With coconut-cream-infused rice, glowing ripe mango slices, and a sweet coconut sauce, khao niaw mamuang, or Thai mango sticky rice, is easy to fall for. This recipe is inspired by the classic preparation (traditionally cooked in a bamboo steamer) but made differently. While some sticky rice recipes call for a strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander, this saucepan method eliminates the need for any special equipment, though we have provided instructions for using a rice cooker in case you happen to have one.
Pay attention to the type of rice you’re buying. Jasmine rice and other long-grain white rice varieties won’t work here. Look for Thai sweet rice, also known as glutinous rice (don’t worry, it’s gluten-free), at East and Southeast Asian supermarkets or online. Soaking it in the water and coconut milk mixture overnight (or while you’re at work) shortens the cooking time and imbues it with flavor. If it’s your first time making sticky rice, know that when you see the grains of cooked rice clumping together, it’s on purpose—that’s the nature of the grain and what makes it so much fun to eat.
While your rice cooks, brush up on how to cut a fresh mango. Spoon the fruit over the warm, sweet sticky rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime.