When I think of food bringing people together, I think of Sticky Rice and Dippy Sauce. It’s a staple at our house, if only because of how often friends and family request it at parties, small dinner get togethers… I think my sister even requested it last Thanksgiving.
I was introduced to Sticky Rice and Dippy Sauce by my husband, Frank, while we were dating.
The novelty of it drew me in initially. As a white girl from Kansas who grew up with a limited, Midwest food palette, the spicy dippy sauce was fairly exotic. Hand rolling little rice balls made me feel like a kid. And those cooking pots & serving baskets? Cool, culinary funkiness.
At any rate, I was soon hooked. It might even be why I married Frank.
I kid, but Sticky Rice IS addictive. Over the years, we’ve bought several “Sticky Rice Kits” as gifts for folks who wanted to make it at home for themselves and others after having it at our house a few times. There’s something cool about how this relatively simple recipe was taught to Frank and has continued to work its way through waves of friends and family, being made, shared, and taught to others.
Sticky Rice brings folks together, like some spicy carb cult. You dip a few pieces of rice, then swear you’re going to stop because you feel your belly filling up and your tongue tingling, yet minutes later, you find yourself wanting more of that addictive spicy deliciousness, so in you go again…
The spicy dippy sauce is what makes this dish, and everyone finds their happy mix of ingredients over time. Above is a rough idea of how we make ours. Every batch involves taste testing and deciding how adventurous you’re feeling today. My son is a huge fan of sticky rice, although admittedly the sauce is not for him. For kids you can tone it down by creating a batch without any habanero pepper or even just giving them some soy sauce in their own little dipping bowl.
Alternatively, for those veering away from carbs (the horror!), this dippy sauce is great for dipping grilled chicken wings or some sauteed broccoli.
Regarding the illustrations, I’m in love with They Draw and Cook, and one of these days, I’m going to actually submit this recipe as a proper submission to them. In the meantime, I doodled the recipe for all of you to download here since I can’t actually make it and share with you.