RECIPE OF THE MONTH: THAI MANGO STICKY RICE
Mango Sticky Rice is a Thai dessert often sold by vendors with street carts in the spring and early summer while mangoes are in season.
It’s an incredibly simple dessert to make, given that one has the ability to steam the sticky rice properly, with only 5 ingredients. Sweet and rich, khao niao mamuang is a favorite way to finish any Thai meal.
Short-grain sticky rice (see notes) — 1 1/2 cups
Water — to cover
Coconut milk — 2 cups
Brown or palm sugar — 1/2 to 3/4 cups
Salt — 1 teaspoon
Mangoes, peeled and sliced or cubed — 3-4
Mint sprigs (optional) — 1 for each portion
Place the rice in a large bowl and fill bowl with enough water to cover rice by 2 to 3 inches. Let soak for at least 3 hours or, if possible, overnight. This is an important step, so don’t skip it.
Drain and rinse the rice. Set up a steamer (steel or bamboo) over about 3 inches of water and line the inside with moistened cheesecloth. Pour the soaked rice into steamer. Bring the water to a boil over medium flame, cover tightly and steam the rice for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the coconut milk, sugar and salt to a slow simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Do not boil.
When rice is finished, remove it to a large bowl. Stir half the sweetened coconut milk into the rice. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
Place the coconut rice in a large bowl or individual serving bowls. Lay a few pieces of mango on the side and garnish with a mint sprig. Pour a little of the remaining coconut milk over each portion and serve at room temperature.