The variety of desserts in Thailand are endless, but the most well known is “sticky rice w/ mango” or “Khao Neow Mamuang” in Thai.
Rice is Thailand’s life line, so of course we also eat it for dessert. The rice we use for this dessert is not the jasmine rice you would eat with a curry or a stir-fry. It is a different variety of rice and the straight forward translation is “sticky rice.” This variety of rice can not be boiled in water, instead it must be steamed. First though it must be soaked in water for at least 3 hours to remove some of the starch.
There is a special steamer used to cook it. The metal pot is filled with water and the rice is placed in the basket. The basket is placed in the pot making sure the bottom tip does not touch any water. The rice is steamed on very high heat. Half way through the rice is flipped to make sure the top is steamed. It generally takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on how much rice to cook. Caution must be take to make sure all the water does not evaporate.
You can enjoy the rice as is like most of the Thai people from the Northeast. It is super delicious eaten with dishes like Laab(ground chicken salad) or Yum Nuer (grilled beef salad). To make it sweet, the rice, immediately after steamed, mixed with a sauce of coconut milk, sugar & salt. Allow to rest until the rice absorbs all the coconut mixture. The rice is now ready to enjoy with sliced mango. This sweet rice is also enjoyed with an egg custard, sweet yellow bean or even ice cream in Thailand. Sometimes white sesame seeds are sprinkled on the rice.
Mango season is at its height and we have some amazingly sweet mango we were able to buy during a recent trip to NYC’s Chinatown. These mangos definitely can not be bought in Maine. So come try some of our sweet sticky rice with mango.