Sweet Sticky Rice with Mangoes and Sesame Seeds

Sweet Sticky Rice with Mangoes and Sesame Seeds
Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins

Mango sticky rice has been a popular dessert in Thailand and in Thai restaurants around the world for centuries. This is a simple recipe, but it depends on getting the right ingredients. The type of rice is most important. When shopping for Thai sticky rice, make sure you purchase one labeled "glutinous rice" or "sweet rice," so it will produce the right texture. It's also important that you buy full-fat unsweetened coconut milk; low-fat coconut milk or coconut water will not work here. And seek out ripe, sweet mangoes to go along with the rice.

Like many Thai dishes, this creamy dessert is best served at room temperature. "If you chill it, it becomes rock-hard, but if you heat it up, it turns to mush," explains Andy Ricker, the chef and cookbook author who created this recipe. Many traditional recipes for sticky rice require soaking the rice overnight and then steaming the grains for up to an hour, but for this super-easy adaptation, Ricker cleverly suggests microwaving the rice for only about 15 minutes instead.



  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) Thai sticky rice (see Note)

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 mangoes — peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Make the sauce: Combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

  2. Make the rice: Place sticky rice in a large, microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to cover; let soak 1 hour.

  3. Drain rice and return it to bowl. Add 2 1/4 cups of water and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes. Pull back plastic wrap and stir rice. Replace plastic wrap and microwave rice for another 5 minutes. Pull back plastic wrap to stir rice a second time. Replace plastic wrap and microwave until rice is just tender, about 3 minutes longer. Let rice stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

  4. Combine coconut milk with sugar and salt and bring to a simmer. Pour hot coconut milk over rice, folding until just combined. Spoon rice into bowls. Top with mango and sesame seeds and serve, passing sauce at the table.


Look for Thai sticky rice marked as "glutinous rice" or "sweet rice" for the best results.

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