Learn how to make mango sticky rice at home, THE EASIEST WAY. In this recipe, I will show you how to make the perfect sticky rice with less soaking time. Serve with fresh sweet mangoes and creamy coconut sauce.
What is Mango Sticky Rice?
Mango sticky rice is a popular dessert in South East Asia that originated in Thailand. It is known as a "summer dessert" as it is particularly abundant during mango season. It's made of sweetened sticky rice served with yellow ripe mangoes and coconut cream sauce.
Why you'll love this recipe
This is not the traditional way of making mango sticky rice but it sure is the easiest way.
You will love this because:
- The sticky rice is soft, gooey but firm to the bite. Not mushy!
- You only need 30 minutes of soaking, not 4 hours nor overnight soaking.
- The coconut cream sauce is less sweet than most recipes. Totally adjustable depending on your preference.
- You can make this in a regular stove-stop steamer, bamboo steamer, and even with the steamer insert of your rice cooker!
No need to run to your favorite Thai restaurant anymore. Make this traditional Thai dessert it at home!
Here's what you need to make mango sticky rice:
The best mangoes for mango sticky rice are sweet mangoes, particularly authentic Thai mangoes or Philippine mangoes. They're soft, juicy, and have less fiber. You can find these in most supermarkets or Asian grocery stores.
Glutinous rice is also known as sticky rice or sweet rice. As its name suggests, it's gluey and sticky in texture and has a hint of sweetness compared to regular white rice. You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores, online or Asian supermarkets. I used Thai sticky rice specifically for this recipe.
Coconut Cream Sauce
To make the coconut sauce, you will need:
- Coconut Milk - freshly extracted coconut milk has the best flavor. But if you're in the U.S. or in a non-tropical country, fresh coconut milk will definitely be hard to find. Thus, canned coconut milk is obviously your best choice. When buying canned coconut milk, always check the list of ingredients at the back level. It should, at the minimum, only have coconut milk and water.
- Sugar and Salt - white sugar is preferred for the coconut sauce. Salt enhances and balances the sweetness of the rice mixture and sauce.
How to Make Mango Sticky Rice: Overview
Here's how to make your favorite Thai dessert the easiest way:
- Soak the glutinous rice in freshly boiled water for 30 minutes.
- Steam the sticky rice.
- Make the coconut cream sauce–do this while waiting for the rice to cook.
- Combine the sticky rice and ¾ of the sweet coconut sauce.
- Serve with the sweet mangoes and drizzle remaining sauce on top! Yum!
Sticky Rice Recipe
Here's how I make sticky rice with less soaking time:
- Start by soaking the rice in freshly boiled water. No need to rinse. Stir for a couple of times then let it sit for 30minutes. Using hot water hastens the soaking process. It softens the rice grains and will make it easier to absorb moisture during the steaming process.
- After soaking, drain rice in a mesh colander and rinse with cold water to remove excess starch. This is an important step to prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
- Transfer to a large muslin cloth or cheesecloth. Place in the steamer rack then spread it out and make a hole in the center, like a donut. Fold the edges to cover.
- Steam for 25 to 30 minutes. Start checking doneness at 25 minutes. Once, it's cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl.
What type of food steamer can I use?
You can use any of these food steamers to make sticky rice:
- Electric steamer
- Stove top steamer
- Bamboo steamer
- Rice cooker with steamer insert
- DIY Make shift steamer - use a pot and a stainless colander with fine mesh. Make sure the bottom is not touching the water.
How to make the Coconut Milk Sauce
Making the sweet and salty coconut sauce is the easiest part. To save time, do this the rice cooks.
To make, place coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan or small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust sugar or salt based on preference.
Remove from heat. Pour ¾ of the hot coconut milk over the hot sticky rice. Stir and toss until combined. Let it sit until the sauce is absorbed. The remaining coconut milk will be used as a topping.
