Khao Niao Mamuang(Thai sweet coconut rice with mangoes)

Sticky rice is used in Southeast Asia for desserts. It also goes by the name of “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice.” Be sure this is the kind you use.

4 to 6 servings


  • Short-grain sticky rice — 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 or 4
  • Mint sprigs (optional) — 1 for each portion


  1. 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.
  2. 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 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the coconut milk, sugar and salt to a slow simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Do not boil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Khao Niao Mamuang Variations

  • Instead of mango, try using ripe peaches or any fruit that is in season. Chopped fruit can be stirred into the rice when it’s hot if you prefer.
  • Sometimes a little pandanus (screw pine leaf) flavoring is added. The flavored extract can be found in Asian markets. Use just a pinch. A little goes a long way.
  • Try using half sticky rice and half Thai black rice. This makes a beautiful deep purple dessert. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  • For variety, garnish with toasted sesame seeds or shredded Thai basil.
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