Thai coconut mango sticky rice dessert is the most heavenly dessert ever created in Thai cuisine. The sweet, savory, creamy coconut sauce slathered in sweet sticky rice and then topped with more gooey goodness from coconut milk and sliced mango will make your taste bud dance with every bite!
- What is Thai mango sticky rice?
- Why Mango sticky rice is so popular
- Why you'll love Mango sticky rice dessert
- Ingredients for making Coconut Mango Sticky Rice
- How to make authentic sticky rice dessert
- Garnishing options
- Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Where to buy sticky rice
- The best mangoes for making Thai sticky rice mango
- Helpful kitchen tools for this recipe
- Fruit topping substitutes and suggestions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai recipes you'll love
- Thai coconut mango sticky rice dessert
What is Thai mango sticky rice?
Khao Niaow Ma Muang, or Thai coconut sticky rice, is a savory sweet Thai dessert made with sticky glutinous rice immersed in sweet coconut sauce and then served with sweet ripe mangoes. It is the most famous dessert in Thai cuisine and is loved and enjoyed worldwide.
Why Mango sticky rice is so popular
In the West, Sticky rice mango is definitely one of the go-to desserts when dining out in Thai restaurants. In Thailand, Khao Neow Mamuang is served as street food by street vendors and in restaurants throughout the country. Mangoes are abundant in Thailand, and sticky rice is commonly used in Thai cuisine. Coconuts are also plentiful in the tropical temperature of Thailand. Combining all these simple ingredients in the kitchen and viola, the world was introduced to the most irresistible dessert.
Why you'll love Mango sticky rice dessert
- It's a delicious dessert combining all the major flavors in every bite. Sweet, creamy, tangy (from the mangoes), and lightly salty.
- This recipe is easy to make using a few ingredients that you'll likely find all of them at your local grocery store.
Make a big batch for a party, catering, or serving a large crowd! It keeps well. The crowd goes wild at the sight of it every time! (:
- Mango sticky rice is vegan and gluten-free, perfect for everyone's dietary preferences!
- It's a kid-friendly dessert. It's not spicy! (:
Ingredients for making Coconut Mango Sticky Rice
Visit your local Asian grocery stores for all the authentic ingredients for this recipe.
Part 1. The sweet sticky rice
- Cooked sticky rice (from Glutenous rice that has been soaked overnight and steamed) Recipe here on how to make Thai sticky rice.
- Coconut cream. You can use coconut milk, but I love coconut cream for this dessert. Go big or go home for this iconic recipe! LOL
- Sugar. White sugar yields the best results and color for this recipe. Brown or palm sugar works too, but white is my preferred sugar for sticky rice mango dessert.
- Salt. Just a tiny bit to round out the sweetness.
- Pandan leaves. (This is Optional but highly recommended). Rolled up food twine into a small bunch that fits into your pan.
Part 2. The sweet coconut topping sauce
- Coconut milk. Use full-fat coconut milk.
- Sugar. Use white granulated sugar. Coconut sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, or monk fruit sugar all will work as sweetening agents. It's up to your personal preference.
- Salt. It just needs a pinch of salt for balance.
- Tapioca flour. Tapioca starch works too. Use rice or regular flour to thicken the sauce.
- Mangoes. Peel the skin off and use the meaty part.
How to make authentic sticky rice dessert
There are two parts to this amazing dessert, but both are prepared very similarly. The sweet rice part and then the sauce that goes on top. To make Thai sticky rice, please check out this recipe on how to steam Thai sticky rice properly.
First Part: the sweet coconut rice
Step 1. Make the sticky rice using this recipe using a steamer basket. If this is your first time making mango sticky rice, plan your cooking time accordingly. Sticky rice needs time to soak in water before steaming. Use my recipe here to make sticky rice.
Step 2. Heat a saucepan over med heat. Add the coconut cream, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves (pandan are optional but highly recommended) and stir until soft boiling, then turn the heat off and let it cool. In the next step, use a large pot to add cooked rice to this sauce.
Step 3. Add the steamed rice to the creamy sauce in the pan and let the rice mixture chill for 15-20 mins to let the rice soak in the coconut sauce.
Second Part: The creamy coconut sauce and the mango
Step 1. Combine coconut milk, sugar, salt, and tapioca flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together well and often to prevent the sauce from clumping. It should take about 3-5 minutes to cook. Once the sugar dissolves and your sauce has a thick consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Step 2. While waiting for the coconut milk mixture to cool, peel the mango and use only the meaty part to serve with sticky rice. Make sure your mango is ripe.
Step 3. For serving, dish 1 cup of sticky rice to a plate, add mango slices on top of the rice and pour the creamy topping sauce over the rice and mango. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or any of your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
- You can easily adjust the sweetness of the recipe by reducing or increasing the sugar until at a desired flavor. Make sure too, however, to adjust the salt. Go easy on the adjustment. Happy Cooking!
- Add toasted sesame seeds, black or white seeds are great for garnishing this sweet rice recipe.
- Use mung beans. They add a nice nutty crunch.
- Use chia seeds, not a typical Thai garnish, but the health benefits and delicious crunchy taste are perfect.
- Using various fresh fruits. See the suggestions below.
- Add toasted coconut flakes to top off your dessert. Yum!
- Fresh mint leaves. It looks beautiful together, and the fragrance adds a refreshing look and smell to this delicious Thai dessert.
Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Sticky rice is the main ingredient for this iconic dessert! Make sure to get the correct rice for this recipe. Use Thai sticky rice. They are also called glutinous rice or Thai sweet rice. Find it at your local Asian markets near you. The sticky rice must be soaked in cold water, then steamed before making this dessert. Use my recipe here on how to make sticky rice. See the image below for a reference of the correct sticky rice.
- Ripe mangos. We don't have access to the same mangoes as Thailand. Use the sweetest and most ripe mangoes at your Asian markets and local grocery stores. I've had some luck at Trader Joe's and Costco for different types of mangoes. Check what's available seasonably for the best mangoes.
- If you add the cooked sticky rice to the hot pan with the sauce, your sticky rice will get a little soft from the residual heat. It's like you making a sweet rice pudding with this method. This is great if your sticky rice is on the undercooked side.
- You can also pour the sauce over the rice in a large bowl. This technique will ensure that the rice will not get as mushy with the grains still intact, making the dessert more esthetic. Either option works just fine, the flavors will still be the same, but the texture will be slightly different. It's a personal preference from here.
- Pandan leaves can be difficult to find. But you can find them, grab them from the Asian market and use it for this recipe.
Where to buy sticky rice
- Find your sticky rice at your local Asian markets. Most stores will have them.
- Grab them online at Amazon. Here are the brands I recommend. Three Rings brand, Cock on the mountain top brand, and Three Ladies Santapong brand.
The best mangoes for making Thai sticky rice mango
There are hundreds, if not thousands, types of mangoes out there. The mangoes listed below can be found in US grocery stores. These are great for this sticky rice mango recipe. They are more, but the best suggestion is to find ripe and in-season mangoes in your area.
- Champaign mangoes
- Manila mangos
- Mexican mangoes
- Tommy Atkins (most common mangoes in the US)
- Kent mangoes.
Helpful kitchen tools for this recipe
You may have seen the different colors of rice for this classic Thai sticky rice dessert. The followings are some of the main ones using natural exotic ingredients for added colors. Some recipes may use artificial colors, but I will address only the natural food coloring from plants.
- Black glutinous rice dessert. You may have seen this version of the coconut sticky rice. The rice is naturally black/reddish in color and is cooked the same way as the white sticky rice.
- Purple sticky rice dessert. Purple rice comes from a combination of white and black sticky rice together to get beautiful purple rice. Here's how to make purple sticky rice with my popular recipe.
- Blue coconut sticky rice. The rice is blue, using butterfly flower peas as the natural coloring rice.
- Green sticky rice dessert. Using the pandan leaves as the main color for the deep green color.
- Pink sticky rice. Use Pitaya powder for a fun, bright pink color. Pitaya is a dragon fruit powder with a bold pink color.
Fruit topping substitutes and suggestions
I have seen a few variations and twist to this Thai classic. Here are my suggestions, and feel free to play around as there are no rules as long as you know the basic rules for traditional recipes. We don't always have access to mangoes in the US or the West. Using available and seasoned fruits is the next best thing. Give these fruits a try and see what you think!
- Durian sticky rice. If you can find durian, THE king of fruit and a delicious tropical creamy sweet fruit. It's a perfect pair for the sticky rice mango recipe.
- Try ripe peach slices. The best fruit for this sticky rice dessert is the extra ripe, juicy, and meaty fruit with lots of texture.
- Fresh strawberries. Chop the strawberries into small pieces, add a teaspoon of sugar to lightly marinade, and extract the juice. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use that for toppings.
- Try fresh fruit jams like blueberries, raspberries, or currants. They add a great sweet and tart flavor balance to the sweet rice.
- If you want to use pandan leaves in the desert and can not find fresh or frozen leaves, use pandan extract instead. They are sold in the Asian markets.
- Japanese sweet rice. It's the short grain rice used for sushi rice. It's not the right rice for this Thai dessert, and I'm hesitating to recommend it, but it could work in a pinch.
Store your leftover sticky rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Longer than that, and the sticky rice hardened too much, and the mango got too mushy and slimy. Be sure to separate the sauce, the rice, and the fresh mango slices from each other, or you'll have messy mushy rice. (; Reheat the sticky rice and the sauce in the microwave for 1-2 minutes before serving again.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's hard to pinpoint exactly who created the famous Thai sticky rice recipe's first recipe. It is believed that it's been around since Thailand's Ayuthaya era from the 14th-18th century. Read more about Thailand's history here.
Sticky rice, or Khao Neow, is popular in Southeast Asia. The rice is believed to have come from the Northeastern region of Thailand and Laos, where rice is the staple food of those areas.
Mango sticky rice is a delicious dessert with sweet, creamy, and savory flavors from creamy coconut milk, sugar, and salt combined to make a delicious sauce. The sweet rice is then garnished with ripe mango slices that add a sweet and lightly tart taste to the dish.
Thai long-grain sticky rice is used to make this classic Thai dessert. The rice is a long grain of white rice with a sticky texture once cooked. The rice is also called sweet rice, glutinous rice. Never use jasmine rice or basmati rice for making mango sticky rice recipes.
Yes, you can make sticky rice mango dessert ahead of time! Make the rice first in the sweet coconut sauce, cover well, and keep it at room temperature for up to 3 hours but do not add the mango slices just yet. Keep the mango slices in a separate container. Once ready to serve the dessert, put the rice and mango together with the garnish, and you are set!
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