Not sure what to eat with sticky rice?
Look no further!
Here are 10 great side dishes to enjoy with your favorite Asian carb.
Sticky rice is a staple in many parts of Asia – from Japan and China, to Thailand and Vietnam.
But it can be hard to figure out what exactly it goes well with.
After all, plain cooked sticky rice has very few flavors on its own!
That’s where I come in.
With 10 tasty accompaniments, from spicy stir-fries to succulent salads and even classic desserts, you’ll never be stuck for options when faced with an empty plate of fluffy white grains again.
So roll up your sleeves, get cooking (or ordering)… and let’s get eating!
Why Consider Serving Sides with Sticky Rice?
Sticky rice is a popular dish in many Asian cultures, and it’s often served as the main course.
However, it can be beneficial to serve sides alongside sticky rice for a more balanced meal.
Sticky rice is high in carbohydrates and low in protein, so adding some protein-rich side dishes like grilled fish or tofu will help make the meal more nutritionally complete.
Additionally, serving vegetables such as stir-fried greens or pickled cucumbers can add flavor and texture contrast to the meal.
Finally, having sides with sticky rice helps create a sense of variety on the plate that makes for an enjoyable dining experience.
What To Eat With Sticky Rice? 10 Best Side Dishes
Sticky rice is a great side dish, but what to eat with it?
Here are ten great side dishes that go well with sticky rice:
1. Steamed Vegetables
- What Is It? Steamed vegetables are a great accompaniment to sticky rice. They can be cooked quickly and easily in the microwave or on the stovetop, and they retain their flavor and texture without adding any extra fat or calories. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and green beans all work well when steamed.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve steamed vegetables with sticky rice, start by preparing the sticky rice according to package instructions. While it is cooking, steam your chosen vegetables until they are tender but still crisp. Once both components of the meal are ready to go, plate them together for a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled meats or fish. For added flavor and nutrition you can also add herbs like parsley or cilantro to the steamed vegetables before serving.
2. Spicy Coleslaw
- What Is It? Spicy coleslaw is a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with sticky rice. It’s made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and onions tossed in a spicy mayonnaise-based dressing. The combination of crunchy vegetables and creamy dressing makes it the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve them together, start by cooking the sticky rice according to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the spicy coleslaw by combining all of the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisking until smooth. In another bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and onions and toss with enough of the dressing to coat evenly. When ready to serve, divide the sticky rice among plates or bowls and top each portion with some of the spicy coleslaw.
3. Grilled Pork Skewers
- What Is It? Grilled pork skewers are a classic Asian dish made with cubes of marinated pork that are threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled over an open flame. The marinade typically includes soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil for a savory flavor.
- To Serve Them Together: Sticky rice is the perfect accompaniment to grilled pork skewers. The sweet and salty flavors of the marinade pair perfectly with the nutty flavor of sticky rice. To serve them together, simply place a scoop of sticky rice on each plate and top it with one or two pork skewers. For added flavor, garnish with fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint leaves.
4. Thai Green Papaya Salad
- What Is It? Thai green papaya salad is a popular dish in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. It is made with shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, garlic, chilies, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. The ingredients are mixed together to create a spicy-sour flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of sticky rice.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve them together as a meal, start by cooking the sticky rice according to package instructions. While it’s cooking, prepare the Thai green papaya salad by shredding the unripe papaya into thin strips and mixing it with tomatoes, garlic, chilies, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Once everything is ready to go you can plate up your meal! Start by spooning some of the sticky rice onto each plate followed by a generous helping of the Thai green papaya salad on top. Enjoy!
5. Grilled Chicken
- What Is It? Grilled chicken is a popular dish that can be served as an entrée or side. It is typically made by marinating chicken in a mixture of spices and herbs, then grilling it over high heat until cooked through. The result is juicy, flavorful meat with a crispy exterior.
- To Serve Them Together: Sticky rice and grilled chicken make for a delicious combination. To serve them together, start by preparing the sticky rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, prepare your favorite marinade for the chicken and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Once both are cooked, serve the grilled chicken on top of the sticky rice with your favorite sides such as steamed vegetables or a salad.
