Sticky rice is a short-grain variety of rice called glutinous rice that is grown in Southeast Asia. It is a commonly used in Asian recipes and is the staple food of Laos. The rice gets its stickiness from the starch component amylopectin and its reaction to hot water.
Sticky rice grows in both the highlands and lowlands of Southeast Asia since it requires less water to grow. While many Asian main dishes come with white sticky rice, unhulled glutinous rice comes in both purple and black and is commonly used in desserts. Although many rice recipes call for rice to be boiled, traditionally, sticky rice is steamed, and although the rice is called glutinous, it contains no gluten.