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How To Reheat Sticky Rice? 4 Most Effective Methods

How to reheat sticky rice? There are several ways: microwave, oven, rice cooker, or boil on the stove. Continue reading for more specific information.

Why Do You Need To Reheat Leftover Sticky Rice?

When talking about: How to reheat sticky rice?, some people may ask: “Why should we reheat the leftover grain?”. Various reasons are coming to answer this question. 

Usually, after leaving them outside for two to three hours, waxy grains will become sturdy. Eating those cooled grains can cause problems with your digestion as the stomach can not crush the hard food. Moreover, if you do not put the grain in storage properly, it can be infected by bacteria or harmful insects. To solve this issue, heating the old bran can eliminate the toxic bacteria.

Recooking grain can revise the tasty flavor of the grains. When boiled at a high temperature, the grain will smell as good as the first time cooking. Another reason for rewarming the old bran is that it will take less time than cooking new grain. 

White grains are very precious; we should not waste such nutritious food. Besides, eating leftover gluey bran is a good way to save your budget. Here are the methods to reheat your sticky grain!

Reheat sticky rice and northern Thai pork curry

What Are Different Ways To Reheat Sticky Rice? 

Reheat Sticky Rice In The Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is the most convenient kitchen appliance to rewarm your waxy rice in a few minutes. This method doesn’t require much effort and necessary tools, and here’s how:

Step 1: We break up the rice into small portions; the portions should be as small as your hand to fit into the cooker. 

Step 2: Add one or two spoons of water onto the grain surface to maintain the grain moisture for the whole time. Moreover, the water can also revise the stickiness of the grains.

Step 3: Set the timer for 10 – 15 minutes at the Warming function after placing the waxy grains nicely. Wait until finishing the process, check the warmth of the grains, and you can set up some more heating if needed.

Aside from this method, you can also put the leftover grain onto the new cooked one. You wait for the new cooking process until it is nearly finished, then put the old grains in the corner of the cooker. The warming time of the old grain coincides with the cooking time of the new grain.

My verdict:

This method is effective and effortless. The flavor of the grain is as appealing as the original, and the cooker can revise its stickiness. 

However, this technique is not working with a large amount of grain, so you should put a limited portion on it. Besides, the cooker can only heat the grain at medium warmth to maintain the heat for a short time.

Reheat Sweet Sticky Rice Rice Cooker

Reheat Sticky Rice In The Microwave

A microwave is the fastest way to rewarm food as it can reach high temperatures in just a second. If you are a busy housewife, this is an optimal choice.

Step 1: Put the leftover waxy grains into a microwave bowl. Remember not to use the plastic bowl as it will melt on the stove. 

Step 2: Spread a thin layer of water onto the bran surface to maintain the stickiness of the food. If you want more flavor, you can replace water with chicken stock to make the bran smell better. 

Step 3: You cover the bowl with plastic wrap and puncture some holes for steam ventilation. This step will keep the bran moist.

Step 4: Close the microwave door and heat up for 2 – 3 minutes at a low heat setting. While the machine is in the process, you should regularly check up on the bran to ensure that the food is not dried out.

My verdict:

In my opinion, reheating bran in the microwave is very good in quality. The bran can maintain its moisture, along with a delicious smell. Moreover, the warmth of the bran stays longer than in other methods.

This method is fast and convenient. Nevertheless, it would help if you didn’t let the bran stay in the machine for too long because the high temperature can dry out the grains quickly.

Reheat Sticky Rice in microwave

Reheat Sticky Rice In The Oven

If neither cooker nor a microwave is available in your house, an oven is the best option. This machine is an ideal alternative to the microwave due to its similar functions. The best oven for baking provides the best-quality gluey wheat. Besides, the heating process in this kitchen appliance will not take too long.

Step 1: Set the oven’s heat to 150 degrees for about three minutes. This step will speed up the warming process in the machine.

Step 2: Place the leftover wheat onto a thick glass pan or an oven dish. Make sure that you have added water underneath the pan. Next, you use the fork to pump in the wheat surface so that the water at the bottom can go up.

Step 3: After the wheat is placed nicely in the pan, you cover it with a light aluminum foil to retain heat.

Step 4: You bake the old wheat for 4-6 minutes in the oven. Check up the temperature regularly; if the bran is not hot enough, you can expand the time for a few more minutes.

My verdict:

Since the oven is bigger than the microwave, it can heat a large portion of bran at a time. Therefore, this practice can be helpful in an extended family.

The sticky bran in the oven tastes as excellent as in the microwave. You should not add too little water, or the bran will dry out.

Reheat Sticky Rice in Oven

Reheat Sticky Rice In An Stove

If there are no electric appliances available at that time, you could have the task handled by the stove. This trick is quite interesting when you have spare time. The steps are very simple:

Step 1:  To reheat sticky rice on the stove, prepare a medium-size pan. A big pan will be okay if you do not have that one. Ensure that the pan surface is completely dry; you can hydrate it with dry paper or the stove fire.

Step 2: You add some butter or vegetable oil to the pan, turn on the fire and wait until it melts. This tip will prevent your pasty bran from sticking to the pan surface.

