Easy Mango Sticky Rice is a quick version of the traditional Thailand summer dessert that can be made in under 20 minutes flat with our special no soak sticky rice technique. This recipe is vegan and dairy-free with low sugar, bursting with ripe seasonal mangoes and a delicious ginger coconut sauce.
Why You Are Going to Love Easy Mango Sticky Rice
One bite of the creamy lightly sweetened coconut sticky rice with slices of mango and you will think you have died and gone to tropical heaven. Perfectly ripe mangoes balance so nicely with sticky rice. We have a little twist on this favorite as we add in the little fresh ginger into the sticky rice and you are going to love it.
Unlike the traditional methods of laborious hours of soaking, steaming and then finally cooking your sticky rice, ours is totally different with just a 5-minute prep and 15 minutes of cook time. Everything is cooked in one pot and super easy with just a handful of ingredients. There is no need for a steamer or any fancy equipment all you need is a pot with a lid and a little saucepan for the sweet coconut sauce. You have got to love that!
In addition, you are going to love the fact that this version is low in sugar, vegan and gluten-free. Keep on reading and we will show you everything you know to make this delicious dessert at home.
Where Did Mango Sticky Rice Dessert Originate?
This traditional dessert originated in Thailand. However, it is enjoyed all over Southeast Asia. Mango Sticky Rice is a traditional Thai dessert known as Khao Niao Mamuang ( ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง).
There is nothing better than visiting Thailand and enjoying their delicious cuisine and culture. We have been there on numerous occasions and had the fabulous opportunity of participating in many cooking courses over several years. Did you know that most of the Thai recipes that we love and enjoy today originated in the King’s palace and then eventually branched out to the rest of the country? One very unique experience was a Fruit and Vegetable Carving Lesson from Siam’s Academy in Bangkok.
Hands down, we could eat Thai food every day and never be sick of it. If you also like Thai food as much as we do, be sure to check out all of our recipes in our Thai Cuisine Category.
What is Sticky Rice?
Sticky rice can be purchased at Asian food stores or on Amazon (Note that when it’s sold in the package, it is labelled as “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice”.) Please do not confuse with Jasmine rice or Japanese short grained rice as these are different. If you want the dish to be traditional you need to be able to get your hands on sweet, glutinous rice.
Even though, the word glutinous rice is used, there is NO GLUTEN in sticky rice. The descriptive word refers to how the rice sticks together after cooking.
Sticky Rice Can be Served Either Sweet or Savory
During the Summer Dragon Boat festivals in Hong Kong, they serve Zongzi. Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival with Zongzi are delicious steamed sticky rice filled with all kinds of mostly savory treats like fish, nuts, poultry or pork and wrapped in a bamboo or reed leaves.
However, today we are making Easy Mango Sticky Rice that is delicately sweet and a perfect ending to a summertime meal. We prefer a low sugar mango sticky rice and use only 3 tablespoons of sugar or sugar alternative in the glutinous rice. However, if you like your desserts more American Style sweet, then you best add 4 tablespoons of sugar or sugar alternative to the sweet rice. In Thailand, they use palm sugar to sweeten this dessert. We used granulated sugar. However, you can use coconut sugar , stevia or other sweeteners of choice, if desired.
Why is Glutinous Rice Sticky?
Glutinous rice, also known as sweet rice, has much less of the starch amylose compared to regular short grain or long grain rice. You see, in normal short grain or long grained rice there is both starches, amylose and amylopectin. However, according to Rice Research: Open Access, there is very little amylose and much more amylopectin in sticky rice. When you cook the sweet glutinous rice with water it interacts with the amylopectin and makes the rice soft and sticky. Glutinous rice tends to be a little heavier and denser.
As a matter of fact, in Thailand, Laos and other southeast Asian Countries, the monks are served sticky rice to help them stay full longer as it takes longer to digest. As the monks have taken a vow of poverty, they rely on the people to feed them. You can also eat glutinous rice with your hands because it sticks together, and it is easier to eat on the go.
Different Types of Sticky Rice
There are many different kinds of sticky rice. There is short grained sticky rice, long grained purple sticky rice, black sticky rice, etc. One thing to note, sticky rice (glutinous rice or sweet rice) is much more expensive than regular rice. Sometimes, it can be twice the cost. However, this Easy Mango Sticky Rice dessert is totally worth it.
