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Make this Mango Sticky Rice recipe for a classic Thai dessert. You’ll love the sweet rice, fresh mango, and creamy coconut sauce.
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Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang) is a dessert recipe from Thailand featuring sticky rice in a coconut-milk mixture, fresh mango, and topped with a coconut cream sauce. It is just the right amount of sweet and rich. The texture of the rice is so chewy and sticky and pairs perfectly with the juicy and slightly sour taste of the mango slices.
Ingredients in our Mango Sticky Rice Recipe
- Glutinous Rice – this is a type of rice that lacks amylose which makes it stickier than regular white rice. It is often labeled as “sweet rice” or “Thai sweet rice” at the grocery store. The grains are opaque and become clear when cooked. Despite the name, it is still a gluten-free grain. If you absolutely can’t find it, then you can use sushi rice or jasmine rice.
- Coconut Milk – make sure to use full-fat coconut milk from a can. We like to use the Thai Kitchen brand. Do not shake the can before opening, as you will want to scoop the solids out of the can and save them for the cream sauce.
- Sugar – you can use white granulated sugar or light brown sugar.
- Mango – Fresh mango is what makes this dish truly POP!
How to Cook Sticky Rice
Just like in our sushi rice recipe, soaking the rice is extremely important. The husk on the outside of the sticky rice needs to break down so that it can cook properly. Traditionally sticky rice is cooked in a bamboo cone, or huad. It is placed over a pot of boiling water and steamed. It is not immersed in the water like other rices. Since I don’t have a bamboo cone, I improvised my own steaming set up. I placed a steamer basked in a large pot and lined it with cheesecloth. The cheesecloth is to help the rice grains not slip through the steamer basket. You could also use a linen or muslin kitchen towel.
After soaking the rice overnight, I sprinkled it evenly over the cheesecloth. Then, I added a few cups of water underneath the basket and brought it to a boil and covered it with a lid. I had to add water a few times during the cooking process, but my little steamer set up worked well!
How to Pick a Ripe Mango
Mangoes are the stars of this delicious dessert and you want the perfectly ripe mangoes to sit atop your Mango Sticky Rice. Let’s talk about how to pick a perfectly ripe, juicy mango! First, don’t pick by color. Mangoes come in all different colors and it isn’t a representation of ripeness, like a banana for example. Next, give the mango a very light squeeze. A ripe mango will have some give, but not too much. Ripe mangoes often have a fruity smell by their stem as well. Hope this helps!
Frequently Asked Questions about Mango Sticky Rice
Pour the coconut sauce over the top and eat it with a fork or spoon. Get a little rice and a chunk of mango in each bite!
It is such a fun and unique dessert. The rice is perfectly chewy and sweet and the mango is so juicy and a little sour. The rich coconut sauce on top ties everything together for a treat that’s just the right amount of sweet.
Rinsing excess starch off the rice allows for even cooking and ensures the rice is the perfect amount of sticky and chewy.
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How to Make Mango Sticky Rice
Mango Sticky Rice
- steamer basket
- large pot with lid
- In a colander or mesh strainer, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Then, place in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit covered on the counter for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
- Prepare your steaming station. Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of a large pot. Place the steamer basket inside and line it with the cheesecloth.
- Drain the rice and sprinkle it evenly over the cheesecloth. Bring water to a boil. Cover and let steam for 20 minutes. You may need to add more water as it cooks. Give the rice a little stir at the 20 minute mark, then continue to steam until rice is translucent, sticky, and chewy. For my rice it was about 25 more minutes for a total of 45 minutes.
- Remove rice from steamer and set aside.
- Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the solids off the top. Set aside. Pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan. Add ⅓ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Combine coconut sauce and rice and stir. Cover and refrigerate until the rice absorbs most of the liquid.
- Once the rice is ready, make the coconut cream sauce. Place solids from the can of coconut milk into a pot. Add 3 Tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
- To assemble, layer rice, sliced mango, coconut cream sauce, and toasted sesame seeds.
- Check the rice packaging for cooking instructions, as some varieties of rice may differ.
- Make sure you are using canned, full-fat coconut milk.
- Some people cook sticky rice in the rice cooker, but steaming it is the more authentic way. We have not tested this recipe with a rice cooker.
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