which is quite “unfair” for glutinous rice, the majority of people may think that it is not considered a good ingredient in a healthy diet such as low-carb or eat-clean…. While it is true to some extent as glutinous rice provides more calories when eating compared to any other type of rice, the rice should still be safe for gluten-free diets.

Read more: Jasmine rice calories: How many calories does Jasmine rice contain?


Gluten-free dieters can not eat glutinous rice

Mistaken sushi rice for glutinous rice

There is a variety of short-grain rice that bears a high resemblance to glutinous rice in its signature sticky quality. It is often termed as Japanese rice or “sushi rice” because it is commonly used to make Japanese sushi. However, those two kinds of rice appear to have considerably different characteristics. While it is true that sushi rice, along with other japonica varieties, possesses a higher level of stickiness when compared to Indica rice like jasmine or basmati rice, it is nowhere near as sticky as glutinous rice because its content of amylopectin, which is responsible for the sticky quality of rice, is much lower than that of glutinous one.


Mistaken sushi rice for glutinous rice

Glutinous rice’s uses

Glutinous rice is ideal for making Asian customary dishes like stuffed sticky rice cake, steamed sticky rice, and sweet porridge.

In Vietnamese cuisine

In Vietnam, it is mainly used to make “xoi” and specialties such as “banh chung” as a national dish. It would be awkward when mentioning Vietnamese delicacies without making reference to glutinous rice. Cakes made from sticky rice are so variable that probably hardly can anyone ever try all of those cakes. They vary from “banh”, “com nep” to “che”.


Glutinous rice in Vietnamese cuisine

In the Philippine cuisine

In the Philippines, glutinous rice is commonly used to make dishes from snacks such as “puto” (simply known as steamed sticky rice cake), “bibingka” (cooked with baked fermented glutinous rice with coconut milk)… to desserts and delicacies like “sapin-sapin” which is made with many layers of glutinous rice, each with a different flavor and texture.


Glutinous rice in the Philippine cuisine

In Korean cuisine

Glutinous rice is a very popular ingredient in Korean cuisine. It comes to plain that kimbap has become one of the most popular dishes of Korean street food in the world. The secret ingredient for that kind of rice is glutinous rice, Koreans mix jasmine rice with glutinous rice before cooking so as for the rice to reach a certain level of stickiness and its aroma of the ultimate rice is the perfect combination of both types of rice. Moreover, sticky rice is also used as an ingredient of tokbokki, sticky rice cakes.


Glutinous rice in Korean cuisine

In Japanese cuisine

While Korean take pride in their delicacies like tokbokki and kimbap which are mainly made from glutinous rice, Japanese people use Japanese sweet rice mainly for making mochi or traditional wagashi candy. Talking about glutinous rice in Japan, you will immediately hear a recommendation from a Japanese about that mochi cake and wagashi candy.


Glutinous rice in Japanese cuisine

In Chinese cuisine

Glutinous rice flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a variety of delicious dishes. One popular recipe that uses glutinous rice flour is glutinous rice balls, also known as “tang yuan” in Chinese. To make these sweet and chewy treats, simply mix glutinous rice flour with water to form a dough, shape the dough into small balls, and then cook them in boiling water until they float to the surface. Glutinous rice balls can be enjoyed plain or filled with a variety of sweet or savory fillings, such as red bean paste or minced meat. With its unique texture and versatility, glutinous rice flour is a must-have ingredient for any home cook looking to explore new flavors and cuisines.

K-Agriculture Factory is one of the leading Vietnamese agricultural product suppliers with the distribution to 80 countries over the world. We offer a wide range of products including ST rice, Jasmine rice, Japonica rice, etc. We ensure the best quality and prices to our customers.

For special deals, contact us now.

WhatsApp: +84855555837 (Ms. Kris)


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    About author Camila Nguyen

    She has 13 years experience in connecting B2B customers around the world and provide best-quality agricultural products from Vietnam to them. She would love to share her knowledge about agricultural products through the blogs. You can contact her on Whatsapp via number: +84 84 4444 867 to get the free consultancy

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