To thicken the remaining sauce, combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch or rice flour and 1 teaspoon of water. Add it to the sauce and bring it to a simmer until it becomes thick yet pourable.
Peel and Slice the Mangoes
While waiting for the rice to be ready, peel the sweet mangoes with a sharp knife. Slice diagonally or to preferred size. Chill in the fridge if preferred.
- To make the sticky rice fragrant, steam it with fresh pandan leaves. Cut it in pieces and place under and around the rice grains before steaming.
- Use medium heat when cooking the coconut sauce. High heat can cause it to curdle and become less smooth. Stir constantly just until the sugar is dissolved.
- Steam the
- Combine the sticky rice and coconut milk while still hot. This will allow the rice to absorb the liquid much quickly.
How to Serve
Finally the best part! Place the sticky rice and mango slices on a plate. Drizzle with the coconut sauce. Top with toasted sesame seeds or toasted mung beans.
Serve mango sticky rice as a dessert or an afternoon snack. It is quite filling so best to eat in small portions. I personally love it after having a light spicy or savory meal like Tom Yum Soup, Green Chicken Curry, or Steamed Fish.
Frequently asked Questions
How to tell if a mango is ripe
To tell if a mango is ripe, you must check the:
- Color and appearance- first check the color. Ripe mangoes have deep bright yellow hue. If it's pale or has shades of greeen then it is still not ready. If it's discolored or have large black spots, then it is overripe.
- Smell - ripe mangoes will have a sweet and fruity scent. I usually take a sniff at the stem area to check.
- Lightly Squeeze - it's ripe and ready to eat if it's soft. If it's hard then it will probably need a couple more days to ripen. If it's too shoft or mushy then the mango is overrip and should not be use.
Note: Unripe or overripe mangoes are not recommended for mango sticky rice.
Can I use a regular short grain rice to make sticky rice?
Glutinous rice is the only rice you can use to make mango sticky rice. It's uniquely gluey and sticky compared to other variations of rice like Jasmine rice or Japonica rice.
Love Asian food? Try these recipes next...
- Egg Drop Soup – 3 Ways!
- Instant Pot Congee (30 mins)
- Easy Cabbage Stir-fry
- Baked Spicy Salmon with Gochujang
- Pork and Shrimp Shumai (Siomai)
- Salmon Teriyaki Fried Rice
Easy Mango Sticky Rice (30 mins soaking)
- 1 cup glutinous rice (see note 1)
- freshly boiled water (for soaking)
- 1-2 sweet ripe mangoes (peeled and slice, see note 2)
- 1 ⅓ cup coconut milk (see note 3)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water (see note 4)
Choice of Toppings
- toasted sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- Place glutinous rice in a heat-proof bowl. Pour freshly boiled water. Stir a couple of times. Soak for 30 mins.
- Drain the glutinous rice in a mesh colander. Rinse with tap water to remove excess starch. Prepare the steamer.
- Transfer to a large cheesecloth, muslin cloth, or tea towel. Spread it out so it cooks evenly. Fold the cloth to enclose the rice. Place in the steamer and steam for 25 to 30minutes. Start checking doneness at 25 mins. Once cooked, place into a large bowl.
Coconut Cream Sauce
- While the rice is cooking, make the sauce. Combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a pot. Bring to a simmer over med-low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- While still hot pour ¾ of the sauce into the cooked rice. Toss until combined. Let it sit until liquid is completely absorbed.
- Meanwhile, add the cornstarch slurry to the remaining sauce. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened.
- Place sticky rice and slice mangoes on a plate. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Glutinous Rice - also known as sticky rice or sweet rice. You can buy this online and an Asian grocery store.
- Mangoes - use yellow sweet mangoes, better if you can find Thai or Philippine mangoes.
- Coconut Milk - when buying canned coconut milk, always check the list of ingredients at the back level. It should, at the minimum, only have coconut milk and water.
- Other thickeners you can use are rice flour, tapioca flour, or potato starch,