This recipe for Thai Mango Sticky Rice is a sweet dessert consisting of glutinous sticky rice, coconut cream and fresh sliced mangoes.
The wonderful thing about food is that it transcends generations.
If there was a dessert that was the epitome of my grandpa's childhood, it would be this Thai Mango Sticky Rice.
My 91-year old grandpa grew up in Thailand, and his grandma would get this wonderful sweet treat for him.
Today, I'm exploring this traditional Thai dessert, made with glutinous rice and tropical fresh mangoes.
When is it eaten?
In Thailand, it is eaten during the summer months of mango season (April - May).
It is commonly found as a street hawker food.
Ingredients in the dish
This delicious Thai dessert is comprised of:
- glutinous rice: see note below
- coconut milk: acts as the sauce and flavours the rice
- sugar: adds sweetness
- salt: counterbalances the sweetness
- fresh mangoes
Differences between types of rice
There are differences between glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice), and other types of rice, such as long-grain rice.
The kernel of long-grain rice is slim and becomes fluffy when cooked.
Glutinous rice is sticky and can be short-grained (Japanese sushi rice) or long-grained (Thai sticky rice), which will be the one we're using.
The stickiness in the rice grain comes from a compound called amylopectin.
The higher the amylopectin, the more stickier the rice.
You'll need a steamer for this recipe.
You can use a stainless steel steamer, or bamboo if you have it.
However, if you don't have one, another easy way to create one is to use a splash guard (the one you would use to cover splatters from frying food).
Place the steamer into a larger pot and fill with enough water, about 2-3" high, making sure that there's enough room between the steamer and the top of the waterline.
Cloth or cheesecloth
Place a cloth or cheesecloth onto the prepared steamer.
When you're ready to steam the rice, drain the rice and place it onto a clean cloth or cheesecloth in a flat layer.
This will ensure the rice cooked evenly.
How to prepare
Wash and soak the glutinous rice the night before.
The easiest way to do this is to place the rice into a sieve and place it under running water, gently swishing the rice around with your hands.
Next, place the washed rice into a large basin and fill with fresh, clean water to cover. Set aside to soak overnight.
Pandan leaves are an optional ingredient, but if you're able to find them -- add them to the rice prior to steaming. It will give the rice an aromatic fragrance that complements the coconut milk.
Mix the coconut milk with a little sugar and salt to give it its characteristic sweet and salty flavour.
Warm the coconut milk mixture gently over the stove.
After cooking the glutinous rice, pour the coconut milk on top of the rice and mix together.
The grains of rice swell and glisten when it fully absorbs the coconut milk. It will become something like a slightly thick, sweet rice porridge.
Drizzle a second, thicker coconut cream (made with coconut milk and tapioca starch) on top of the Thai Mango Sticky Rice prior to serving.
How to store & serve
As the rice will harden when it cools down, this dessert is best served freshly made, preferably on the same day.
You can reheat the rice by steaming it prior to serving.
For leftovers, store each component in separate containers in the fridge.
Other recipes you may like
Thick, sweet, tropical and tangy -- Thai Mango Sticky Rice is a summertime staple that should be in your dessert repertoire.
It's a great way to use those fresh mangoes that appear for such a short window of time.
Let me know if you try my recipe. Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Thai Mango Sticky Rice
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 200 g glutinous rice washed
- 4 pandan leaves optional, cut into 2" lengths
- 200 ml coconut milk canned
- 50 g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Thick coconut cream for serving:
- 150 ml coconut milk canned
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 15 ml cold water
- ¾ teaspoon tapioca starch or corn starch
- pinch sea salt
- 2 ripe mangoes cut
- white and black sesame seeds for garnish optional
Prepare the rice:
- The night before you want to make Thai Mango Sticky Rice, measure and wash the glutinous rice.
- Place the rice into a sieve and put it under running water to wash away any excess starch.
- Drain the rice and place into a large container.
- Pour enough fresh, clean water to cover. Let it soak overnight.
- In the morning, drain the water from the rice.
- Prepare the steamer with a cloth/cheesecloth and place the washed rice in a flat layer on top of the cloth. Add pandan leaves (if using).
- Cover the steamer with a lid and heat over medium high heat.
- Steam for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked. The rice will be very sticky.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add in 200ml coconut milk, sugar, and sea salt.
- Stir the mixture so that the sugar and salt is dissolved.
- Bring to a low simmer and remove from heat.
- When the rice is cooked, carefully remove rice from the steamer and place into a large glass bowl.
- Gradually pour in the warmed coconut milk over the rice, and gently mix with a rice paddle. Let the rice absorb most of the coconut milk before adding more coconut milk. It may seem like a lot of milk, but don't worry, the rice will absorb all of it.
- Cover with the rice with a plate (or plastic wrap). (It's important to cover it to not let the rice dry up or it will be hard).
Prepare the thick coconut cream:
- In the same saucepan, add in the remaining coconut milk, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine the cold water with the tapioca starch. Stir to dissolve and pour into the coconut milk. Whisk the coconut milk mixture, bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
- Pour this thickened coconut cream into a separate bowl.
- To assemble, place a scoop of the sticky rice onto a serving bowl or plate, layer some mangoes on top, and pour the thick coconut cream over top.
- Garnish with sesame seeds if desired. Enjoy immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
This article was originally published for Curious Cuisiniere.