Mango Monday: Manila Mangoes & Coconut Sticky Rice

Imagine yourself at your favorite spot for authentic Thai cuisine. A bowl of Red Curry Chicken, a platter of Pad Thai, maybe some Pineapple Fried Rice...You plow through it all. Every delicious and spicy bite. Now, it's time for the waiter to bring a tray of dessert for the table. A dessert that's refreshing and palate-cleansing all in one.

Are you craving mangoes and sticky rice yet?

Luckily, getting dressed and heading out to your local Thai joint will not be necessary. Homemade Coconut Sticky Rice is so easy to whip up! For a fresh and simple finish, ripe mangoes are sliced and spread right over the top!

To make this dish, you'll need sweet rice. It's also called "glutinous" rice. I love that the Filipino name, "malagkit", is even included on this bag from Butterfly Brand. (Very easy to identify at the Asian market!)

My pantry is typically well-stocked with this ingredient. I often make champorado for breakfast, a Filipino sweet rice porridge made with chocolate. Also, growing up, suman was one of my favorite snacks, made with rice and coconut, then steamed in banana or palm leaves. This sticky rice dish is not only one of my favorite Thai recipes, but it also brings me back to so many Filipino sweets!

Begin by soaking the rice for at least 2-3 hours. This step helps to create tender grains of rice. Then, drain the soaking water and steam the rice for about 45 minutes. The grains will soften and become translucent.

This is usually done in a traditional Thai steamer basket, but unfortunately...I didn't have one of those just lying around. Instead, I used my regular steaming pot and placed a fine-mesh colander inside of it. (A pretty nifty contraption, if I may so myself.)

While the rice is steaming, it's time to make the coconut sauce.

I've seen market stands in the Philippines, where mature coconuts are cracked open and all of the flesh inside is grated. Buyers then take this freshly grated coconut home and squeeze it for "milk". Again, unfortunately, I had none of those around here... (Maybe I'll try it myself, someday.) Canned coconut milk, though, still creates a creamy and flavorful sauce for the rice to soak up.

Simply stir the thick, dense layer that rises to the top of the can into the rest of the liquid. You want the texture to be nice and smooth.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk with a mixture of brown sugar and sea salt. The brown sugar has a deeper flavor that mimics palm sugar. But, of course, you can just use palm sugar if you actually have it on hand!

Once the rice is cooked, pour it into the warm coconut mixture. Stir gently to combine and evenly coat the hot rice. As it cools, it will absorb all of the liquid and obtain its signature "sticky" texture!

Slices of rich, golden manila mangoes are the crown atop this gloriously simple dessert! Their smooth, sweet flesh pairs so well with the sticky rice.

Because, sometimes, I don't want to mess around with my mango. I just want good ol' juicy slices. This dessert is perfect for times like these!

Toasted black sesame seeds are the final garnish. They add a contrast in color, and its nuttiness accents the flavors of the rice and coconut.

This is a fun takeout-fakeout dish that you, your friends, and your whole family can enjoy! After you've served up your own versions of Thai cooking, Manila Mangoes & Coconut Sticky Rice provide the heavenly finish. No hassle, no fuss...Try it this Summer! :)

Manila Mangoes & Coconut Sticky Rice (serves 4)

Print Recipe
1 cup Uncooked Sweet Rice
2 cups Water, for soaking (+ more for steaming)
3/4 cup Coconut Milk
3 tbsps Light Brown Sugar (Or 3 tbsps Palm Sugar)
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
2 large, ripe Manila Mangoes, peeled & sliced
Toasted Sesame Seeds, for garnish (optional)
  1. Soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours. Then, drain the water. Steam* the rice until tender and translucent, about 45 minutes. (*Use a traditional Thai steamer, or use a steaming pot and fine mesh colander. Do not boil the rice directly in water.)
  2. While the rice is steaming, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine, and warm over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, pour it into the coconut milk mixture. Stir gently to combine and to coat the hot rice. As it cools, the rice will absorb the liquid and become "sticky."
  4. Transfer the coconut sticky rice to a serving platter, and top with sliced mangoes and toasted sesame seeds. Serve, and enjoy!