No Need to Soak Sticky Rice before Cooking
Sticky rice has a tougher outer shell compared to regular rice. The glutinous rice has an outer shell that needs to be softened to ensure that the rice will be cooked all the way through.
Some people soak their sticky rice in water for a several hours or even overnight, before steaming. However, you DO NOT NEED TO SOAK YOUR STICKY RICE. Instead, we have found a fool proof way of dissolving the tougher outer shell. It is revolutionary!
We intensely massage and wash our rice between our fingers and hands much like we do kale. MASSAGE your Sticky rice under water and between your hands for at least 5 minutes. Your water should run completely clean by this point. Now, you really need to get in there and massage it really good with both hands and make friction. Don’t be dainty with your rice. This friction between your hands helps soften that outer shell and makes your rice ready to cook. We used Japanese Mogami sweet rice. However, we have also tried other brands of sticky rice in Hong Kong with the same outcome.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mango Sticky Rice
Sticky rice (also known as sweet rice or glutinous rice)
Coconut milk – good quality (we have good luck with Thai Kitchen and Amoy brands)
Ginger - not required but this adds a lovely aroma and flavor to this delicious dessert
Sugar or sugar alternative of choice
Dash of salt
Mangoes or other fruits like Jack Fruit, durian, pineapple or other tropical fruits of choice
It’s Mango Season!
Mangoes are one of our favorite tropical fruits. How about you? Do you love mangoes too? When perfectly ripe, they are sweet, juicy and so delicious. Mangoes are in peak season in Southeast Asia in April – May. However, in the US, June and July are peak season for the mango as we import many. If you love mangoes as much as we do, be sure to try our Easy Mango Salsa, Grilled Mango Chicken and our No Churn Dairy Free Mango Swirl Ice Cream.
How to Cut a Mango into Slices for Sticky Rice?
- Cut the mango on angle horizontally towards the pit but not all the way though. About 6 or 7 slices
- Next take your knife vertically and run it upwards next to the pit and remove the mango slices.
- Turn mango over and repeat on the other side.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Can you eat Mango Sticky Rice Warm or Cold?
You can eat Easy Mango Stick Rice either warm or cold. However, we prefer it slightly warm or at room temperature. You can make this recipe in advance and place the sticky rice and mango on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. However, wait until serving to add the sweetened coconut cream and any dried mung beans or toasted sesame seeds.
How long can you keep sticky rice?
Prepared sticky rice can last 3 days in the refrigerator. Please do not freeze. Personally, we feel is not as good when you freeze and then reheat.
How to reheat sticky rice?
Just pop your prepared glutinous sweet rice in the Microwave for about 30 seconds to a minute, just to get the chill out (room temperature) or longer if you like it hot.
What are the other names for sticky rice?
Glutinous rice, sweet rice, Thai Sticky Rice and many others.
Trusted Brand Names of glutinous sweet rice?
We used a short grained sticky rice brand called Mogami for this recipe. However, we have also used Hakubai Mochigome Premium Sweet Rice a short grained sticky rice and other Thai Sticky rice brands with good results.
Is there gluten in sticky rice?
There is no gluten in sticky rice, even though it is referred to glutinous rice.
How to garnish sticky rice with mango?
We sometimes garnish our Easy Mango Sticky Rice with crunchy dried mung beans on top. However, it is difficult to find this outside an Asian Food market. Instead, we topped with toasted black sesame seeds.
More Delicious Summer Dessert Recipes
- Berry Boozy Ice Pops
- Cherry Plum Fruit Crumble
- Grilled Nectarines with Coconut Cream
- Icebox Lavender Lemon Angel Food Cake
- No Churn Dairy Free Mango Swirl Ice Cream
- Honey Cardamom Cantaloupe Sorbet
- 7 Easy No Bake Sumer Snacks (vegan, Gluten-free)
- Rainbow Fruit and Yogurt Layered Ice Cream
- Skinny Berry Cheesecake Bars
- Avocado Ice Candy
Tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page.
