Why Is My Rice Sticky? (Reasons, Solutions + More)

There’s nothing more satisfying than rice that has been cooked just right. After all, that’s when you enjoy the rice’s flavor and texture the most.

However, when you end up with rice that’s mushy or too gummy, you’ll want to know why your rice is sticky? I looked into it, and here’s what I discovered!

Why Is My Rice Sticky?

Rice contains starch, which is why all rice variants have grains that stick together. However, different kinds of rice have different levels of starch content, making some variants stickier than others. Additionally, when grains rub against one another, the rice grains release starch, and the grains become coated. To prevent excessive stickiness, rinse the rice before cooking the rice.

In case you’re interested to know more about the reason rice is sticky and how different rice variants compare to one another in terms of stickiness, keep reading!

How To Fix Mushy Rice?

Fixing mushy rice entails turning the rice into another dish entirely, preferably rice pudding. Unfortunately, there’s no way to regain the shape of the grains and reduce rice’s moisture.

Since the rice is already mushy, you can easily turn it into a pudding by mixing the rice with sugar, vanilla, and milk, which can work if your mushy rice is white, brown, red, or black.

How To Make Rice Less Sticky?

To make sure that your rice doesn’t end up stickier than you want it to be, rinse the rice thoroughly before putting the rice in the rice cooker or on the stove.

However, for pre-cooked rice like parboiling rice and soft rice like Jasmine rice, preventing excessive stickiness requires using the right amount of water when cooking the rice.

In case the rice is already cooked and the rice turns out sticky but not so much that it’s completely mushy, you can still salvage the rice by rinsing the rice under cold water.

Rinsing the cooked rice will wash off the remaining starch on the grains. Afterward, spread the rice on a sheet tray and cook the rice in the oven to dry the rice grains and undo the stickiness.

Why Is My Rice Sticky In Rice Cooker?

Rice can turn sticky in the rice cooker if you don’t rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking or you cook the rice with too much water.

Why Is My Rice Sticky In Pressure Cooker?

Even when you’re using a pressure cooker to prepare rice, too much water can still make the rice excessively sticky.

Additionally, you have to make sure that you rinse the rice first unless the rice is pre-cooked or has naturally soft grains.

How To Fix Mushy Rice With Salt?

To fix mushy rice with salt, put salt in a small bowl and place that bowl at the center of the rice pan. After fifteen minutes, the salt should absorb some of the moisture in the rice.

While this might dry out the rice a bit, mushy rice with split grains will not regain its form. At most, the rice may dry out, but the rice grains won’t transform into properly cooked rice.

Why Is My Rice Sticky And Wet?

Depending on the type of rice you use, even the normal ratio of water to rice can be excessive. When the rice is exposed to too much water, the rice will be sticky and wet.

Such is the case with pre-cooked rice and soft grains that don’t require rinsing or much water to be thoroughly cooked.

As for the average white, brown, and black rice, the rice grains can turn out sticky and wet when they aren’t properly rinsed and they are cooked with too much water.

Why Is My Rice Sticky And Hard?

There are many reasons why your rice can turn out sticky but with some grains that are still entirely or partially hard.

Depending on the type of rice you use and how you cook the rice, it could be that you didn’t rinse the rice properly, used too much water, or let the rice sit in the rice cooker for too long.

Why Is My White Rice Sticky?

Why Is My White Rice Sticky?

When your white rice turns out stickier than you expect, the rice variant you bought may have a higher starch content.

If that’s not the case, it might be that you didn’t rinse the white rice thoroughly enough. As such, the excess starch on the grains bloomed in the hot water and caused stickiness.

Furthermore, you might have used too much water, which is normally the case if you pre-soak the white rice before cooking.

Why Is My Fried Rice Sticky?

Fried rice turns out sticky when you use freshly cooked rice. Ideally, the rice you use is leftover rice because leftover rice would be dry after being stored overnight in the fridge.

Additionally, you may have mixed the rice with ingredients that naturally contain fluids like lettuce, celery, and cucumber.

Moreover, cooking fried rice for too long can ruin the grains and make them mushy. Likewise, crowding the pan prevents the rice from drying out, and this yields sticky rice.

Why Is My Basmati Rice Sticky?

Basmati rice can be categorized into two types: new Basmati rice and aged Basmati rice. 

Since the moisture content of Basmati rice decreases over time, it’s less likely that the aged Basmati rice will turn out sticky when you use the standard ratio of water to grains.

However, new Basmati rice still has a lot of moisture in it. As such, you must use less water in cooking new Basmati rice compared to aged Basmati rice.

Why Is My Jasmine Rice Sticky?

Jasmine rice has softer grains than most types of rice, which means that the grains absorb water more easily. Consequently, it is not recommended that you rinse Jasmine rice.

If you need to rinse Jasmine rice, you have to reduce the amount of water you use when cooking Jasmine rice.

Additionally, you have to be careful not to overcook the Jasmine rice or expose the Jasmine rice to high heat.

Read our other articles to discover why your rice is crunchy, why your rice is mushy, and why your rice is bubbling.


Different rice varieties require different amounts of water, heat, and cooking time to get properly cooked rice.

Typically, the rice turns out stickier than usual when you don’t rinse the rice and therefore flush out the excess starch that coats the grains.

Moreover, you may have used much more water than the grains needed to cook, or you exposed the rice grains to high heat for too long.

Knowing the proper way to cook the different varieties of rice is key to making sure that the rice grains yield soft, fluffy, and delicious rice.

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