What is mango sticky rice?
Mango sticky rice is a Thai dessert that consists of a salted coconut sauce drizzled over fresh slices of mango and sweet coconut sticky rice. The combination of textures in this summer dessert is irresistible, and it's much easier to make at home than you might think!
Traditionally, Thai sticky rice is soaked for several hours then steamed, but I wanted to make a quicker version. I found that using a rice cooker is much more efficient and still produces great results! The rice comes out perfectly sticky and chewy.
What ingredients do you need to make mango sticky rice?
Mango sticky rice only requires a handful of ingredients:
- Fresh, ripe mangoes: Because mangoes are such a core component of this dish, using the ripest and sweetest mangoes will get you the best-tasting mango sticky rice! Depending on where you live, you'll have access to different varieties of mangoes. Where I live, yellow or champagne mangoes tend to be the sweetest.
- Thai sweet (glutinous, sticky) rice: Thai sticky rice is a long grain rice -- make sure to get the Thai version and not Japanese short grain sticky rice. Japanese short grain rice could still work in a pinch, but it won't be as sticky or chewy as Thai sticky rice.
- Full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk: To get the richest coconut flavor, use full-fat coconut milk. I like Aroy-D, but many Asian brands work well!
- Cornstarch: This mixed with a bit of water helps thicken the salted coconut sauce that gets drizzled over the top of the rice.
- Sugar & salt
- Optional: pandan leaves can be difficult to find depending on where you live, but it's often added to the sweet coconut sauce to infuse it with a slight vanilla-y flavor!
- Optional toppings: toasted mung beans, sesame seeds, or coconut flakes provide an extra crunchy texture to this otherwise creamy and sticky dessert.
What type of rice to use for mango sticky rice
The best rice to use for mango sticky rice is Thai sweet (glutinous, sticky) rice. Thai sweet rice is long-grain, unlike Japanese sticky rice which is short-grain.
I tested this recipe using Japanese sticky rice, and the rice wasn't as sticky or chewy compared to the Thai sweet rice. While it can still be delicious, if you crave for that traditional Thai mango sticky rice texture, I'd recommend going with Thai sweet rice.
I use the Three Ladies brand of Thai sweet rice, but any bag labeled as "Thai sweet rice" should also work!
How to make sticky rice in the rice cooker for mango sticky rice
The traditional way to make Thai sticky rice requires soaking the rice for several hours and then steaming it. This process can take a long time, and I wanted this recipe to be efficient without sacrificing the texture of the rice.
For that reason, I like using a rice cooker to make the sticky rice. I just use a 1:1 rice to water ratio and cook it on the normal white rice setting. For my rice cooker making 1 cup of rice, that's only 20-25 minutes and the rice comes out perfectly sticky and chewy!
How to make mango sticky rice in 4 easy steps
Step 1: Make the sticky rice in the rice cooker
Make sure to wash your rice a few times or until the water runs mostly clear. Then add it to your rice cooker with equal parts water (1 cup rice = 1 cup water). Cook it on the normal white rice setting!
Step 2: Prepare the coconut sauces
Mango sticky rice has two coconut sauces: one sweet and one salty. The salty one is slightly thick and is usually drizzled on top of the finished dessert. The sweet coconut sauce gets absorbed into the sticky rice to give it the fragrant and rich coconut flavor.
Step 3: Mix the sweet coconut sauce with the sticky rice
Once the sticky rice is done, incorporate the sweet coconut sauce with it, and then cover and let it sit for about 30 minutes. It will look like there's too much liquid at first, but it should all absorb into the rice.
Step 4: Prepare the mangoes and assemble the dessert
And lastly, prepare the mangoes however you like, and assemble the dessert! Remember to drizzle some of that salted coconut sauce over the rice, and enjoy!
Check out these other popular smellylunchbox dessert recipes:
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Mango Sticky Rice
- 3-4 ripe mangoes
Coconut sticky rice:
- 1 cup Thai long-grain sweet rice (also known as sticky or glutinous rice)
- 1 cup water
- 1 ¼ cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Salted coconut sauce:
- ¾ cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water
- Toasted mung beans, sesame seeds, or coconut flakes
Make the sticky rice
- Wash the Thai sweet rice 2-3 times or until the water runs almost clear. Drain, then add to your rice cooker. Add equal parts water.1 cup Thai long-grain sweet rice, 1 cup water
- Set it to cook on the white rice or normal setting.
Prepare the salted coconut sauce
- While you wait for the rice to cook, prepare the two coconut sauces. Give the can of coconut milk a good shake to ensure it's well-mixed.
- For the salted coconut sauce, add ¾ cup of the coconut milk into a large measuring cup or bowl (save the rest of the can for the sweet coconut sauce). Add sugar and salt.⅛ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour this slurry into the salted coconut sauce.1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water
- Pour the salted coconut sauce into a pot or pan, and heat on medium heat while stirring continuously until it thickens slightly. This should only take a few minutes! Set aside to cool.
Prepare the sweet coconut sauce
- For the sweet coconut sauce, pour the rest of the can (1 ¼ cup) of coconut milk into a large, heatproof or microwaveable bowl. Add sugar and salt and mix well.1 ¼ cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk, ¼ cup sugar, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Microwave in 30 second intervals until sugar is fully dissolved (two 30 sec intervals should do it). Alternatively, heat in a pan on the stovetop until sugar is fully dissolved. Do a taste test to ensure it's sweet enough to your liking!
Mix the sweet coconut sauce with sticky rice
- Once the sticky rice is done cooking, add it to the bowl of warm, sweet coconut sauce. Mix well, then cover and set aside to let the sticky rice absorb the sweet coconut sauce. It will look like a lot of liquid at first, but will absorb into the rice as it sits! Ideally, let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the mangoes and assemble the dessert
- In the meantime, prepare the mangoes in the way you prefer. Once the rice has absorbed most or all of the liquid, add a portion to a plate with the fresh mangoes, a drizzle of the salted coconut sauce, and whatever toppings you prefer. Enjoy!3-4 ripe mangoes, Toasted mung beans, sesame seeds, or coconut flakes