As we say goodbye to the sweetest mangoes that come with summer, I’m revisiting my favorite recipes with mangoes in the archive. One of them is sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce, a Thai sweet snack known as khao neaw mamuang.
I first published this recipe over eight years ago — in the summer of 2010. While I’ve redone a lot of old recipes in this blog and republished them with newer and better photos and, hopefully, recipes with clearer instructions, I’ve never attempted to change anything with this recipe. Not the plating, not the photos, not the instructions. Why not? Because everything about this Thai snack is just perfect. I have, however, adding some tips about cutting mangoes.
What’s the obsession with this Thai sweet snack anyway? I just find it both amazing and interesting at how Filipinos and Thai like combining sticky rice with sweet mangoes. If you’re a Filipino living abroad craving for suman with ripe mangoes but suman is not available, this Thai version of basically the same dish — sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce — is something that you can prepare at home. Canned coconut milk can be substituted for fresh. Glutinous rice is not hard to find although they may be called by other names depending on your location. And mangoes are popular the world over.
Khao neaw mamuang is a popular snack in Thailand. You’ll find the dressed up version in restaurants but equally delicious (minus the plating) street food versions can be had for just a fraction of the price.
While there’s nothing like fresh coconut cream, the canned version is not an altogether bad substitute. For instructions on how to extract coconut cream and milk, click here. If using canned, get coconut cream instead of coconut milk, reserve what you need for the sauce and just dilute the remainder with water for cooking the rice.
With the rice done, all you need to do is assemble the dish.
Cut the mangoes and discard the stones. A tip: Cut around the stone to get as much of the flesh as you can. I’ve seen so many so-called celebrity chefs, Americans mostly, simply slicing mangoes from tip to tip with a straight cut. Same thing when they skin pineapples. They cut off the skin thickly to get rid of the “eyes” not knowing that there is an art in removing pineapple skin and “eyes” to avoid wasting the fruit flesh.
When cutting a mango, it is worth remembering that the stone is curved. It is thinner on both edges and thicker at the center. Slice slowly, feeling the curve of the stone, to avoid wasting the precious flesh.
Slice the mango flesh into strips without cutting through the skin.
Scoop out the sliced mango flesh with a spoon.
Place a mound of sticky coconut rice on a plate or shallow bowl.
Arrange the mango slices around the rice and pour in the coconut milk.
Sprinkle the rice and mango slices with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
Sweet, creamy and aromatic, Thai sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce (khao neaw mamuang) can be served as a snack or dessert.
Sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce (khao neaw mamuang)
- Cook the coconut milk, sugar and salt just until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat immediately and divide into two portions.
- Drain the rice and cook in half of the coconut milk mixture with the pandan leaf. Cool.
- Cut both sides of each mango close to the stone at the center. Discard the stone.
- Cut the mango halves into slices about a quarter of an inch thick. You can scoop out the mango flesh to separate it from the skin before slicing or you can slice first and scoop out the slices afterwards.
- Place a scoop of sticky rice at the center of two plates.
- Surround the rice with mango slices.
- Divide the remaining sweetened coconut milk into two portions and pour one portion on each plate.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve the sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce.
This recipe was originally published in March 11, 2010.