Mango Sticky Rice

Mango sticky rice is my favorite summer dessert. The sweet gooey, nutty sticky rice is served with luscious coconut cream and sliced mango. It’s so refreshing and comforting! This low-sugar version is not only easy to prepare, but also much healthier. {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian}

Traditional Thai mango sticky rice served in plates

Mango sticky rice a must-order whenever I visit a Thai restaurant, but when I can find ripe mangos I prefer to make this dish at home. You’d be surprised how easy it is to prepare this dessert. Plus, I love the fact that I can adjust the sweetness level and keep the dish on the healthier end of the spectrum.

Cooking notes

A brief introduction to sticky rice

Sticky rice, often called glutinous rice or sweet rice, is actually gluten-free. Glutinous rice is a type of rice grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia. The cooked grains are semi-opaque and have a gooey sticky texture when cooked. It is very commonly used in Chinese cooking, such as when making Zongzi (sticky rice dumplings), meatballs coated with sticky rice, pineapple rice, and sticky rice stuffed lotus root.

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The texture of sticky rice is quite different from that of regular rice, and it is the only authentic type of rice for mango sticky rice. You can find it in most Asian markets and possibly also in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.

How to prepare sticky rice

To achieve the best results, you should always soak the rice beforehand and then steam it. If you look at the recipe below, you’ll notice that I don’t add any water to the rice when steaming it. It’s quite different from the cooking method for regular rice, isn’t it? Glutinous rice doesn’t absorb as much water when cooking. Even though you can cook it on the stovetop, the soaking and steaming method generates the best results without getting overly soggy rice or burning the bottom.

Reduced sugar content

Sometimes I see recipes call for 1/2 cup of sugar when cooking 1 cup of sticky rice. That’s way too much sugar for me! Most of the reduced-sugar versions of this recipe use 1/4 cup of sugar. But in my recipe, I further reduced it to 2 tablespoons. It creates a milder sauce that is just sweet enough. It allows me to eat 2 servings (which I always do!) without feeling guilty at all.

If you prefer a sweeter dessert, start with 1/4 cup sugar. If you enjoy a less sweet dessert like me, 2 to 3 tablespoons will work great.

A word about the sauce

I’ve seen different recipes use coconut cream to create the sauce. After a few attempts, I found that using coconut milk works just as well. I used a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce and create a rich texture. I mixed half of the sauce into the rice, then used the rest as a topping. It reduces the number of ingredients and cooking steps while maintaining the great taste.

Always use ripe mangoes

Ripe mangoes are key to creating the best mango sticky rice. If your mangoes are still tough, simply store them at room temperature to let them ripen further before cutting them. Once the mangoes get soft, transfer them to the fridge so they will stay fresh without over ripening.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do!

Traditional Thai mango sticky rice with black sesame seeds topping

More delicious Asian dessert

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Mango Sticky Rice - The sweet gooey, nutty sticky rice is served with lucious coconut cream and sliced mango. It’s so refreshing and comforting. This low-sugar version is not only easy to prepare, but also much healthier. #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian
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5 from 1 vote

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango sticky rice is my favorite summer dessert. The sweet gooey, nutty sticky rice is served with lucious coconut cream and sliced mango. It’s so refreshing and comforting! This low-sugar version is not only easy to prepare, but also much healthier. {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian}
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Pre-soak the rice1 hr
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: street food
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw sticky rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (*Footnote 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 big ripe mango , peeled and sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (Optional)

Instructions

  • Rinse the sticky rice with tap water and use your hand to gently stir it. Drain the water to remove the excess starch. Repeat once, then add water to cover. Soak the sticky rice for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 5 hours. Rinse again and drain the water.
  • Transfer the rice to a heatproof bowl, add about 2 inches of water to your steamer (not into the rice), place the heatproof rice bowl on the steaming rack in the steamer, and cover the steamer. Turn to medium-high heat to bring the water to a boil. When the steam starts to come out of the pot, turn to medium heat. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through, with no hard raw bits in the middle. Remove the pot from the stove. Let sit, covered, while you prepare the sauce.
  • Add the coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar is melted. Do not bring the coconut sauce to a boil.
  • Combine the cornstarch and 4 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir to completely dissolve the cornstarch. Add half of the slurry to the sauce. Stir immediately to thicken the sauce. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by slowly adding a bit more water or cornstarch slurry, if needed. The sauce shouldn’t be too thick, but should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Carefully remove the sticky rice bowl from the steamer with your oven mitts on. Pour half of the sauce into the bowl. Stir to mix well.
  • The mango sticky rice is ready to serve when the rice mixture and the sauce cool to room temperature. You can serve it or store the extra sauce and the sauce-rice mixture separately in the fridge until ready to serve, up to 3 days. The sauce will further thicken when cooled. Stir in more coconut milk to dilute the sauce if it gets too thick.
  • To serve, transfer the coconut rice into serving bowls or plates. Place the sliced mango on the side. Pour a few spoonful of the extra coconut sauce on top of the rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, if using.
  • If you use refrigerated sticky rice, you can gently heat it in the microwave to bring it to room temperature before serving, for a better texture. However, it’s highly recommended to serve the rice when it’s fresh, for best results. Do not freeze the sticky rice, as it will create a very tough texture.

Notes

If you prefer a sweeter dessert, start with 4 tablespoons sugar. If you enjoy a less sweet dessert like me, 2 to 3 tablespoons will work great.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.4g | Protein: 2.9g | Fat: 15.1g | Saturated Fat: 12.9g | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 19.5g | Calcium: 1% | Iron: 6%
Mango Sticky Rice - The sweet gooey, nutty sticky rice is served with lucious coconut cream and sliced mango. It’s so refreshing and comforting. This low-sugar version is not only easy to prepare, but also much healthier. #glutenfree #vegan #vegetarian

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2 thoughts on “Mango Sticky Rice

  1. Healthy Kitchen 101

    This is one of my fav Thai food! I still remember the first time eating this rice in my Bangkok trip, I’m totally hooked 😍 I always consider that Thailand has the best street foods ever 🙂
    – Natalie

    Reply
  2. Danielle Wolter

    I just LOVE sticky rice! I usually eat it with savory dishes, but also love mango sticky rice at Thai restaurants. I’ve never made it myself. I also prefer a less sweet dessert so I’d go with your recommended sugar! The mango is sweet enough 🙂

    Reply