Thais are not ‘big’ on desserts but fresh fruit is often offered at bigger, more formal meals or when having a get together at a restaurant. Mango sticky rice is the go-to dessert and is often eaten as a meal on the go from a street vendor instead of something savory.
Mangoes are not in season everywhere all year round but with modern transport, they are often available for much of the year, imported from regions with different seasons. So this dish can be enjoyed much of the year in many places. If you can’t find mangoes then try our pumpkin in coconut milk Thai dessert instead and if you have mangoes then go make our Thai mango lassi – it’s scrumptious!
The ingredients you need to make mango sticky rice are:
Ingredients for Mango Sticky Rice
1 Ripe Mango
10 oz Sticky Rice
2 cups Water
0.5 cup Coconut Milk
3 oz White Sugar
0.5 tsp Salt
2 tsp Roasted Mung Bean
Ingredients For the Coconut Milk Sauce
0.5 Cup Coconut Milk
0.5 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cornflour
2 tsp Water
Mango Sticky Rice in Thai
If you want to order mango with sticky rice in Thai then you say “kor khao nieow mamuang khrup/kha”. The “khrup” is a polite sentence ending for guys to say replaced with “kha” for girls. “Kor” means ‘I’d like’ or ‘I want’. “Khao nieow” is Thai for ‘sticky rice’ which is commonly labeled with the more formal name ‘glutinous rice’ on the packet. Finally, “mamuang”, pronounced mam-oo-ang, is the Thai word for mango. Easy huh?
Key Tips for Successful Mango Sticky Rice
There are two main tips. 1. Make sure you buy a nice juicy, sweet, ripe mango which should be yellow in color without brown discoloring at the end where the stem was which indicates it is beginning to spoil. 2. Cook your sticky rice properly so it is not one glutinous lump, hard and dry or overly wet. It isn’t difficult once you ‘get’ it. I hope I can help you ‘get’ it!
Step by Step Guide to Making Thai Mango with Sticky Rice and Coconut Milk Sauce
Step 1 – Soaking & Cooking the Glutinous Rice
There are several methods of cooking sticky rice. If you have a rice cooker made for steaming glutinous rice then you can follow along with my method in the video. Alternatively, you can try one of the other methods outlined in these following posts: Methods for Cooking Sticky Rice Compared Best Way to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker – much the same method as I use in the video using a bamboo basket if your rice cooker does not come with a steaming tray. Best Way to Cook Sticky Rice in a Microwave – a very good method that is pretty quick too! How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Bamboo Steamer – the traditional way.
Whichever method you use it is imperative that you thoroughly wash the sticky rice several times to remove the excess starch on the outside of the glutinous rice – use a large bowl or sieve. You will know you are done when the water runs clear.
Then the rice must be soaked before cooking. The period for soaking can vary depending on the quality and age of the rice but for most premium store-bought glutinous rice 2 hours is recommended.
If you buy sub-par glutinous rice or old crop rice then you will need to soak for longer.
You do not want to soak for so long that the rice starts to go soft though. If in doubt soak for two hours and check your rice looks a little swollen and nice and white.
Step 2 – Treating the Rice with Alum (Optional)
Alum, or potassium aluminum sulfate, is an astringent used in cooking and is found in baking powder so do not be too surprised to see it used here. It has a faintly metallic taste so you do want to wash the rice thoroughly afterward but is very safe – otherwise, it would not be in baking powder
Taking this optional step has two benefits – first, it makes the cooked rice last longer and secondly it helps the rice look more shiny and new!
If you skip this step then you should eat the sticky rice within 24 hours but otherwise, your sticky rice will be fine so don’t fret either way.
To treat the rice just dip the lump of alum into your soaking water and gently wash the soaked rice over it a few times. Then drain and rinse thoroughly before cooking.
Step 3 – Cooking the Sticky Rice with Your Chosen Method
Cook your rice using the chosen method and be sure to turn over towards the end of the process to ensure it is evenly cooked.
Step 4 – Turning Cooked Sticky Rice into Dessert Rice
Once your sticky rice is cooked you will have normal sticky rice. This is the same rice as you eat with savory dishes or turn into Khao Nieow Ping – BBQ Sticky Rice!
To make it sweet we add it to a coconut milk mixture.
In an unheated pan mix together the coconut milk, sugar and salt until the granules are thoroughly dissolved. You can do this while the rice is cooking.
When the rice is nearly cooked, heat the coconut milk mixture until it just begins to simmer and then turn off the heat. A nice touch is to add a little pandanus leaf to the coconut milk mixture which improves the aroma.
Add the cooked sticky rice into the warm coconut milk together in a bowl, mix together and even the top surface. Cover and leave for 10 minutes so the coconut sauce can soak into the rice, After 10 minutes, turn the rice over and again leave to soak for another 10 minutes.
Step 5 – Making the Coconut Milk Sauce
While your rice is getting comfortable, you have time to make the coconut milk sauce which is a nice addition for those with a sweeter tooth and helps adjust the moisture content and softness of the sticky rice you eat.
An important part of Thai food is to leave the diner with the privilege of playing chef which is why almost every Thai meal comes up with a selection of sauces you can dip into, chili or pickles you can add or in this case a delicious sweet sauce to add moisture or sweetness to your heart’s content.
To make the sauce all you need is more coconut milk, sugar and salt which you mix together in a pan and heat to a gentle simmer. Don’t let it boil or the coconut fat in the milk will separate and look ghastly.
Mix up a little cornstarch and cold water to a slurry and add it into the mixture to help it thicken. Remember the mixture will thicken further as it cools so don’t overdo it!
Step 6 – Preparing the Mango
All you need to do with the mango is to peel the skin taking with it the fibrous layer between the juicy flesh and thicker skin.
That part of the fruit browns quickly so it needs to be removed in order to give you time to serve it and to give your guests time to eat it before any browning of the delicious flesh starts. If you remove this layer the mango flesh will look fresh substantially longer.
Peel the mango one half first and then slice off the flesh just above the large seed inside. You can then slice and dice your mango into bite-sized pieces.
Another method of serving is to slice the mango above the nut with the skin intact and then to slice through the exposed flesh in a lattice pattern.
You can then push up the skin from underneath and if you have a ripe mango the skin will turn in on itself opening up the lattice for eating rather like making a backward arch with your body as you might in the gym. I told you this was a healthy fruit!
Step 7 – Serving
Now all you need to do is set your mango alongside a serving of your lovely, soft and moist sticky rice, drizzle a little coconut sauce over and drop some toasted mung beans on top for a pretty finish.
Serve along with extra coconut milk sauce for your guest’s pleasure! Voila – the amazing Thai Mango Sticky Rice!
You can also use sesame seeds to top off (though they add taste), or a different type of crushed nuts if you like but toasted mung beans are the traditional finish here in Thailand.