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Coconut Sticky Rice

Thai coconut sticky rice is a popular delicious dessert that is often ordered at most Thai restaurants. In this post, I’m sharing with you how you can make coconut sticky rice right at home!

No Thai restaurant order is complete without an order of warm coconut sticky rice. Whether you top it with a Thai custard or with add sticky rice with mango, coconut sticky rice is so versatile.

There are just a few simple ingredients that you need to make this dynamic dessert. The recipe itself is actually quite simple.

Sticky rice is not too difficult to make if you know what equipment to use to make authentic sticky rice. Sure, there are hacky ways to make sticky rice in the microwave, Instant Pot, and stovetop, but nothing is the same as steaming it in a basket.

I’m going to show you how to make sweet, coconut sticky rice in your kitchen – it’s vegan and gluten-free! You are going to absolutely love this coconut-drenched sticky, gooey dessert that is full of goodness.

thai coconut sticky rice recipe

Supplies for Sticky Rice Steaming

For steaming sticky rice, I recommend using traditional Southeast Asian conical baskets, which are available at most Asian grocery stores and online here.  Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Steamer Basket
  • Aluminum Pot

Related Post: All About How to Make Authentic Thai Sticky Rice

coconut sticky rice

All About Coconut Sticky Rice – Thai Authentic Snack and Dessert

coconut sticky rice

Coconut sticky rice is served traditionally as a dessert in Thailand and Laos. It is an absolutely sweet, delicious, and savory dish that is topped with something just as sweet, traditionally mangos. Sticky rice with mango is one of the most popular Thai dishes that have hailed from the region.

What does coconut sticky rice taste like?

Coconut sticky rice is creamy, sticky, sweet, and savory without any of the different flavors overpowering one another. It is a decadent dish that pairs well at the end of a hearty meal.

How hard is coconut sticky rice to make?

Coconut sticky rice only takes about 30 minutes to make with less than four ingredients. It’s a very simple recipe. The only thing complex is remembering to soak the glutinous rice the night before you are wanting to serve it.

What makes coconut rice sticky?

There are four unique characteristics that provide coconut rice the sticky texture.

  1. Glutinous rice (also known as sweet rice) when steamed provides that gummy texture.
  2. Soaking the rice allows the water to be absorbed into it.
  3. Steaming it allows the rice to expand.
  4. The coconut and sugar mixture provide the extra stickiness to the dish.

About the Coconut Sticky Rice Recipe

While the instructions are quite simple, there are a few common questions that I often get about making coconut sticky rice. These are things you’ll want to pay attention to even though there are only a handful of ingredients.

Is it necessary to soak the sticky rice overnight?

Yes, sticky rice should be soaked in water for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) in order to allow the rice grains to swell up and absorb the water.

Is there a way to cook the rice in a rice cooker instead of steaming?

Rice cookers are not generally used to make “sticky rice.”

Can the rice be eaten cold the next day?

As long as the coconut milk is still being absorbed by the rice and hasn’t hardened, you can definitely eat it cold the next day.

How to Make Coconut Sticky Rice – Authentic Thai Dessert

Ingredients for Coconut Sticky Rice

  • 2 cups of sticky rice
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • toasted sesame seeds or mango (optional)

Instructions for Coconut Sticky Rice

  1. Put the rice in a deep bowl. Rinse until clear.
  2. Add cold water until water is covering the rice.
  3. Let it soak for at least four hours (preferably overnight for at least 10 hours).
  4. After soaking, drain the rice and rinse.
  5. Place the rice in a bamboo steamer basket.
  6. Add water halfway up a metal base pot for a bamboo steamer and allow it to boil.
  7. Once boiled, add the steamer basket on top and cover it with any cooking lid until the rice is covered.
  8. Steam for 30 minutes.
  9. Check the rice by pressing on it to ensure that it is firm.
  10. Remove the rice, and place on a nylon sheet to knead it while it is still hot (you’ll need to move it quickly due to the heat).
  11. Place in bamboo basket to serve!
  12. Take the coconut cream and sugar mixture and add a couple of ladles into the sticky rice bowl, delicately mixing it in. Keep adding more ladles while stirring. The goal is to allow the rice to remain sticky, but not be mushy.
  13. Once the mixture looks like a sticky grain, pudding texture, cover the rice and let it stand for 5 minutes to allow the rice to absorb the mixture. 
  14. Add toasted sesame seeds or mango (optional).
  15. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes for Sticky Rice

Here are a few notes to consider when making this dish:

  • Do not use regular white rice or jasmine rice. This needs to be glutinous rice (also known as sweet rice).
  • Do not skip the rinsing of the rice prior to soaking, as this will allow extra starches to be removed from the rice grains so that it doesn’t get to mushy and milky during steaming.
  • If you find that you’ve undercooked the rice after adding coconut milk mixture into the rice, you can transfer the rice back into the basket using a cheesecloth as a barrier and cover it with a lid and re-steam it again until it’s all the way cooked.

Serving Coconut Sticky Rice

As with most of the desserts in Southeast Asia, coconut sticky rice is eaten as both a snack and dessert. It’s often topped with sesame seeds or mung beans for a crunch. In addition, another layer of topping usually includes a sweet fruit like mango.

Reheating Sticky Rice

Sticky rice doesn’t reheat well, so make sure you serve as much of the batch that you can. If you really want to reheat, you can use cheesecloth to protect the bamboo steamer and steam the rice again that way.

thai custard with coconut sticky rice

Thai Coconut Sticky Rice

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Thai coconut sticky rice with mango is heavenly and scrumptious - and it is THE beloved dessert in Thailand. It is a sweet, coconut creamed sticky rice that has a lot of delicious sweetness and texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sticky rice
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • toasted sesame seeds or mango (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the rice in a deep bowl. Rinse until clear.
  2. Add cold water until water is covering the rice.
  3. Let it soak for at least four hours (preferably overnight for at least 10 hours).
  4. After soaking, drain the rice and rinse.
  5. Place the rice in a bamboo steamer basket.
  6. Add water halfway up a metal base pot for a bamboo steamer and allow it to boil.
  7. Once boiled, add the steamer basket on top and cover it with any cooking lid until the rice is covered.
  8. Steam for 30 minutes.
  9. Check the rice by pressing on it to ensure that it is firm.
  10. Remove the rice, and place on a nylon sheet to knead it while it is still hot (you'll need to move it quickly due to the heat).
  11. Place in bamboo basket to serve!
  12. Take the coconut cream and sugar mixture and add a couple of ladles into the sticky rice bowl, delicately mixing it in. Keep adding more ladles while stirring. The goal is to allow the rice to remain sticky, but not be mushy.
  13. Once the mixture looks like a sticky grain, pudding texture, cover the rice and let it stand for 5 minutes to allow the rice to absorb the mixture. 
  14. Add toasted sesame seeds or mango (optional).
  15. Serve warm.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 1g

Summary for Making Coconut Sticky

This savory, vegan coconut sticky rice recipe is going to appeal to both small and large crowds. With only a handful of ingredients, as long as you can remember to soak rice the night before, you are going to be able to satisfy cravings of sweet, savory, and chewy in a matter of just mixing up a small batter of coconut and sugar.

Thai Coconut sticky rice is the ultimate recipe to serve a picky family of dessert eaters!

More Easy Thai Recipes That You’ll Love

If you love this Thai coconut sticky rice as much as our family does, see below for some other recipes. Please write a five star review and help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!

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thai coconut sticky rice dessert

Coconut sticky rice recipe

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