Here’s an easy recipe to make Thai mango sticky rice at home! It is such a simple dessert made with fresh sliced mango, rice, coconut milk, and a little sugar. We include tips and tricks below (including what kind of rice to buy) to help you recreate the same texture and flavor of this popular Thai dessert.
Everywhere you go in northern Thailand, from restaurants to small stalls at the night markets, you’ll find mango sticky rice offered. And this mango sticky rice recipe is like bringing the sweet coconut milk soaked dessert of Chiang Mai right to your kitchen table.
Back home in Florida, summertime is mango season and my mother-in-law always shares with us the bounty of mangoes that grow in her yard by the coast. It’s a simple and delicious summer dessert. We hope you enjoy it!
Pick The Right Kind Of Rice – Glutinous Rice
To start your mango sticky rice recipe, first make sure to purchase the right type of rice. Plain long grain white rice that you normally find at the grocery store won’t have the right texture or be “sticky” for a mango sticky rice recipe. Instead, look for glutinous rice at your local Asian market (they sell glutinous rice on Amazon too). It looks a bit opaque and feels lighter and a bit hallow. It’s named glutinous, not because it contains gluten, but because it is sticky when cooked.
The “stickiness” of the rice gives it a rich, dessert-like texture (especially once it soaks up all the coconut milk). In pinch, if you can’t find glutinous rice, use short-grained arborio rice as an alternative. Arborio is typically used for risotto. And while it might not get sticky, it is a shorter grain and will give you a more creamy texture that is perfect for dessert.
Sticky Rice Steamer Pot
When I was researching sticky rice, I was a little intimidated by the sticky rice steamer pot. And I have to confess, I just did a major purge in our kitchen in the name of wannabe minimalism. But I’m considering this a “necessity” because mango sticky rice brings me joy. And when I flip the bamboo basket over the pot for storage, it looks like I have a little kitchen warrior hiding in the corner. Now I just need to name it.
Steamed Rice Alternatives
If you don’t have a sticky rice steamer pot, you can also cook sticky rice in a rice maker or pressure cooker. Just follow the manufacturers instructions for short grain rice.
Making Sticky Rice
To make mango sticky rice traditionally with the bamboo steamer, you’ll need to soak the rice for 6-8 hours. So either soak overnight or set it to soak first thing in the morning to be ready around dinner time. I usually pour a cup of glutenous rice into a measuring bowl, add water until it reaches two cups, then cover it with a paper towel.
Once the rice as soaked, it takes about the same cooking time as making regular rice. Add water to the steamer pot until it’s about two inches deep (you don’t want it to touch the bamboo basket.) Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice to the bamboo basket, place the bamboo basket on the pot, then cover with any small lid from one of your other pan sets. Let it steam for 30 minutes, and then you’re done!
Mango Sticky Rice Recipes Tips & Tricks
TIP #1: I’ve made the rice using just the bamboo steamer basket, and I’ve also wrapped the rice in cheesecloth and then placed it in the bamboo steamer. The cheesecloth makes the rice a bit easier to handle and to clean up. Plus, you’ll need to flip the rice about 20 minutes into cooking, and picking up a ball of cheesecloth-wrapped rice with tongs makes it easy.
TIP #2: Use oven mitts and tongs when handling the steamer after the rice has cooked. The steam releases pretty quickly, but this will prevent burning your fingertips and make it easier to handle the rice.
TIP #3: After making this for years, the easiest and quickest way is to use a pressure cooker or rice maker! LOL! But the traditional bamboo steamer is fun for when you have the time.
TIP #4: Peel and slice your mango before cooking the rice. This will not only help you save prep and clean-up time, but you can also chill the mango while the rice is cooking. We have tips for how to cut a mango with step by step photos.
- 1 - 2 Fresh Mangos
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 1 tsp sugar
- Soak the glutinous rice overnight in 2 cups of cold water.
- Place a square of cheesecloth over a strainer and pour soaked rice into cheesecloth.
- Tie cheesecloth into a knot over the rice, leaving some extra room for the rice to expand as it cooks.
- Add water to the bamboo steamer pot and bring water to a boil.
- Once water is boiling, add cheesecloth rice ball to bamboo cone basket, and place cone basket into pot.
- Cover with a lid (from any other pan set) and steam for 20 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, peel and slice the fresh mangoes.
- If you like the coconut milk sweetened, add 2 to 3 tsp of sugar to the coconut milk and stir until dissolved
- After the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, carefully remove the lid (wear an oven mitt) and flip the rice ball in the bamboo basket using a set of tongs. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
- Cut the cheesecloth away from the rice, shape the rice into a ball using two spoons.
- Place the rice next to the mango, drizzle with sweetened coconut milk, and serve!
USING CHEESECLOTH: I've made the rice using just the bamboo steamer basket, and I've also wrapped the rice in cheesecloth and then placed it in the bamboo steamer. The cheesecloth makes the rice a bit easier to handle and to clean up. Plus, you'll need to flip the rice about 20 minutes into cooking, and picking up a ball of cheesecloth-wrapped rice with tongs makes it easy.
USE OVEN MITTS WITH BAMBOO STEAMER: Use oven mitts and tongs when handling the steamer after the rice has cooked. The steam releases pretty quickly, but this will prevent burning your fingertips and make it easier to handle the rice.
MAKING RICE IN PRESSURE COOKER: After making this for years, the easiest and quickest way is to use a pressure cooker or rice maker! LOL! But the traditional bamboo steamer is fun for when you have the time. If using a rice maker or pressure cooker, follow the manufactuerer's instructions for short grain rice.
PREP MANGOS AHEAD OF TIME: Peel and slice your mango before cooking the rice. This will not only help you save prep and clean-up time, but you can also chill the mango while the rice is cooking. We have tips for how to cut a mango with step by step photos.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information provided is only an estimate.
Directions On Back Of Rice
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