When it's so stinking hot, I must admit that even I don't feel like cooking or eating much. Little effort for maximum enjoyment is the theme at Scrumptious Street right now. Lots of salads. And, one benefit of not eating much is that it's perfectly acceptable to have
dessert something on the sweet side and even eat only that! So, whether you make this as a dessert or an entree, no one but you will know and I'll be cheering you on, especially if you make it your entire meal. Because this "Sticky Rice with Mangoes" is simple and oh, so spectacular!
This recipe is from the cookbook by Quick and Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott and I discovered it during my testing for Leite's Culinaria. It has been a stand-by in hot weather days ever since. The creamy and rich rice goes so very well with the tangy, tropical flavor of the mango. I also like to add blueberries when I have them on hand, for a little tartness.
One tip: I only use kosher salt in this recipe. It has a gentle flavor, whereas iodized table salt is just too metallic. The salt in this recipe is actually very important, for it helps scale back the richness of the coconut milk.
Also, you can steam your rice in a variety of ways - including just putting a well ventilated colander over a large stockpot, but I use the authentic stuff here. I purchased a sticky rice bamboo steamer and pot last year at my favorite Thai grocery store in New York. So, if you can get your hands on one, please do. The flavor of the bamboo actually gets into the rice while steaming, and it's amazing. Try it out if you can but if it's not possible, please still try this recipe anyway. It's absolutely spectacular!!
1 1/2 cups long-grain sticky rice, soaked in water to cover rice for 3 hours or overnight
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons (I suggest Kosher!) salt
6 ripe, sweet mangoes
1. Drain the soaked sticky rice and transfer it to a steamer basket. Place the steamer basket over several inches of water in a saucepan or the base of a steamer. Bring the water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook, adjusting the heat to maintain a steady flow of steam, until the rice swells and glistens and is sticky enough to pinch into pleasing chewy lumps, 30 to 45 minutes. Replenish the steamer base with boiling water as needed to maintain the flow of steam.
2. While the rice is steaming, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir gently for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sugar and salt dissolves into a smooth sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. When the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl; you will have about 4 cups cooked sticky rice. Pour the sweetened coconut milk over the rice and stir gently to mix it evenly into the hot rice. Cover, and set aside for at least 30 minutes and as long as 3 hours, to let the rice absorb the sauce.
4. Meanwhile peel the mangoes and cut the flesh off the long flat pits. Cut it into generous chunks and set aside.
5. To serve, place a fist-sized portion of coconut rice and an equal portion of the mango chunks on each of 6 salad or dessert plates. Serve at room temperature with a fork and spoon.