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What Is Mango Sticky Rice?

Alex Tree
Updated May 16, 2024
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Mango sticky rice is a summer dessert made from glutinous rice and fresh mango. It is a traditional Thai food eaten with the hands. The glutinous rice, commonly called sticky rice, is traditionally steamed before being mixed with coconut milk. A mango is peeled and sliced and then placed on a plate with the coconut sticky rice. After this, it is eaten by rolling the rice with the fingers and scooping up mango slices. Leftovers can be placed in the refrigerator, but should be rewarmed and consumed within a day for the best flavor and texture.

To cook the rice, the rice is soaked for at least one hour, though some people soak sticky rice overnight. The rice is then steamed for about 20 minutes using a steamer pan. Sticky rice is done when it is reasonably sticky, no longer crunchy, and translucent in color. Once done, the rice can be mixed with coconut milk, placed directly on a plate with the mango, and let cool until safe to eat with the hands.

Some people use a microwave to cook mango sticky rice. First, the rice is soaked in a bowl of warm water to prepare it for cooking. Next, the microwave-safe bowl is placed in the microwave for three minutes. The sticky rice should be stirred and checked to see if it is done in three-minute intervals. Cook time depends on the power of the microwave and the amount of sticky rice in the bowl.

To put the mango in sticky rice, the fruit is sliced or stylishly cut into small pieces without breaking it apart. In fact, some cooks spend the most effort on cutting the mango rather than cooking the rice. A ripe mango is easy to cut and relatively sweet without being overwhelming.

Mango sticky rice is traditionally eaten with the hands. The rice sticks together and therefore easily rolls into balls. For people who did not grow up eating sticky rice by hand, it may be less complicated to use a spoon or fork.

Other versions of this dessert replace mango with pineapple or banana. Sometimes the pineapple is grilled or the banana fried. These fruits are much sweeter than a mango and significantly change the dessert.

If the mango sticky rice was mixed with coconut milk, it will have more moisture than normal. The moisture enables the rice to be stored in the refrigerator without getting hard. It can be warmed in the microwave and then eaten with leftover mango, pineapple, or banana.

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Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and DelightedCooking contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.

Discussion Comments

By donasmrs — On Dec 21, 2013

@ysmina-- I haven't tried different toppings on mango sticky rice. I think the dessert is usually left simple. The only toppings I've seen on mango sticky rice are white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds and a splash of coconut milk or cream. For a change, you could make the rice with black sticky rice instead of white sticky rice. I've seen it made that way at a restaurant

At the end of the day, it's your desert and your preference. You should use whatever toppings you want. You could also try serving mango sticky rice in different forms, such as in a cup or in different shapes.

By ysmina — On Dec 20, 2013

I've noticed that mango sticky rice is usually topped with sesame seeds. Has anyone tried using other toppings?

I don't want to ruin this classic dessert with odd toppings, but I do want to experiment with it a little bit. Any suggestions?

By fBoyle — On Dec 20, 2013

I've never made mango sticky rice at home. I always order it at Thai restaurants. I've had amazing ones and not so great ones. The rice is almost always good, but the mango needs to be ripe to complete this dish. When mango is not in season, one doesn't always get the best mango sticky rice.

I've eaten this simple dessert so many times but I never knew that it's eaten with the hands. I will try that next time.

Alex Tree

Alex Tree

Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and DelightedCooking contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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