Mango Sticky Rice (a Thai dessert!) - Joyous Apron (2024)

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Mango Sticky Rice, the classic Thai and Southeast Asian dessert that combines sweet sticky smothered in coconut sauce and fresh, juicy mangoes. It’s such a lovely and gorgeous flavor combination.

This mango sticky rice dessert is such a guilty pleasure of mine, and definitely one of my all-time favorite desserts. It is also dairy free and vegan friendly.

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If you like mango desserts, don’t forget to also check out these delicious Mango Crumb Bars. It’s another one of my most popular dessert on the blog and so very delicious!

Table of Contents

What is Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sweet Sticky Rice is a popular Southeast Asian dessert that is thoroughly enjoyed all over the world today. And you can even find it in most Thai restaurants across the United States as well.

The mangos used in Thai mango sticky rice are very ripe, juicy and sweet, not the green sour kind. In fact, the riper and sweet the mangoes, the better it is.

The sweet mangoes are paired with sticky sweet steamed glutinous rice, which unlike most rice, is traditionally steamed, not boiled. Glutinous rice is drizzled with a creamy and rich coconut sauce, which really gives it its signature flavor.

You can use other rice to make mango sticky rice, such as jasmine, sushi rice etc, but traditionally glutinous rice is used because of its fragrance and sticky texture.


It may seem like a complex dessert, but truly Mango Sweet Sticky Rice calls for only few ingredients and little time in the kitchen, and you can indulge in all the Mango Sticky Rice magic you want.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • glutinous rice – or sometimes called sweet rice. It’s mainly grown in Southeast and East Asian, has opaque grains, and is sticky when it is cooked. It is used in a lot of Asian dessert recipes, and is typically steamed, not boiled in water. If you cannot find it in regular grocery stores, they sell it in Asian grocery stores, or get it online here. This is different from jasmine rice or sushi rice, although you can use those rice as well if in a pinch. Your mango sticky rice will taste slightly different than what you’ve had in Thai restaurants if you do not use glutinous rice.
  • mangoes – use ripe and sweet mangoes, not sour, green ones. The sweeter the mangoes, the better!
  • coconut milk – canned coconut milk is used for this. Avoid the low fat ones for best taste and flavor. coconut cream works great as well.
  • granulated sugar
  • corn starch – used to thicken the coconut sauce
  • salt
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How to make Mango Sweet Sticky Rice?

There are three key components in our Mango Sticky Rice recipe:

  • sweet sticky rice
  • coconut sauce
  • mangoes

Step 1: Soak and steam glutinous rice

Whenever I have my heart set on making mango sticky rice, the very first thing I do (which is also the longest part of the process that you will need to prepare ahead of time) is to soak the glutinous rice.

If you are not using glutinous rice, you will probably not need to soak it (jasmine, sushi, basmati etc).

Glutinous rice needs to be soaked for about 2 hours, or up to overnight.

When it is done soaking, drain water and steam it in a steamer.

If you have a steamer, steam it for 20-30 minutes. Check at the 20 minute mark to see if rice has softened, and it is no longer hard in the middle when you bite into it.

How to steam glutinous rice without a steamer?

If you do not have a steamer, no worries! You can totally still make mango sticky rice!

Here is how I “make” a steamer using a pot and some aluminum foil.

  • Fill pot with water, then shape aluminum foil into three equal sized balls.
  • Place the aluminum balls at the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a metal plate (or a plate that can withstand the high heat) with the rice on it, on the aluminum foil balls. Remember you will need something to lift the hot plate out when it is all done.
  • Once the water boils, steam rice for 20-30 minutes. Similarly, check at the 20 minute mark.
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If you have an Instant Pot, most of them have a steaming setting as well!

Step 2: Make Coconut Sauce

While waiting for the rice to cook, prepare the sweet coconut sauce.

Sweet coconut sauce = the must-have secret that makes your mango sticky rice AMAZING.

Grab a pot and combine coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, then pour 1/2 of the sauce into a small bowl and set aside. This will be mixed into the rice once the rice is ready.

The rest of the coconut milk and sugar that is in the pot will be used to make the sweet coconut sauce that we will drizzled onto the mango sticky rice at the very end.

We will want to thicken this sauce. To do so, combine 1 tbsp of coconut milk (not the cooked coconut milk) and 1/2 tsp corn starch, then pour into the pot to combine. Boil for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

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Once the rice is ready, pour the sauce set aside earlier (not the thickened sauce) into the sticky rice. Mix well and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Slice Mangoes and Assemble

Grab your mangoes and slice them into small pieces, then start plating your Mango and Sticky Rice!

