Today I want to introduce you to what is likely the most well known Thai dish, mango sticky rice.
Readers, meet mango sticky rice. Mango sticky rice, these are the readers. Be kind to them.
Even those of you who have never been to Thailand probably recognize this dish, as it is probably the best known dessert in Thai cuisine. Strangely enough though, it doesn’t make frequent appearances here in Bangkok, unless you’re in a hotel or restaurant that caters to Westerners. The Thais actually prefer to eat unripe mango, sliced and dipped in a mixture of salt and chili, and sometime sugar. You might thing this is a bit odd (I did at first), but once you try it you’ll be hooked. The combination gives you a sour bite from the crunchy unripe mango, along with saltiness, heat from the chili, and a touch of sweetness.
But we aren’t here to talk about that…we’re here for luscious mango sticky rice.
There, doesn’t that look ah-maze-ing? It is, and even though the Thais class this as a dessert, I find that it is best for breakfast, but that is simply my Western upbringing. The Thais eat stuff like guay dieow (noodle soup), khao man gai (chicken with rice) and moo ping (grilled pork) for breakfast, probably because the country is still mostly agrarian and a large percentage of the population grew up needing a large number of calories first thing in the morning to take them through the days’ farm chores. Still, this is a pretty filling dish, especially if you load up on the sticky rice. Which you now know how to make at home thanks to me 🙂
Even though Thai cooking is intimidating because those of us are unfamiliar with the ingredients and flavors, it doesn’t need to be. The sticky rice and mango dessert/breakfast is one great example of how easy it can be to make a luscious tropical Thai dish right in your own home, even in the middle of winter. In fact, it is actually harder to get nice ripe mango’s in the U.S. in August and September, and February is also a poor month for mango. Otherwise, you can almost always find ripe mango’s in the U.S., thanks to the large number of varieties and countries that grow mango’s.
Enough from me, let’s learn how to make this stunning dish, shall we?
- A large ripe mango
- 1 cup cooked sticky rice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon rice flour
- 1 teaspoon roasted white sesame (garnish)
- 3-5 pandanus leaves (optional)
- Reserve ¾ cup coconut milk and set it aside. Use the remaining coconut milk - add into a medium pot. Add the sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, and then bring to a simmer and turn the heat off.
- In a medium bowl, add the cooked sticky rice. Then pour the coconut milk mixture from the previous step in right away while the coconut milk mixture is still hot. Stir ingredients together and leave it to rest at least 15 minutes.
- While waiting - prepare the liquid coconut topping by mixing the reserved ¾ cup of coconut milk, remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and rice flour into a small pot. Place on low heat. Stir until the salt is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined. Then remove from heat.
- Peel the mango and slice into strips. Place the mango on a plate, scoop the coconut sticky rice aside and put the liquid coconut mixture on top of the sliced mango. Sprinkle the rice with a little roasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
And there you have a stunning and simple dessert or breakfast that your family or friends are sure to love. Everything can be made ahead of time if you want to have this for breakfast, just reheat the rice and coconut milk mixture gently and wait until the morning to slice the mango as it will go brown pretty quickly once it is sliced. Though it tastes the same, we want bright orange mango!