easy, gluten-free, rice, sweets, vegan

Mango Sticky Rice

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A well known Thai dessert. Mango sticky rice is all about taking a few ingredients and making a taste way more than the sum of its parts. And if that wasn’t enough it’s vegan, gluten free and incredibly easy to make at home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rice do I use?

Glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice or sweet rice, is ideal for this recipe due to its satisfyingly sticky texture when cooked. It can be found in asian grocers and the asian section of well-stocked supermarkets. Despite its name, glutinous rice has no dietary gluten, and is therefore safe for gluten-free diets.

Do I need to soak my rice?

YES! You absolutely should soak your rice. I tested this recipe with unsoaked rice, a two hour soak, and a 24 hour soak. The unsoaked rice almost always ended up either undercooked with a crunchy middle, or complete overcooked mush. The soaking helps the rice cook evenly and more consistently. However, I found there was no difference whatsoever between 2 hours and 24 hours, so keep your soaks short.

What’s with the green tea and vanilla?

Traditional versions of this dish usually steam the rice in a pandan leaf. This process adds a complex grassy and floral background flavor to the sticky rice. I understand it’s difficult to find this ingredient in some places, hence this substitution. The end result isn’t exactly like pandan, but it adds a similar flavor palette to the sticky rice. Feel free to omit these ingredients as they are non-essential.

Mango Sticky Rice



Prep time


Cooking time




  • ½ cup glutinous rice

  • ⅔ cup water

  • ¾ cup coconut milk

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ⅛ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • 1 mango

  • Optional flavors
  • 1 bag green tea

  • ¼ tsp vanilla


  • Wash rice and soak for at least two hours in water. Drain water and add rice to a small pot. Add ⅔ cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover with lid and set heat to low. Let steam for 15 minutes. Turn off heat when done.
  • In the meantime, add coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a pan. If desired, add green tea bag and vanilla extract as well. Heat while stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is simmering. Remove the tea bag. Add half the sauce mixture to the finished rice and mix until uniform. Set aside to cool.
  • Mix together 1 tsp of cornstarch into about 2 tbsp cool water. Stir until no dry starch remains. Pour into remaining sauce. Heat on medium-low while constantly stirring until thick.
  • Scoop cooled sticky rice onto a plate, pour sauce on top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with fresh mango. Enjoy.

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