Place sticky rice onto plates, drizzle that sticky, sticky goodness of the thickened sweet coconut sauce onto the rice, and serve with the sliced mangos.

Garnish with sesame seeds if desire.

Oh hey, lovely Thai Mango Sticky Rice – I WANT TO EAT YOU.

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Seriously, this right here…is my weakness.

Mango is my favorite fruit. Coconut milk + sugar is sent from above.

Those two combine makes me giddy and happy.

What I love about the mango sticky rice dessert is how each ingredient is so lovely by itself, but combined, it brings out the flavors of the other ingredients, takes the tastiness of each ingredient to the next level, and makes the dish whole.

I had this a lot as a kid. We would eat sweet sticky rice with and coconut sauce, along with mangos, durian (local Malaysian fruit), or bananas. I will say my favorite is still mango.

Something about the sweet and sour from the mango makes it the best pairing for the creaminess from the coconut.

I can serious go on and on about how amazing is mango sticky rice. My love for it runs deep.

If you already love Mango and Sticky Rice, virtual high five – I feel this special Thai-Mango-Sweet-Sticky-Rice-fan-club bond with you.

If this is new – give it a chance! 🙂 It is truly unique, and some of the most creative use and combination of flavors I know.

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Enjoy, and be wowed. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find glutinous rice? Can I use another type of rice?

Glutinous rice is highly recommended because it has a unique texture and flavor for this mango dessert. You can find it in Asian grocery stores or online HERE. If you really cannot find it, you can use another type of rice. Most likely you will just cook that rice the way you typically cook it (by boiling it instead of steaming).

How do I reheat Mango Sticky Rice?

Only reheat the rice and coconut sauce, not the mango. To reheat rice, drizzle some water before heating it up in the microwave. As for the coconut sauce, reheat in the microwave as well.

Other Thai/ Southeast Asian dishes

  • Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
  • Pad Thai
  • Malaysian Curry Puff
  • Mee Goreng Mamak (Malaysian Fried Noodles)
  • Tom Yum Fried Noodles
  • Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork
  • Vietnamese Egg Rolls
  • Thai Red Curry with Chicken
  • Thai Grilled Chicken

More mango recipes!

Dedicated to all my fellow mango-fans!

  • Mango Crumb Bars
  • Fish Tacos with Mango Peach Salsa
  • Pineapple Mango Salsa
  • Blueberry Mango Smoothie with Peanut Butter and Honey
  • Mango Cake (by fellow blogger Foxy Folksy!)

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

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Thai Mango Sweet Sticky Rice

A classic Southeast Asian dessert!Soft, sweet sticky rice smothered with creamy sweet coconut sauce, then paired with sweet, juicy fresh mangos. Lovely and simple to make!

4.99 from 62 votes

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Southeast Asian, Thai

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes minutes

Soaking time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 35 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 403kcal

Author: MinShien


  • 2-3 fresh mangoes
  • 1 cup glutinous/sweet rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds


  • Soak glutinous/sweet rice for 2 hours, or up to overnight. Drain water when ready.

  • Using a steamer, steam sticky rice for 20-30 minutes. Check on the 20 minute mark. If rice is soft and not hard in the middle, it is done.

  • If you do not have a steamer, shape aluminum foil into three equal size balls. Fill pot with water (see Note 1) and place the aluminum balls on the pot.

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  • Place a metal bowl/plate (or a plate that can withstand the hot steam) on the aluminum balls. Add drained rice to the bowl/plate.

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  • Bring pot to boil, and once it boils, cover pot, and cook for 20-30 minutes.Check on the 20 minute mark. If rice is soft and not hard in the middle, it is done.

  • While waiting for rice to cook, slice mangoes.

  • Prepare the sweet coconut sauce by bringing 1 cup of coconut milk, sugar and salt to boil. Once it reaches a boil, bring 1/2 of the sauce into a small bowl and set aside.

  • Combine 1 tbsp of coconut milk and corn starch, then add that into the pot to thicken the sweet coconut sauce. Boil for a few minutes until sauce is thickened.

  • When rice is done, add the non-thicken sweet coconut sauce (the sauce set aside on Step 7) to rice and mix well. Set aside and let it cool for 15-20 minutes.

