All About Food · Recipes · Thai Food

Mango and Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang) Thai Dessert

I have never really had a sweet tooth.  A savory tooth -YES, but I don’t crave sweets like some of my friends.  I guess it can be a good thing.  Perhaps that is why I have only had one cavity and that was when I was 30.  My Mom used to tell me a story of when I was young and playing at the neighbors house and all the kids were wanting sweets and I wanted the cucumbers out of the dinner salad she was making.  I still try to steal the cucumbers before dinner, ha ha!  I guess some things will never change.

With Chinese New Year quickly approaching all the grocery stores have oodles and oodles of mangos for sale.  I bought a box (of 9) for 6.99.  Not too bad, I suppose for American prices.  I thought I hadn’t really put a dessert recipe on my blog and thought this would be a good time.  

Mangos and sticky rice, or as it is known in Thailand khao neow ma muang – sticky rice mango, is a very popular dessert with the locals and foreigners alike.  You can find it just about anywhere, on the street, in the markets, at the grocery stores and on any menu.  Swensen’s even had a mango sticky rice ice cream dessert.  The fancier the store you buy it from the more expensive it was, but the most expensive I ever saw it for was 70 baht or about 2.30 USD.  Still quite a deal especially since you didn’t have to make it yourself, right?


But let’s say you do decide to make it for yourself.  It is actually rather simple once you know the steps and the process.  

What you will need:

About 1 cup of sweet rice (aka sticky rice aka sweet glutinous rice)

1-2 mangos, depending on how much of a serving you desire

1 can of coconut milk (the light coconut milk also works, but I recommend the full fat kind)

2-3 T white granulated sugar

Sesame seeds, for garnish


 What you will do:

1.  Soak sticky rice, for at least 20 minutes (longer is better), in a bowl with cold water.

2.  Using basket steamer, bring water to the boil, set basket inside and line with cheese cloth (I use bamboo steamer liners).  The reason for lining the basket steamer is mainly for easy clean up.  If you do not have a basket steamer and pot you can use a regular pot of water with a steamer basket (like you may use for pasta, or a bamboo steamer- just make sure to line the steamer with cheese cloth or the like) though you do not want the steamer basket touching the water.

3.  Steam rice for about 20-30 minutes semi-covered until rice becomes translucent.  You can sample a bit and if it sticks together in your fingers and has a bit of a “dry” texture it is done.  But in general, 20-30 minutes does the trick.

4.  Once rice has cooked, set aside.  In a small sauce pan, over medium-low heat pour the entire can of coconut milk and add the sugar.  Stir and DO NOT let get to the boil.  This process slightly thickens the coconut milk and incorporates the sugar.  Always taste and add more sugar for a sweeter flavor, and remove from heat and set aside.  This should take about 5 minutes or so.

5.  Add about 3 T of the coconut milk to the cooked sticky rice and stir to incorporate.  This will slightly create a “mushy” rice but don’t fret, it is perfect.

6.  Next, cut your mango.  Mangos have a large flat pit in the center that you must cut around.  Create whole pieces, slices or dices . . . whichever you prefer.

7.  Now, it is time to assemble.  There are many ways you can serve this.  You can scoop the rice on a plate, add the mango on the side and drizzle with more of the coconut milk.  This is often how you would find it in Thailand.  Or, you can try to be fancy (like me, well I say it’s for the photos).  I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and added a layer of rice, a layer of diced mango, drizzled more coconut milk on top and garnished with sesame seeds.


Regardless of your presentation it will taste amazing!  It is a very rich and decadent dessert and a great way to impress dinner guests.  This dessert isn’t necessarily meant to serve while warm so you can easily prep this and have the ingredients ready in the kitchen and then after dinner, excuse yourself and assemble them.


Give this classic dessert a go and you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make on your own.


The heart shape was not inspired by the upcoming holiday of the heart but it would be a cute dessert to make for your significant other.

Cheers and happy eating!


8 thoughts on “Mango and Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang) Thai Dessert

  1. I’m excited to try and make this recipe! Thank you for sharing! Where could I find a reasonable steamer set to properly prepare?

    1. Thank you for your comment and for reading. Where are you located? Is there an Asian market near you? I know I have seen the steamers for sale online but they can be pricy. Hopefully, you are near an asian market! Cheers and happy eating!

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