6. Oven Roasted Mackerel with Cilantro and Garlic
- What Is It? Oven roasted mackerel with cilantro and garlic is a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with sticky rice. The mackerel is marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and spices before being oven-roasted until it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside. The result is a flavorful fish dish that can be served as an appetizer or main course.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve this combination together, start by preparing the sticky rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, prepare the mackerel by marinating it in the olive oil mixture for at least 30 minutes. Once ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and place the mackerel onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown on top. Serve alongside steamed sticky rice for a complete meal!
7. Peking Shredded Pork
- What Is It? Peking shredded pork is a popular Chinese dish made with marinated pork that is cooked until it is tender and then shredded into thin strips. The pork is usually served with a sweet and savory sauce, which can be made from soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings.
- To Serve Them Together: Sticky rice and Peking shredded pork make an excellent combination for a delicious meal. To serve them together, start by cooking the sticky rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, prepare the Peking shredded pork by marinating it in the sauce ingredients for at least 30 minutes before cooking it in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat until it’s cooked through. Once both components are ready to go, serve them together on individual plates or bowls with some steamed vegetables on the side for added flavor and texture.
8. Pickled Vegetables
- What Is It? Pickled vegetables are a great accompaniment to sticky rice. Pickling is a process of preserving food by soaking it in an acidic solution, usually vinegar or brine. This method of preservation helps to retain the flavor and texture of the vegetables while also adding a unique tangy taste. Popular pickled vegetables include cucumbers, carrots, onions, peppers, and radishes.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve pickled vegetables with sticky rice, start by cooking the rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare your pickled vegetables by slicing them into thin strips or cubes and placing them in a bowl with some vinegar or brine for at least 30 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, spoon some of the pickled vegetables over the top of the sticky rice for added flavor and crunch!
9. Easy 15-Minute Yaki Udon (Udon Noodle Stir Fry)
- What Is It? Yaki Udon is a Japanese stir-fried noodle dish made with thick udon noodles, vegetables, and a savory sauce. The noodles are cooked in a hot skillet until they are lightly browned and crispy on the outside while still being chewy on the inside. This dish can be served as an entree or side dish and is often topped with sesame seeds for added flavor.
- To Serve Them Together: Sticky rice and yaki udon make a great combination when served together. To serve them together, start by cooking the sticky rice according to package instructions. While it’s cooking, prepare the yaki udon according to recipe directions. Once both dishes are finished cooking, plate them together and top with sesame seeds for extra flavor.
10. Thai Coconut Chicken
- What Is It? Thai Coconut Chicken is a classic Thai dish that combines chicken, coconut milk, and spices to create a flavorful and fragrant meal. The chicken is cooked in the coconut milk until it’s tender and juicy, then served with sticky rice for a complete meal.
- To Serve Them Together: To serve this dish with sticky rice, start by cooking the sticky rice according to package instructions. Once the rice is cooked, prepare the Thai Coconut Chicken by heating oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add cubed chicken breast or thigh meat and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Pour in coconut milk along with curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and salt to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over steamed sticky rice for an easy yet delicious dinner!
In conclusion, sticky rice is a delicious and versatile food that can be paired with a variety of side dishes for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
When looking for sides to serve with sticky rice, some of the best options are steamed vegetables, spicy coleslaw, grilled pork, green papaya salad, grilled chicken, deep-fried mackerel, shredded fried pork, Chinese pickled vegetables, stir-fried noodles, and Thai coconut custard.
Each of these dishes has its own unique flavor and texture that will complement the sticky rice and make for a delicious and memorable meal.
What To Eat With Sticky Rice? 10 Best Side Dishes
- Steamed Vegetables
- Spicy Coleslaw
- Grilled Pork Skewers
- Thai Green Papaya Salad
- Grilled Chicken
- Oven Roasted Mackerel with Cilantro and Garlic
- Peking Shredded Pork
- Pickled Vegetables
- Easy 15-Minute Yaki Udon (Udon Noodle Stir Fry)
- Thai Coconut Chicken
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all of the required ingredients.
- Prep a side dish in 25 minutes or less.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.