This mango sticky rice is creamy, sweet, and fresh – a delicious Thai dessert combining warm coconut sticky rice and fresh slices of mango. Plus, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and can be made refined sugar-free.
A Sweet, Creamy, Moreish Summer Dessert
If you’ve ever had rice pudding, then you’ll know that rice can definitely be a dessert ingredient. However, Thai sticky rice takes dessert to a whole new level. Combined with a sweet coconut milk sauce and fresh mango, this mango sticky rice recipe is moreish and will have you coming back for more.
I have an admission to make- when I first started making this dish at home, I may or may not have boiled the rice, rather than steamed – gasp! I know, I know- that just isn’t right – which is why I now always steam the rice, and the results are incredible!
The glutinous rice has a deliciously sticky, almost ‘sushi rice’ style texture, which soaks up the sweet coconut milk sauce to become deliciously gooey. Meanwhile, the fresh mango slices cut through the richness of the rice and coconut milk. Overall, this dessert appeals to those wanting something light AND decadent.
Plus, this sweet rice recipe is something I make multiple times, especially during summer. Because of that, I’ve found various ways to make the dish lighter and healthier too! Because, when you eat as much mango sticky rice as I do, you need some lighter options!
The Ingredients And Healthier Substitutes
Traditionally, the sweet rice recipe is made using either coconut milk or coconut cream with sugar. When using coconut cream, the dish is creamier but also contains a higher fat level.
In fact, this entire recipe is made up of just 7 ingredients:
- Glutinous rice
- Coconut milk
- Sweetener (i.e., coconut sugar, maple syrup, organic sugar, Erythritol)
- Sea Salt
- Cornstarch OR tapioca flour
- Toasted sesame seeds OR Coconut flakes (to garnish)
For those wanting to enjoy this dish in a slightly lighter way, though, there are options.
The Coconut Milk: You can use full-fat coconut milk or lite coconut milk for a low-fat version of the coconut milk rice. Yes, it will make the rice slightly less creamy, but it’s still delicious.
The Sweetener: You can omit the sugar from this recipe entirely, using a keto sweetener in its place. My favorite options are Erythritol and Xylitol. When using low carb sweeteners, you can sometimes reduce the amount used too as some (mainly the ones with Stevia) can be sweeter than sugar.
You could also use coconut sugar, date sugar, organic sugar or maple syrup, etc. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll most likely want to use more than ¼ cup.
For more recipe notes and ingredient add-ins/swaps, then read the recipe notes for suggestions.
This Recipe Is:
- Healthier than the traditional
- Can be made lower fat
- Can be made refined sugar-free
How To Make Mango Sticky Rice
There are just a few steps to preparing the perfect mango coconut rice. First, soak the rice, then steam it, make the sauce, and combine the two, make the extra sauce and mango slices, and then serve- easy peasy!
For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, then please read the recipe card below.
Step 1 – Soak the rice
First, prepare the rice. In a large fine-mesh sieve, rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Then fill a large bowl/dish with cold water and submerge the rice-filled sieve into the water and soak for at least an hour minimum, though preferably three hours or overnight.
Step 2: Steam the rice
Drain the soaking water and add fresh water to a large pot (filled about 1/3-1/2 full) and bring it to a boil. Place the sieve with rice over the pot, making sure that the sieve doesn’t touch the water (or use a steamer basket). Cover the sieve with a kitchen towel and lid and then steam the rice for 30-50 minutes, until tender. The time will depend on how long you soaked the rice for.
Step 3 – Make the sauce for the rice
In a separate pan, combine 1 cup coconut milk, ¼ cup sweetener of your choice, and 1/3 teaspoon sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve the sweetener. Once dissolved, turn off the heat and stir the steamed rice into the coconut sauce. Cover the pan and set aside for between 45-60 minutes.
