Thai mango sticky rice is one of my favorite desserts--chewy glutinous rice infused with sweetened coconut milk and topped with fresh mangoes and even more coconut goodness. It has the sweet and salty flavor profile that makes you keep coming back for bite after bite. I was fortunate enough to learn how to make this at a cooking class in Bangkok, but since I don't own the special steamer baskets they use, I wasn't sure if I could make this dish at home. So I tried steaming some sticky rice in a bowl made out of parchment paper resting in the pasta insert of my stock pot, and it worked perfectly!
I made coconut sticky rice this way for years but just recently discovered that if you waffle the leftover rice it adds a crispy, crackly shell while still maintaining the chewy texture on the inside. This is now the only way I'll eat this dessert. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
uncooked Thai sweet rice
can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
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 several times until the water runs almost clear. Pour about 1 cup of water into the bottom of the stockpot. Place the rice in the parchment paper "bowl" and place the pasta strainer insert in the pot. Cover and steam over medium-low 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 remaining liquid 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 boil.
When the rice is done, transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour the warm coconut milk over the rice, stirring frequently. Stop adding the coconut milk when it looks like the rice is saturated. Set the rice aside to finish absorbing the coconut milk.
While the rice is standing, heat the coconut cream in a small saucepan (you can use the same one from before) over low heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and a scant tablespoon of water. Add the slurry to the coconut cream and whisk until the mixture has thickened.
You can serve the sticky rice now with the mango slices and coconut cream sauce, but if you can wait, chill the sticky rice in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat your waffle iron, then spray with cooking spray. Add a portion of the sticky rice (you don't want to overload the iron) and cook until golden brown and crispy. Repeat until you have waffled all the sticky rice. Serve with the mango slices and coconut cream sauce.