Coconut Vanilla Sticky Rice with Mango
Serves 3 to 4
Perhaps even better than pie ala mode, the enticing combination of warm, pudding-like coconut sticky rice topped with cool mango is easy to make at home…maybe a little too easy, it’s tempting to serve this for a weekend breakfast treat. A touch of vanilla extract or nutty-vanilla aroma pandan leaf add another delicious dimension to this Thai restaurant dessert classic. Don’t limit yourself to mango either; try topping the sticky coconut rice with thin slices of banana, kiwi, pineapple, papaya, or even a scoop of chocolate coconut-based vegan ice cream!
Tip: The sticky rice needs time to soak up the sweetened coconut milk, so plan at least 30 minutes between finishing the rice and serving it to give it enough time to absorb all of the liquid; the rice will get thicker the longer it sits covered. If making Pad Thai or a stir fry for dinner, make the coconut rice first, set it aside and it will be ready for you when you’re ready for dessert. To reheat coconut rice, reheat in a covered glass dish in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stopping to occasionally stir the rice. Don’t reheat it to pipping hot, just get it warm enough to be soft and gooey.
1 cup uncooked sticky rice, soaked and prepared as directed for Sticky Rice
1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk, regular or reduced fat
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 four inch pieces of frozen pandan leaf, or 1/2 teaspoon pandan extract or vanilla extract
One ripe mango, peeled, then sliced into thin 1/4 inch sliced
1 teaspoon Toasted Rice Powder, optional for a little crunch on top
1. Steam the sticky rice; if even more pandan flavor is desired, layer a few pandan leaves in the sieve before adding the rice. Discard the leaves after the rice is done.
2. While the rice is steaming, in a large saucepan over medium heat whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, brown sugar, and sea salt. Bring milk to a rapid simmer, add the pandan leaves and reduce the heat to low. Partially cover and simmer the coconut milk for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside until the rice is done steaming. If you’re using pandan or vanilla extract, whisk it into the coconut milk after you’ve turned off the heat and before setting it aside. Just before the rice is done steaming (check it to see if the grains are soft), reheat the coconut milk for 1 minute over high heat.
3. When the rice is done (the grains are soft and chewy), transfer the hot rice to a mixing bowl. Pour the reheated coconut milk over the rice and discard the pandan leaf if using. Use a wooden spoon, rice paddle or rubber spatula to vigorously stir the rice for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes, or until the coconut milk has been absorbed by the rice. The rice will resemble a very thick rice pudding. Stir the rice a few times once more.
4. To serve, peel and slice the mango. Use a rubber spatula or rice paddle and mound rice into a large serving dish or a few smaller bowls for individual servings, then arrange mango slices on top. Sprinkle with Toasted Rice powder if desired and serve warm.