If you think Thai cuisine is all about spicy curries then you have probably never tried a good Thai dessert. Mango sticky rice is the ultimate Thai dessert. It combines exotic flavours with a smooth rice pudding to create the perfect sweet ending for a Thai meal. In Thai, Mango sticky rice is called Khao Neow Mamuang. It is one of the most popular desserts in Thailand, and once you taste it you will understand why. Luckily, it is actually quite easy to make at home. Moreover, despite the Thai heritage, mango sticky rice is actually a great all round dessert. An ideal sweet finish to any good dinner.
Even if mango is not your favourite fruit in the world, there is no reason why not to enjoy some delicious sticky rice. Instead of mango, simply substitute with other exotic fruit, such as pineapple or passion fruit. So, next time instead of ordering this Thai dessert in a restaurant, make an authentic Thai mango sticky rice at home.
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authentic Thai mango sticky rice recipe
Mango sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert which is also known as khaoniao mamuang. Not quite like our western rice pudding. In summary, mango sticky rice is made out of glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and fresh mango. In Thailand, it is a very popular street-food dessert. However, it is also commonly found through the Indochina region and South East Asia. So even if you don’t have the opportunity to see Thailand during your vacation, you can still find mango sticky rice in places like these:
The best time for eating this amazing dessert is between April and July. Also, the mango sticky rice specialty stores in Asia only sell these in this period. It’s all about seasonality in the case of mango sticky rice!
In addition, if you have a chance to look through the amazing street food of Thailand, you might also find:
- Thai spring rolls – click for the recipe
- nipa Thai – click for the recipe
- Thai fish cakes – click for the recipe
- vegan pad Thai – click for the recipe
- Thai turkey meatballs – click for the recipe
Now, if you are looking for something more rich and more powerful then you should try the traditional green Thai chicken curry. In addition, once you try the green, you have to also try the red beef curry in a delicious sweet peanut sauce. Check out this post on the difference between red curry vs green curry if you’d like to know more!
Thai mango sticky rice – with Mango Tree
This is the third and final recipe I shot with Mango Tree to showcase the exemplary food Thailand has to offer. What I love most about Mango Tree’s food philosophy is that there are no MSG products used in the kitchen, believe it or not. I’ve personally been in the kitchen and it’s true. It is actually very hard to come by a restaurant that adheres to this practice nowadays.
If you have a look at the entire menu, you can find comfort in the fact that everything is fresh and made from scratch. This is what, of course, makes Mango Tree so popular. There is a wide selection between starters, main courses, and more! I truly enjoyed looking at the dishes on their luxury Thai menu. You can access it here. If you have an initial look, and you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t you worry at all!
Mango Tree is one of the few restaurants who cater heavily for vegetarians and vegans. Everything is tweakable to fit every customer’s needs, while retaining all authentic Thai flavours. They have even created a separate menu. Impressed? I am telling you. This is a perfect place for you if you love real Thai meals and are a vegan or a vegetarian. So, what dish will you be trying on your next visit?
Thai sweet sticky rice with mango
Now let’s deep dive into what makes it so authentically Thai. Well, as you might have guessed, the key ingredients to the mango sticky rice is the glutinous sticky rice. Generally speaking, glutinous rice is a sort of sweeter version of the white sticky rice. However, both are an excellent choice for replicating an authentic Thai mango sticky rice dessert.
In essence, white sticky rice is a part of many Thai desserts. For example, these include:
- khao mak – fermented sticky rice with a touch of alcohol (for adults only)
- khao tom – Thai sticky rice steamed and wrapped in banana leaves (can also be served savoury)
As for the preparation, you’ll need to soak the rice in water prior to cooking it. The way you traditionally cook the rice is by steaming. Otherwise, an easier method involves the use of a rice cooker. It is only once you steam the rice, you add the coconut milk so it can absorb into the rice. This is when the sticky rice becomes irresistible.
substitute for white sticky rice
If you want to take your mango sticky rice to the next level and make it even more authentic, then listen up. Did you know that you can actually substitute with black Thai sticky rice? The common thing to do in Thai households is to mix in half of the white and half of the black sticky rice. The end result is a purplish colour which makes eating the mango sticky rice all the more fun.
You can have excellent and fresh coconut milk by grating the flesh from a ripe coconut and pressing it with water. The liquid inside the coconut is coconut water, and it’s not what we need for this dish. Don’t confuse coconut water with coconut milk. To make your own coconut milk is a bit tedious, so a canned version from the supermarket or the Asian grocery shop will do just fine. In this case, there is no need to avoid the tins. Keep it nice and simple. In addition, you’ll get to eat your dessert faster!
best mango for mango sticky rice
You’ll need a Thai or Asian mango to complete this mango sticky rice. The flavour is just beyond that of the normal mangoes we know in the supermarkets. If you are looking into using fresh mango then I highly recommend you get yours in an Asian specialty store.
The Thai mango’s peel is semi-pale yellow when ripe, and not the sort of green-red mango (Keitt) that you will find all year round in your normal supermarket. The Thai mango is sweeter and less acidic than the normal mango, and if you let it wait until it’s almost too ripe, it will be just perfect for the sticky rice. This way you get the true Thai flavours.
Traditionally speaking, Thai people use the flower nectar mango and other ok-rong varieties. So, mostly yellow mango because it tastes much sweeter than the green ones. You can also use the red or orange mangoes from Mexico or the Caribbean islands. They are a good alternative to the Thai mango because they are also jammed with flavour.
If you can’t get your hands on a good mango due to seasonality reasons, you can substitute with durian. Sometimes, other authentic mango sticky rice versions have a twin, which is banana sticky rice. So, you can use banana as well.
For traditional toppings, you can also include crispy yellow mung beans. Otherwise, to highlight the coconut flavour of the coconut milk, top with coconut shavings.
I also enjoy it with a fresh berry coulis or fresh fruit. Consider it a European version of the Thai mango sticky rice.
how to serve the mango sticky rice
Usually, you can serve it on a plate (ceramic or plastic) with a fork or a spoon. However, it is also traditionally enjoyed in the hand, especially when it comes to buying it on the street.
- 250g (½ lb) gluten rice or sticky rice
- 120ml (½ cup) coconut milk
- 90g (3oz) caster sugar
- 20g (⅔ oz) salt
- 2 Thai mangoes, cut into small cubes
- Soak sticky rice overnight.
- Steam the rice for 20 minutes.
- Make coconut milk sauce by boiling the coconut milk, sugar and a pinch of salt together.
- Peel the Mango and roughly chop it into small pieces.
- Mix coconut sauce and sticky rice.
- Layer the dessert by alternating chopped mango and sticky rice. Enjoy!
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Thai
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 324
- Sugar: 26 g
- Sodium: 2177 mg
- Fat: 11.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 9.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Protein: 14.5 g
- Cholesterol: 35 mg
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A special thanks to Kelly Reeve for assisting with the recipe shoot.