Step 3: After melting the oil, you put the rice on and spread them throughout the pan. Because the stove can only heat up from the bottom, you should virtually make the grain exposed to the pan.

Step 4: Add some water to the waxy bran with a ratio of 1:1, which means one piece of bran is equivalent to one spoon of water. If you want to add some flavor, you can replace the water with chicken broth or pork broth.

Step 5: Cook the old bran in low heat for 5 minutes. It is better to stir the bran regularly to ensure that it will not burn. If you want to speed up the process, cover the pan with a lid so that the stem can go through the bran.

My verdict: 

From my point of view, the leftover wheat steamed on the stove smells better than other kitchen appliances. The stickiness is assured as well.

However, this trick requires much effort and ingredients; you can only do this when you have spare time. Besides, the wheat is very easy to burn once you don’t watch out carefully.

reheat sticky rice in stove

Best Approaches For Reheating Different Kinds Of Sticky Rice

Reheat Sticky Rice In Lotus Leaf

Lo Mai Gai is waxy grains wrapped in lotus leaf; this is a famous Chinese cuisine. There are two ways to rewarm this type of grain: the microwave or the steamer. The steamer is better applicable for frozen wheat. You have to put it straight into the steamer without frosting and set the timer for 20-30 minutes.

When using a microwave, you should wrap it with a layer of a moist towel to prevent the rice from drying out. Put the wheat on the machine and heat it for 1 minute to defrost. 

If you want to store this lotus wheat, you should cover a plastic wrap over the clumps. Next, put them nicely in the storage back with a ziplock and place them in the fridge.

Sticky rice in lotus leaf

Reheat Sticky Rice In Banana Leaf

Waxy grains in banana leaves, called zongzi, can be reheated in the steamer or the stove. Before reheating, you must defrost it first. You can take the waxy grains out of the freezer for two hours or use the defrost function in the microwave. 

Heating by the stove is faster; you need to put them on the pot, pour in some water and reboil them in 15 minutes. You could reheat them in the steamer for 30 minutes to maintain their heat. Compared with the stove, using the steamer revises the smell better, and the warmth lasts longer than the stove.

When there are leftover wheat clumps, you can store them by letting them cool down. Next, wrap them in plastic bags and put them in the fridge. To keep them in good condition, you should put a red leaf on them.

Sticky rice in banana leaf

Reheat Frozen Sticky Rice

The leftover wheat can not be heated once it still has ice inside. To defrost the frozen wheat, the first thing is to remove it from the fridge one hour before warming. Subsequently, use a roller to blend it and split it into small pieces. If it is too hard to break, sink it in warm water for a second. 

Next, put the separated rice onto a bowl and add some water to half of the bowl’s height. After that, you put it in the microwave and set the timer for 30 seconds. This process is similar to the way to reheat beef tenderloin. If the microwave is unavailable, a steamer can work in a pinch.

Within the microwave, after you finish defrosting, you must take the bowl out and discard the water, then start the reheating process.

How To Store Leftover Sticky Rice?

When you cook the grains, ensure that you eat them within 6 hours. Since wheat contains a bacteria called Bacillus Cereous – which is harmful to your digestion, they will be active after 6 hours if not reheated. In case you want to keep the dish longer, there are two ways to preserve it.

Use the fridge: Since the temperature in the fridge is very low, the bacteria can not penetrate the grains. When stored in the fridge, the sticky rice can last one week. However, we recommend that you should consume them as soon as possible. All you need to do is divide the mass of sticky rice into small clumps, and make sure that they are cool. Before they are placed in the fridge, you should cover them nicely in a storage bag so that they won’t be affected by other smells.

Place in a cool position: If it is in the winter, you may not have to place the food in the fridge. The normal temperature of the winter is cold enough to maintain its freshness. The only concern is that the insects might break into the grains, so seal the rice in a air-tight bag or container.


How To Reheat Mango Sticky Rice?

Reheating waxy grains with mango is different from other types. Firstly, you take the mango and the sauce out of the rice. You cover the wheat with a damp towel and put it in a microwave bowl. Subsequently, add a spoon of water to the rice’s surface and put the clumps in the microwave for 30 seconds.

You can rewarm the sauce as well. But you must not reheat the mango! Mango under high temperatures will produce a toxic substance that is not good for your digestion.

This method can still keep the unique taste of the rice and the sauce. If you want to add some flavor, you can replace the old mango with the new one.

Reheat mango sticky rice

Does Sticky Rice Need To Be Refrigerated?

It is unnecessary to refrigerate normal rice, but if it is gluey wheat, you must put it right away in the fridge. Gluey wheat has more moisture than normal rice so bacteria can infect the grains easily. If you digest unstored waxy wheat, you may get food poison or vomiting. 

Consequently, it would help to store the wheat in the fridge properly. You can separate it into small pieces, put them in the storage bag and store them in the fridge.


In conclusion, there are four answers to the question: How to reheat sticky rice?. Those methods are Microwave, Oven, Cooker, and Stove. The cooker is the easiest way, and the stove wastes the most time. However, all of these tricks bring the taste of the waxy grains to their original flavor. 

Apart from those appliances, you can also rewarm the wheat in the fryer, which appears as a new trick. We hope those tricks can assist you in cooking the best meal for yourself and your family!