I am sure I will be chastised for this (again), but I have a confession to make. I don’t like Thai food. Blasphemy, I know. I’ve found that this really upsets people for some reason. They take it personally, almost as if they personally spent hours painstakingly preparing a Thai inspired meal just for me and I’m turning my nose up at their cooking.
Over the years, I’ve given it a solid college try time after time but I’m still just not that into it. I can’t quite put my finger on why. I think it’s a combination of the textures and flavors. Sludgy, fishy sauces drowning slimy noodles just doesn’t do it for me. Don’t get me started on that super sweet, creamy iced tea stuff. Blech.
I will go out to Thai food with friends and pick at the salad rolls or a curry dish, but, like a child, I will save my appetite for the dessert course. Specifically, the saving grace of Thai food: Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango.
I have adapted the classic Thai recipe to better suit my personal tastes by incorporating lush coconut cream, chewy toasted coconut flakes, a spicy dash of cinnamon sugar, a bright sprig of mint and a citrusy spritz of lime. It is still my go-to meal at Thai restaurants, but I like it best when I prepare it at home and don’t have to endure an entire meal of being force fed dishes that my friends swear will change my mind about Thai food. Just pass the Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango and we’ll all be happier.
This recipe for Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango is good any time of day and pairs well with a cup of simple, unsweetened green tea and a big appetite (the rice expands in your belly). Enjoy with or without a thai meal beforehand. To each his own.
- thai sticky rice or sushi rice - 1 cup
- coconut milk - 1 can (14 oz)
- coconut cream - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 2 tablespoons
- salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- unsweetened coconut flake - 1/2 cup
- mango - 1
- cinnamon sugar - 1 tablespoon
- mint sprig - a few
- lime - 1
- Rinse the rice in cold water until water is clear, then drain.
- Submerge the rice with cold water and let soak for at least two hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spread coconut flake over a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until the flake starts to turn a golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet.
- Drain the rice using a fine-meshed sieve or colander, it should be plumped up and softer now.
- Fill a pot with about 2-3 inches of water and bring to a rapid simmer.
- Place the sieve or colander full of rice over the pot of simmering water (don’t allow water to touch sieve). Steam, covered, for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and flip the rice over. Continue steaming, covered, for another 10-15 minutes, until the rice is translucent and completely cooked. Remove from heat and fluff the rice with a spoon.
- Cover and let rest.
- While the rice cooks, add the coconut milk, sugar and salt to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.
- Cook while stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Put the cooked, warm rice in a serving bowl. Carefully, pour the warm coconut milk mixture over the warm rice and stir well.
- Allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes to absorb the coconut milk mixture.
- Stir in coconut cream, until smooth and creamy. Then stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the toasted coconut.
- Spoon into bowls and top with cinnamon sugar mixture, remaining toasted coconut, diced mango, a sprig of mint and spritz with a wedge of lime.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.