Mango and Sticky Rice (Kao Niew Mamuang)

I have never been to Thailand, but I love Thai food (so I should probably go there at some point, if only for the food). Luckily my friend Melvin has been to Thailand many times, so together with Thai bloggers like the High Heel Gourmet and Hot Thai Kitchen I can get a pretty good idea of what authentic Thai food is supposed to taste like and how it is prepared. This mango and sticky rice has only a few ingredients but there is some technique involved in preparing it. The most important component of course is ripe mangos, which may be hard to come by. Luckily I found some from Pakistan that were sweet, juicy, and fragrant (rather than akin to a baseball, as often found in the supermarket). The components to finish the dish are a salted coconut sauce for a nice flavor contrast and crispy mung beans for texture.

I used the recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen, which is very similar to the High Heel Gourmet’s. The only difference is that I used palm sugar rather than regular sugar, which is less sweet and more aromatic. Because it is less sweet, the risk of overpowering the sweetness of the mango is reduced. It is important to use Thai palm sugar, which is yellow rather than the brown palm sugar from Indonesia.


For 4 servings

2 ripe mangos, peeled and sliced

2 Tbsp shelled, split mung beans (sometimes sold under the name “mung dal”)

For the rice

200 grams (1 cup) glutinous rice

160 ml (2/3 cup) coconut milk

1/2 tsp salt

100 grams (1/2 cup) palm sugar

For the salted coconut sauce

120 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp rice flour

1 Tbsp water


Put 200 grams glutinous rice in a large bowl and cover with ample cold water. Wash it by swirling the rice with your hands.

Drain the rice and return it to the bowl to was it again. Repeat this until the water remains almost clear, about 5 times in total.

Cover the rice with ample water and allow to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the toasted mung beans, rinse 2 tablespoons of shelled split mung beans twice in cold water. Then put them in a saucepan and cover with half a litre (2 cups) of cold water.

Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Once its boiling, turn off the heat at once.

Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

The beans have now been cooked.

Rinse them with cold water…

…and pat dry with paper towels.

Toast the mung beans in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy and slightly golden.

Allow the beans to cool to room temperature.

For the salted coconut sauce, put 120 ml coconut milk in a saucepan. Mix 1 teaspoon of rice flour with 1 tablespoon of cold water and mix well until there are no lumps. Add this slurry to the coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Drain the rice and put it in a steamer. Make sure there is some way for the steam to get on top of the rice so it will cook evenly.

Put some water in the steamer, cover the rice, bring the water to a boil, and steam the rice for 30 minutes.

While the rice is steaming, prepare the coconut syrup.

Mince the palm sugar. You will need 100 grams, or 1/2 cup of minced palm sugar.

Combine 160 ml (2/3 cup) coconut milk with 100 grams palm sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan.

Stir this over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and keep warm.

Once the rice has been steamed, mix it with the coconut syrup. It doesn’t matter if you add the rice to the syrup or the syrup to the rice, whichever is most convenient.

Stir the rice and the syrup well. It will still look soupy, that is fine.

Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, stir the rice gently. Then cover and allow to rest for a final 20 minutes. The rice is now ready to be served.

Peel and slice the mangos. Serve them with the sticky coconut rice, garnished with the salted coconut sauce and the crispy mung beans.

Wine pairing

We enjoyed this with a sweet Auslese Riesling from the Mosel in Germany. Auslese is the German equivalent to “very late harvest” and only means that there is a lot of sugar in the grapes. It depends on the wine maker whether this sugar will remain in the wine or ends up as alcohol. You can read more about that here. The Riesling we had was only 7% alcohol by volume, and had a great balance between sweetness, acidity, and minerality. It worked very well with the mango, which also has a balance between sweetness and acidity (if sufficiently ripe).


Lobster ravioli with a bisque sauce are one of the most decadent dishes on my blog and I prepare it to accompany decadent white Burgundy.


4 thoughts on “Mango and Sticky Rice (Kao Niew Mamuang)

  1. As you know I eat a lot of Asian food. I am usually not a dessert eater . . .but them desserts are not really a ‘big thing’ with Asian meals . . . so this works out fine 🙂 ! However sticky rice pudding with mango I quite ;like and have made many times and just have to fish out my usual recuse, compare and make when our beautiful mangoes come unto season. My big ‘thank you’ to you is for your very clear previous post on German wines. I grew up drinking them . . . and many a glass of Trockenbeerenausleses has been consumed late in a meal . . . a quick look has proven my ignorance about much of what you have written obwohl ich noch die Sprache behersche . . . well, somewhat . . . so . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eha, well German wine is very complicated, especially because there is often no good information on the label. Trockenbeerenauslese is always sweet, but Spätlese and Auslese can be dry, semi-dry, or sweet. We are not big dessert eaters either, but when throwing a dinner party a dessert is usually called for. And so it is nice to have some appropriate desserts on my repertoire, as an Italian dessert after a Thai meal would not seem fitting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We are not big dessert eaters either but I always make something special when we have friends over too. This dish seems much more complicated than I would have expected. I’m sure it was delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

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