Almost nothing beats a sweet and creamy mango when it is at peak ripeness. Nothing except the pairing of mango and sticky rice. The thing that really makes the Thai combination delicious is that the rice is lightly sweetened and flavored with coconut milk. Combined with the starchiness of the rice, the coconut milk gives the dessert a very rich texture. It blends well with the creamy mango, while setting off the brightness of the fruit.
All kinds of Thai restaurants have this dish on the menu, not only because it’s traditional, but because it is very simple; the dish has only a few components. It’s rare that I find a restaurant that serves a version I actually like, even when mangoes are in season. Armed with some ripe, yellow mangoes, I decided to cook up a quick version of the dish at home so I could take full advantage of my fruit.
My version of this dish is made almost like rice pudding, with coconut milk and a small amount of sugar cooked into pre-cooked sticky rice. The rice can be steamed or boiled (steamed might be more traditional, but I generally opt for the latter method), whichever you prefer. Cook the mixture until it comes to a boil, then let it stand until the coconut milk has been completely absorbed. Cool it down, slice some mangoes and you’re ready to eat.
I think that the flavors and textures are best when everything is at room temperature. If you’re not going to eat the whole batch at once, the leftovers of both rice and mangoes can be refrigerated. Pour a little extra coconut milk over the rice before refrigerating to keep things moist, as rice tends to dry out a bit in the fridge.
Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango
2/3 cup coconut milk (light or regular)
1/4 cup sugar
small pinch salt
2 cups cooked rice (sticky/sushi/arborio)
2 ripe mangos, sliced
extra coconut milk for serving
A starchy rice – sushi rice, arborio rice, glutenous rice – that has a small, puffy grain is best for this recipe, but it will work with other types of white rice, too. It just won’t be quite as sticky. You can use leftover steamed or boiled rice, but cooking a fresh batch first will give you the best result. Add extra coconut milk to further soften your rice if you are using leftovers that have been refrigerated.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Stir in cooked rice and cook until the liquid just comes to a simmer. Turn off heat and cover the saucepan. Let rice sit and cool until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Cool rice down to room temperature with fresh, sliced mangoes. Drizzle rice with extra coconut milk for serving, if desired.
NicoleJune 12, 2008
This sounds like a perfect early summer dessert!
Johnna Knows Good FoodJune 12, 2008
What an interesting combination…sounds good;-)
AlissaJune 12, 2008
licking my lips with excitement… we always order this when we order thai…
benJune 12, 2008
sweet rice is what’s usually used for sticky rice, you can find it in the bulk food aisle of a good store. and correct me if i’m wrong, but aren’t you supposed to soak the rice in water a day before cooking?
RosaJune 12, 2008
Ooooohhh, that’s something I really love! A wonderful treat during the summer days…
DonnaJune 13, 2008
This looks delicious.
What’s the difference between boiled and steamed rice?
NicoleJune 13, 2008
Donna – Steamed rice tends to be fluffier and, as Ben indicated above, it is often soaked before cooking. You can definitely prepare your rice that way for this recipe, especially if you’re looking for a somewhat more “traditional” recipe. This one is not strictly traditional, but it’s easy and it works!
Delicious ChronclesJune 13, 2008
i love this recepie, one of my friends did it for her final in pastry class!!
but pairing it ‘con mango’ is a grand idea!!1
Nicole M.June 13, 2008
I know what you mean about rarely finding a version you like. We love Thai food and try lots of Thai restaurants, but have never found a better sticky rice with mango than at our local place, which also makes it like a rice pudding (but not so liquidy). If you are ever in New Jersey, stop by Morris Thai in Union and I guarantee you will find a version you like!
Stephanie WeisendJune 3, 2014
I crumbled the contents of two cardamom pods into the milk and rice mix before letting it sit. It was scrumptious!