If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook for a while, you know that Mango Sticky Rice is one of my favorite sweets ever. And this is especially true when you can turn this naturally gluten free dessert in a healthy gluten free recipe!!
Read on and I will show how to turn this yummy treat in a refined sugar free dessert.
The first time I tried Mango Sticky Rice I was just in the right place: Bangkok. As you can imagine, mangos in Thailand are the best in the whole world! Anywhere you go, from Chiang Mai to Phuket, you’ll find food carts selling fresh mangos. For only 60 Baths, a man peels and cuts the fruit right in front of you. The pulp, ripe and succulent, smells fantastic. And the taste definitely lives up to its fragrance.
This is the healthy fast food I’d love to see more often!
All Thai mangos, when ripe, are sweet and juicy, but the ‘Nam Dok Mai‘, a silky variety whose name means ‘flower water’ or ‘nectar’, is the best choice to accompany Sticky Rice. The skin is deep yellow and slightly wrinkly; the flesh is dark orange and fibre-free, incredibly soft and delicate. Can you imagine how good it tastes when matched with a delicious sticky rice pudding infused with a luscious coconut cream?
Even though apparently Mango Sticky Rice is very simple to make and only consists of rice, coconut milk, sugar and a pinch of salt, while in Thailand I wanted to learn to recreate that awesome texture to perfection. And that’s why I decided to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai and learn directly from the locals.
Here I will share with you what I learned, together with the quick tricks that can turn a delicious treat into a healthy gluten free recipe as well!
In fact, while the traditional recipe calls for white sugar, this version is a refined sugar free dessert that’s pure bliss nonetheless. —Ambra Torelli
Thai Sticky Rice or Thai Glutinous Rice (available in Asian grocery stores)
Before you start, make sure you have the right rice. Using regular rice would completely change the texture of this recipe. The only acceptable alternative is to use black sticky rice, which is also commonly used in various desserts typical of South East Asia.
Soak the dry sticky rice in water for about 1 hour to get rid of the excessive starch. Drain the rice and rinse it thoroughly
Using a steamer, cook the rice over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, start preparing the coconut sauce by blending coconut milk, salt and dates in a high speed blender (I used a Vitamix) until completely smooth. Replacing white sugar with dates is the key to turn this dish into a refined sugar free dessert.
Set aside ⅔ of the coconut milk & date blend (you’ll mix this to the rice itself) and use the rest to prepare the thicker coconut sauce that you’ll top your dessert with.
Place the liquid mixture for the thicker sauce in a pan over low heat and sift in the corn starch, mixing constantly to prevent lumps until the cream is thick and velvety.
When the rice is ready, transfer it into a large pan over low heat and pour the remaining ⅔ of coconut blend over it, stirring gently until the liquid is completely absorbed.
Place the sticky rice on a serving dish. Peel and slice the mangos and arrange them next to the rice. Pour the thicker sauce over the rice and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.