Trader Joe's used to carry this dessert, and I loved it: chewy sticky rice infused with coconut milk and topped with mangoes and even more coconut goodness. It had the sweet and salty flavor profile that makes you keep coming back for bite after bite. I've been missing this dessert ever since it was discontinued, but when I saw that mangoes were on sale at my local grocery store, I decided to learn how to make it myself.
I followed this recipe from The Kitchn, but since I didn't have a steamer basket, I improvised with some parchment paper and the pasta strainer insert for my stock pot. You could also maybe try using cheesecloth with a metal colander or strainer in a large enough pot with a lid--anything with holes in which you could steam the rice in. I also suggest chilling the can of coconut milk in the fridge before opening because I find that it makes it easier to scoop the coconut cream from the top off if it's more solid.
Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango
1 cup sweet rice
1 can coconut milk, unshaken and chilled in the refrigerator
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 ripe mangos
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Soak the sweet rice in room temperature water for 1-2 hours. Cut a piece of parchment paper out about 3 inches wider in diameter than the bottom of the pasta strainer insert for a stockpot. Tuck the paper into the insert so it fits in the bottom like a bowl.
Drain the rice and rinse thoroughly. Pour about 1 cup of water into the stockpot and place the rice in the parchment paper "bowl" and place the pasta strainer insert in the pot. Cover tightly and steam over low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
While the rice is steaming, open the can of coconut milk and spoon out the thick cream on top into a small bowl.
Pour the thinner, lighter coconut milk left in the can into a small saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil.
When the rice is done, transfer it to a mixing bowl (it will be clumpy). Slowly pour the warm coconut milk over the rice in the bowl, stirring frequently. You want the milk to coat the rice but not leave puddles. Keep stirring, and stop pouring in coconut milk when it looks like the rice is saturated. You may not use all of the milk. Set the rice aside to finish absorbing the coconut milk; after 15 minutes or so it should have soaked up any milk that is still liquid.
While the rice is standing, make the coconut topping sauce. Rinse out the coconut milk saucepan and pour in the coconut cream that you took off the top of the can. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together a few teaspoons of water and the cornstarch.
Whisk this cornstarch slurry into the coconut cream and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens considerably. Set aside.
Peel the mangoes and then slice the flesh into 1 inch wide strips.
To serve, place about 1/3 cup cooked sticky rice on each plate, and arrange mango slices around it. Drizzle with the coconut topping sauce and sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds.
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