The Evolution of Sticky Rice in My Kitchen

There is so much to eat in Thailand.  As of this writing, I have been to the kingdom three times, and those times, those Bangkok food trips, have not been enough to really get a taste of everything.  At least I’ll have more than enough reason to keep coming back.  By the way, as I write this, I reach out to our Thai brothers as they endure the latest floods.

Of course, a  food trip in Bangkok or any other parts of Thailand would not be enough without trying dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Yum, or their very delicious coconut pancake and ice cream.

Sticky Rice with Mango -
As one of the kingdom's most popular desserts, Sticky Rice is available everywhere in Thailand. It usually goes with mangoes.

And then, there’s the sticky rice, which I absolutely love and crave for, even when I am back home.  So as usual, to satisfy my craving for it, I went to the, ehem, lab, to experiment and make my own homemade version.

I realize that it’s a very easy dish to make. And really, anyone can make it at home.  Here’s my sticky rice recipe.

Two Parts.  There are main components in sticky rice.  First is the sticky rice itself.  The second would be the topping/s.  Mango, is considered to be the most popular topping of all.

How to Make Sticky Rice

1) To make sticky rice for 4 to 6 people, you will need 1 1/2 cups of glutinous rice.  They are very easy to find at the grocery.  Submerge the rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.

2) I prefer cooking them on the stove as it is the easiest, quickest way to do so.  So, transfer the rice-water mixture in a pan — non-stick works best.  Add 1 cup of coconut milk.  Canned coconut milk is just fine.  Also add 2/3 cup brown sugar. Mix all the ingredients and put the stove on medium heat.  For extra flavor, add 1 tbsp of coconut/flavor or extract.

3) Once the rice starts to boil, put the heat on low.  Stir often but gently to avoid burning the rice.  Cook until soft and until all the liquid has evaporated.   Then, turn off the heat, and add 2 tbsp. extra coconut milk to keep the rice moist.

4) Add your toppings.

You can simply put the sticky rice in a bowl and put the toppings on top.  In my case, I played with the plating to see how the dessert can be made exciting.

Here’s how the look of sticky rice evolved in my kitchen.

I used an aluminum mold for flans and shaped the rice using it.  Version 1 is with mango.  Mangoes in Thailand are delicious.  But of course, I am also recommending Philippine mangoes because they are very, very delicious.

Sticky Rice Recipe

Version 2 is with mangoes still.  And beneath the mangoes, I used shrimp flakes, which are available at many Thai groceries for just 40 Baht ($1.50). Make sure you get the version that is not spicy.

The shrimp flakes add color to the dish and also provide a salty contrast to the sweetness of the rice and mango.

Recipe for Sticky Rice -

Version 3 is mango and corn.  Corn is also a perfect partner to mango.

Sticky Rice with Mango and Corn -

And version 4 — sticky rice with mangoes and nutella.  Why not some chocolate hazelnut flavor?  I took the risk and I must say, this version is fabulous. The nutella enhances and complements the flavor of the coconut. And of course, mangoes and nutella have always been a decadent combination.

Sticky Rice with Nutella

Well, I may only go to Thailand every so often, but here is a celebrated dessert that you can always enjoy anytime at home.  Take your pick and enjoy!

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