Step 4 – Make the extra sauce
Meanwhile, a few minutes before serving, you can prepare the extra sauce. Do this by adding ½ cup coconut milk, 1 1/2 tablespoon of sweetener (or more to taste), sea salt, and the cornstarch to a small pan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a minute until thickened. Then remove from the heat. Just before serving, prepare your mango slices (make sure to use fresh ripe mango!), and then it’s time to serve.
How To Serve
To serve, place about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the warm coconut sticky rice onto each plate. Arrange the mango slices beside the rice. Pour some of the thickened sauce over the rice and then sprinkle the dessert with toasted sesame seeds or coconut flakes and enjoy!
You could also garnish with roasted mung beans, though sesame seeds work well too.
As an optional extra, you can serve this mango rice recipe alongside some lime wedges too. The tangy tart flavor complements the sweet coconut and mango flavors beautifully.
How To Store
Mango sticky rice is best eaten immediately. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Use a microwave or re-steam the rice, until warmed, before serving.
Whether you want a guilty pleasure dessert, or something a little lighter, here are some other vegan dessert options that you may enjoy (if you like coconut and mango).
- 3-Ingredient Coconut Truffles
- 6-Ingredient Coconut Cups
- Mango Cheesecake Pie Recipe
- Vegan Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Coconut Cheesecake Bars
- Coconut Bounty Bars
Recipe Notes & Variations
- Make sure to use the correct rice to make this dish. It will be labeled as ‘glutinous rice’ or ‘Thai sweet rice’ in stores. If in doubt, look for the words ‘Thai,’ ‘sticky,’ or ‘glutinous.’
- Unlike other rice recipes, when soaking is optional, don’t skip the soaking step. Soaking the glutinous rice is crucial to achieving the best texture for the dish.
- You can use white or black sticky rice. However, black glutinous rice will take longer to steam by up to 20 minutes.
- You can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk when making the extra coconut sauce. This will allow you to omit the cornstarch/ tapioca flour.
- You can add pandan extract to the rice, for additional Thai-inspired flavor.
If you give this tasty mango sticky rice recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Mango Sticky Rice
For The Rice:
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) glutinous rice uncooked
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned coconut milk (*see notes)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sweetener of choice (*see notes)
- 1/3 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 large mangoes peeled and sliced
- Toasted sesame seeds or coconut flakes to garnish
Soak the rice
- In a large fine-meshed sieve rinse the rice well under running cold water until the water runs clear. Fill a large pot with cold water and place the sieve over the pot, so that the rice is submerged in water. Soak for at least one hour, preferably three hours or overnight.
Steam the rice
- Drain the soaking water and add fresh water to the pot (filled about 1/3-1/2 full). Bring to a boil and place the sieve with the rice over the pot of simmering water. Make sure that the sieve doesn't touch the water. Cover the sieve with a kitchen towel and a lid and steam for 30-50 minutes, or until tender. The steaming time depends on how long you soaked the rice. If you soaked it for just one hour, the steaming time will be close to one hour and if you soaked it for 3 hours it will be about 30 minutes. You can also use a steamer basket.
Make the sauce
- In a pan mix together 1 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup sweetener of choice (e.g. organic sugar or Erythritol, etc.), and 1/3 teaspoon sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste it and add more sweetener if needed. Turn off the heat and stir in the steamed rice. Cover the pan. Set aside for about 45-60 minutes.
Make the extra sauce
- To a pan add 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 1/2 tablespoon sweetener of choice, a pinch of sea salt, and the cornstarch. Bring the sauce to a boil and let simmer over medium heat for about one minute until thickened.
- Finally, place about 1/3 cup of the sticky rice on each dessert plate. Arrange the mango slices beside the rice. Pour some sauce over the rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds or coconut flakes. Enjoy!
- Coconut milk: You can use lite coconut milk for a low-fat version.
- Sweetener: Any sweetener is fine, for example, organic sugar, coconut sugar, Erythritol, Xylitol, maple syrup, etc.
- Check the step-by-step photos in the blog post.
- The total time of the recipe doesn't include the soaking and resting time.
- The nutrition information refers to one of eight servings (made with regular sugar and canned coconut milk).
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