Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango Custard

Sticky rice with mango is probably the signature Thai dessert. I personally love it. Its sweet, salty, fruity, creamy-all the flavors and textures you look for in food. However, it’s a very complicated recipe. You have to find a specific glutinous rice and that can be hard to find. Then you have to soak it and then steam it and then soak it again in a coconut syrup. To me, that’s too much work. My version is so simple and uses regular jasmine rice. And its hard to find fresh mangoes all year round to a mango custard with canned mango puree is the perfect way to go. 


  • For the rice
    • 1 ½ cups jasmine rice, unwashed
    • 16 oz coconut milk
    • 1 cup coconut water
    • Pinch of salt
    • ¾ cup sugar
  • For the salty vanilla sauce
    • 8 oz coconut milk
    • Generous pinch of salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 3 tbs sugar
  • For the custard
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 ½ tbs cornstarch
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 ½ cups milk
    • ⅓ cup mango puree
    • Zest of 1 lime
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Assembly

Mint and toasted coconut for garnish


  • For the custard
    • Bring the milk and lime zest to a boil and let sit
    • Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until pale and slowly stream in the milk, making sure not to scramble the eggs
    • Return the mixture back to the pot and continue whisking on low heat until the custard thickens
    • Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla extract and mango puree
    • Set in the fridge for 5 hours up to overnight
  • For the rice
    • Combine all the ingredients, reserving ½ cup coconut water in a pot
    • Cover and bring to a boil
    • Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir every 3-5 minutes until the water is absorbed
    • Add in the rest of the water in stages and constantly stir until the rice is cooked
  • For the salty vanilla sauce
    • Combine all the ingredients and boil for 5-7 minutes or until slightly thickened
  • Assembly
    • Spray a small bowl with nonstick spray and pack the rice into the bowl
    • Invert the bowl to create a dome of rice. 
    • Serve with the custard on the side and top with the salted coconut sauce
    • Garnish with mint and toasted coconut

Chef’s notes

  • Add in the hot milk to the eggs slowly. Start with ¼ cup to temper the eggs and slowly stream in the rest. If you add in all the hot milk at once, you might scramble the eggs
  • Reserving some coconut water and adding is slowly at the end when cooking. It will help get the rice creamy

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