Alex Guarnaschelli makes Sticky Rice with Mango, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Sticky Rice with Mango

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 10 hr 40 min (includes soaking and sitting time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Sticky rice is a dessert made in Thailand, traditionally with glutinous rice, coconut milk and fresh mango.



  1. Put the rice in a large strainer inside a large bowl and rinse the rice repeatedly in cold water until the water is clear (not cloudy with starch). Cover the rice with cold water and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the rice overnight.
  2. Place the rice in a sieve or steam basket over a pot of simmering water. (The water should be at the level of a double boiler so it creates steam but no water actually touches the rice as it cooks.) Cover the pot to trap the steam. Cook until the rice is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. You can test by pressing a few grains between your fingers or, better, tasting a few grains. Transfer the rice in an even layer to a baking sheet. Cover loosely. Leave at room temperature.
  3. In a medium saucepan, simmer and reduce the coconut milk by about half, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt and simmer until the sugar dissolves, a few minutes more. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat, then add it to the bowl with the cooked rice and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Gently combine the rice with the coconut mixture while breaking up the larger clumps of rice. Let it sit until the liquid is absorbed by the rice, at room temperature for 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. In a small pan, melt and lightly brown the butter over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and immediately remove the pan from the heat, tossing to toast and coat the sesame seeds with the butter, 1 minute. Drain.
  5. Toss the mango slices with about 1 teaspoon of the lime juice and set aside.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop or a cup measure, mold the rice mix into individual bowls. Alternatively, mold onto 1 large serving platter. Top with the lime zest, remaining lime juice, mango slices and toasted sesame seeds.

Cook’s Note

There is no substitute for time with some recipes. Soaking and rinsing the rice repeatedly is a big part of making this recipe successfully. There is also no substitute for sweet glutinous rice here. Other types of rice won't yield the same great result. You need the richness of full-fat coconut milk, and you must shake the can thoroughly so the cream integrates evenly when you make the sauce for the rice. This recipe is really two parts: cooking the rice so it's sticky and making the sauce a delicious glue to pull it all together, taste and texture both. The mango and squeeze of lime is that bit of tang and sweetness to finish.