Easy Mango Sticky rice
- 1 cup Sticky Rice uncooked also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice - short grained white (220 grams)
- 13.6 oz coconut milk full fat (1 cup for the sticky rice, reserve ¾ cup for the coconut sauce) – shake up the can really well BEFORE opening.
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 inch ginger fresh peeled knob (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 - 5 tbsp sugar or sugar alternative of choice
- 2 mangoes fresh or other tropical fruits of choice
- 1 tsp sesame seeds optional or can used dried mung beans
- Place your uncooked 1 cup of sticky rice into a colander and rinse with water. At the same time vigorously rub the rice between your hands and fingers to create friction. Massage your rice between your hands really well for at least 5 minutes and the water runs completely clear. Be sure to intensely massage and wash your rice between your fingers and hands much like you do when you are preparing a kale salad. MASSAGE your Sticky rice underwater and between your hands for at least 5 minutes or longer. Your water should run completely clean by this point. Now, you really need to get in there and massage it really good with both hands and make friction. Don’t be dainty with your rice. This friction between your hands helps soften that outer shell and makes your rice ready to cook. (This step is super important and cannot be skipped as this helps remove the tough outer shell of the sticky rice that needs to be softened to ensure that the rice will be cooked all the way through. This step allows you to skip the old fashion soaking method.)Strain water from rice and set aside.
- In a medium pot place your washed sticky rice. Shake up the can of coconut milk really good. Then measure out 1 cup and add to the washed sticky rice (reserve the other ¾ cup coconut milk for the sweet coconut sauce and set aside). Next, add 1 cup of water, 1.5-inch fresh peeled ginger and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir well and put the lid on. (Be sure to use a lid with no vent holes as the goal is to steam the rice)
- Place your sticky rice on a simmer (about gas 3-4 or low on your stovetop) for about 12 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. It is really important that your stove is on this very low medium simmer heat. If it is too high, your rice will stick and burn. (if your lid has a hole in it, your rice will not cook well as all the moisture will evaporate from the pot before it is done cooking) At about the 6-minute mark – half way mark, take lid off very briefly and stir well just to make sure it is not sticking. Place the lid back on to continue the steaming process for another 6 minutes. The rice should now be sticky and tender to the bite. If not, continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes over low heat and recheck. Remove from heat and remove the ginger wedge from the cooked sticky rice, put the lid back on the pot and set aside.
- Next add 3- 4 tablespoons of sugar or sugar alternative into your cooked sticky rice and stir while it is still hot. Now your sticky rice should look glossy. (We only added 3 tablespoons of sugar as we like our desserts only delicately sweet. However, if you like your desserts moreAmerican Style sweet, then be sure to add 4 tablespoons of sugar)
- While your sticky rice is cooking, prepare the coconut sauce. In a small saucepan add the ¾ cup coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar or sugar alternative. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until the coconut milk in bubbly and reduces in half. The sauce becomes a little thicker at this point. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Next, remove the skin from the mango. Hold the mango and make vertical slices with your knife into the flesh of the mango.Then, take your knife and carve away the slices from the area of the pit. You can also cut your mango into chunks. Feel free to substitute any other tropical fruit of choice like fresh jack fruit, durian, pineapples, etc
- To serve your delicious Easy Mango Sticky Rice, we take a ½ cup measuring cup and place the sticky rice inside to form into a round circle.We gently pat the measuring cup upside down to place the rounded sticky rice on the plate. Next, add your sliced mangoes to the plate. Drizzle the sweetened coconut sauce on top of your cooked sticky rice and garnish with black sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Use a quality coconut milk. We always have good success with Amoy and Thai Kitchen brands. If you use lower budget brands, they have all kinds of weird fillers instead of coconut and the results are less optimal. For example, your sticky rice might not be glossy and shiny have that delicious tender and sticky mouth feel that makes sticky rice completely addictive.
- Wash your rice really good and use lots of friction between your hands to help soften that tough outer shell of the sticky rice so that it cooks evenly.
- Make sure to use sticky rice (otherwise sometimes called glutinous rice or sweet rice). We used short grain white sticky rice. We have not tested this recipe with purple or black sticky rice. These options may need a longer cook time and more liquid.