  • Once cool, place rice onto serving plate(s), pair with mangoes, and drizzle the thickened sweet coconut sauce onto rice. Garnish with sesame seeds.

  • Serve and enjoy!



Note 1: Make sure to fill enough water so pot doesn’t dry out while steaming.


Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 3mg

Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

Mango Sticky Rice (a Thai dessert!) - Joyous Apron (2024)


What is a fun fact about mango sticky rice? ›

It was tough to find any definitive history on Mango Sticky Rice other than the fact that is a traditional Thai dessert. More interestingly, it is the national dessert of Thailand. In Thai, the dish is called khao niao (sticky rice) mamuang (mango).

What does mango sticky rice symbolize? ›

Beyond its gustatory factor, mango sticky rice is also charged with cultural significance. It is often associated with celebrations and festivities in South Asia, symbolising abundance and prosperity.

Why do Thai people eat mango sticky rice? ›

Mango sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert, which consists of sweet rice with coconut milk and is served with fresh mango. It is believed that people eat the dish during the humid months to keep themselves cool.

What is mango sticky rice in Thai language? ›

Khao niao mamuang (Thai: ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง), which translates to Mango sticky rice, is a traditional Thai dessert that typically consists of sticky rice cooked with coconut milk and served with fresh sliced mangoes on top.

What are 3 fun facts about mango? ›

Mangoes grow on trees and in tropical regions, including southern Florida and southern California. India is the top producer of mangoes in the world. Vitamin C and A are important antioxidants. Green mangoes have more vitamin C than ripe mangoes however as mangoes ripen, they contain more vitamin A.

What is sticky rice real name? ›

Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice or waxy rice) is a type of rice grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia, and the northeastern regions of South Asia, which has opaque grains, very low amylose content, and is especially sticky when cooked.

What is a sticky rice slang? ›

The “sticky rice” of Wu's title is a term used in gay Asian American culture to describe Asian American men who desire other Asian American men.

What culture is mango sticky rice from? ›

The sweet treat can be found in various countries in South-East Asia, but is particularly associated with Thailand and Laos. Although the precise origin of the dish isn't clear, historians who have traced back traditional Thai food recipes suggest mango and sticky rice may date back to fourteenth-century Siam.

Is mango sticky rice eaten hot or cold? ›

Whether you made too much or cooked an extra portion for later, mango sticky rice can be enjoyed warm or cold. Sealed in an airtight container, it can last up to two days in the fridge. This is because coconut cream can spoil very quickly.

Do you eat Thai sticky rice hot or cold? ›

If using soak and steam method, the rice needs to be served warm. Steamed sticky rice dries out quickly when cooled, so if the rice needs to sit out, I recommend using the #4 hack discussed above.

What should I eat with sticky rice? ›

Sticky rice is a great choice for hearty eaters and pairs well with salads, Thai chili paste and grilled meat as a side dish. It balances the nutrients in a meal and helps to clean the palate between courses.

Why is my sticky rice blue? ›

The blue rice is from soaking the rice with water and butterfly pea flowers. You can skip that step if you don't care for the subtle floral and nutty taste that butterfly pea flowers add or the blue aesthetic. You could also soak the rice with water and pandan leaves for a young coconut and vanilla flavor.

Who invented mango sticky rice? ›

Mango sticky rice has been a popular dessert in Thailand since the end of the Ayutthaya era. There was no evidence to prove who was the first one who created the dish but it was mentioned in the Thai poetry about Thai food by King Rama II.

Do Thai people eat sticky rice? ›

Sticky rice in Thailand is eaten as a staple starch – the main filler of a meal, it's also eaten as a snack along with something salty like grilled meat, and it's also an important ingredient in many Thai desserts.

What is a fun fact about sticky rice? ›

The Great Wall of China is held together with sticky rice.

While the Great Wall was being built during the Ming dynasty in the 15th and 16th centuries, workers used a porridge made with rice along with calcium carbonate as a mortar to hold the wall's stones together.

What is special about sticky rice? ›

As we said above, sticky rice contains a type of starch called amylopectin, which is particularly good at retaining moisture and forming a gel-like substance when cooked in hot water or steamed. It's this gel that makes sticky rice… stick.

Who eats the most sticky rice? ›

Laos has the highest sticky rice consumption per-capita in the world with an average of 171 kilograms (377 lb) of sticky rice consumed annually per person. Sticky rice is deeply ingrained in the culture, religious tradition and national identity of Laos.

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