Mango Sticky Rice

Tuesday, May 31 2011 Cooking!

Last weekend I was cruising around southeast Portland, headed towards the Asian supermarket on 82nd to stock up on rice noodles and coconut milk when I got caught in a late-afternoon hunger slump. After striking out at the GF bakery, I navigated to Pok Pok in a hypoglycemic haze, placated by one consuming thought: Cha Ca La Vong. Quite possibly, my favorite meal anywhere, ever. And I don’t say that hyperbolically.

Putting my name on the list (who has a queue at 4pm on a Saturday?), I quasi-patiently fidgeted under the outdoor awning, dodging raindrops. Ten minutes later, I was escorted to a seat at the bar and presented with the lunch menu. The lunch menu? Boooo. No offense Pok Pok, you know I love you, but the lunch menu is a tease. And conspicuously lacking the delectable grande dame.

Not to be consoled with the fish sauce wings, I tucked my tail between my legs and escorted myself out, empty-handed. I retreated to the ‘burbs, eating pho and chatting with Jen on the phone about the rapture, which was surely imminent, right? (It was May 21st.) Once fed, my world was righted and I carried on to Fubonn.

I don’t know if you’ve spent much time in the rice stacks at an Asian market, but it is a practice in humility, intrigue and befuddlement. After an embarrassing amount of over-contemplation (something like obsessive without the compulsive) I grabbed two bags of sweet rice to try -one brown, one white. I haven’t opened the brown one yet, but here’s how the white has played out: deliciously.

All of this to tell you that somewhere between Thai street food and Vietnamese soup and the exhaustive (and exhausting) rice aisle at the Asian supermarket, it occurred to me: Mango Sticky Rice. Oh yes. Pok Pok does it so well. It couldn’t be that hard, right? Right.

The cool thing about this recipe (adapted from a few online sources) is that, unlike most sticky rice preparations, you don’t have to use a rice steamer, you can make it in a saucepan. So fast, so easy.

Although technically a dessert, I would like to suggest that Mango Sticky Rice makes a superb breakfast, as well as afternoon snack, and pre-dinner nibble, or late-night nosh… Uhm, well, I ate a lot of sticky rice last week.

  • 1 c. Sweet Rice (also called Sticky Rice or Glutinous Rice {it is still gluten-free}, same diff)
  • 1 c. water

Mix these together in a bowl. Stir to break any clumps and let sit for 20 minutes to an hour.
Do not drain. Put rice and soaking water in a saucepan and add:

  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. canned coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 – 10 drops stevia or 2 – 3 tsp. sugar (to your desired sweetness; the mango will add sweetness too, so don’t over-do it.)

Bring to a boil. Stir and turn down to simmer, tipping the lid. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, keeping lid cracked. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in:

  • 2 – 3 drops vanilla extract

Put lid on pan securely and let rice steam, off the burner, for 10 minutes.
Serve with 1 large, ripe, peeled mango sliced, diced, or cut however you prefer. For the photo I plated it, but when making it for myself I slice the mango into small pieces and heap it on top of the rice.
Garnish with black sesame seeds, if desired.

Serves 2 – 4, depending. Can be doubled easily.