Sticky rice, also called glutinous rice (even though there is absolutely no gluten in rice) is eaten sweet as a snack or desert a lot of places in Thailand, in the northeast of the country it is also served along your meal, unsweetened of course. That rice finds its way into meals from breakfast to desert isn’t surprising for a country where rice is a main staple in the diet, after all the verb ‘to eat’ in Thai is tantamount to ‘to eat rice’
For me, nothing says Thailand more than getting a serving of sticky rice with mango from a small place off a street corner somewhere. Vendor’s specialize in this dish and often you will find a line of people when mangoes are in season. That’s what I look for 😉 where the locals eat, it’s always the best. It’s served with sweetened coconut milk and is just delicious! Back home I would order it at Thai restaurants any chance I’d get, but alas it was often unavailable due to seasonal availability and because, unfortunately the restaurant often thought that ‘common’ food was not what should be served to guests in their establishment. 😦 Imagine my joy when a few years back, I finally figured out that this exotic desert was actually pretty simple and easy enough to make at home. Cheaper and available whenever the lovely grocery store carries yummy mangoes. Win & win! Now I just have to figure out how to make the taro desert I can only get in Thailand…
You need to start this several hours before you want to indulge, since the rice is first soaked, then steamed.
- 1 cup sticky rice*
- 2-3 ripe mangoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 can coconut milk (not the light kind)
- 2-3 tbsp palm sugar
- Soak the rice in cool water overnight or at a minimum 4 hours
- Line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth and over the sink pour the rice into it to drain. Fold the cheesecloth over the edges so it doesn’t hang down and catch fire (tried that, and no, it doesn’t improve the flavor). Cover with the steamer lid.
- Set your bamboo steamer over a pot or wok of boiling water, and steam until the rice is cooked and yields softly to the bite. It will have a tacky consistency, will be slightly shiny and the rice grains will stick together. Takes about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, gently heat 3/4 of the can of coconut milk in a sauce pan, add the coconut sugar and stir to dissolve.
- When the rice is done, transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the can of coconut milk, stir to mix. Let stand a couple of minutes until evenly moistened, then serve with mango and sweetened coconut milk.
If I get a good deal on mangoes, like I did this week, (hence the mango cheesecake, and this) I will make a good batch of this and keep the rest in the fridge, to reheat as needed for a quick exotic snack or desert anytime 🙂
*You can get this type of rice at most Asian stores, look for glutinous rice, sticky rice or sweet rice. Regular rice won’t work. It comes in white as well as purple!
If you find you end up making this a lot, you can get yourself an authentic sticky rice steaming contraption at Importfood.com as seen in the picture to the right here. I so far have used my regular (Chinese) bamboo steamer with results that make me happy 🙂
Nomnomnom nom nom…
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