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Thai Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice is arguably one of Thailand’s most famous dishes. The very first thing I was taught in my cooking classes in Thailand was how to make sticky rice.

Now, the traditional way to cook this rice is to steam it in cheesecloth in a bamboo steamer. Both cheesecloth and bamboo steamers are readily available in North America, but if you don’t have them, don’t fret. You can still make this delicious dessert.

First off though, you need to find Thai sticky (sometimes called sweet) rice. Your nearest Asian or gourmet food store (Whole Foods etc.) should carry it. Do yourself a favor, while you’re there, pick up some palm sugar. While you could substitute brown sugar, it just doesn’t taste as good.

So now you have your ingredients, you need to prepare your rice. You will need to rinse your rice several times in water to remove the starch. Then you need to soak your rice for several hours (overnight is best). Make sure the rice is covered by 1-2 inches of water.

When you’re ready to make the dessert, follow either the traditional or MacGyver method to steam your rice as shown below.


Place rice in cheesecloth. Wrap and put in your bamboo steamer. Put steamer over pot of boiling water and steam for approximately 30 minutes or until rice is soft and slightly translucent.






Place your sticky rice in a sieve. Put sieve on top of a pot of boiling water. Place tea towel over sieve and then pot lid. (the towel acts to both absorb excess moisture while keeping the rice moist, mimicking the bamboo in the traditional steamer). Steam as above.



In a separate saucepan, heat the coconut milk on low heat. Do not let it get too hot, the coconut milk will curdle. Add your palm sugar and salt. Stir till dissolved. Taste and adjust sugar/salt as desired.

When your rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the coconut milk sauce into the bowl. The rice will soak it all up. Once the rice has soaked up the milk (about 5 minutes) stir it once.


Serve with sliced mango and pour the extra coconut sauce on top.


Mango Sticky Rice
  • 2 cups Thai sticky/sweet rice
  • 2 cups high quality coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 mango
  1. Rinse the rice several times under cold water. Then soak for several hours (overnight is best) ensuring the rice is covered by 1-2 inches of water

  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil

  3. Either place rice in cheesecloth in a bamboo steamer or in a sieve covered with a tea towel and pot lid. Place steamer on top of pot with boiling water.

  4. Steam rice for approximately 30 minutes or until soft and slightly translucent

  5. In a saucepan, on low heat, combine the coconut milk, palm sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved.

  6. Transfer cooked rice into a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the coconut sauce into the bowl. Allow the rice to soak up the sauce (about 5 minutes). Then stir the rice once.

  7. Serve with sliced mango and more sauce


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