Sticky Rice with Mangoes
There is no other time to get mangoes than now. Eat it alone or eat it with sweet sticky rice. This is the easiest thing to make and you will love it. There are more than 30 varieties of mangoes in Thailand. Here in the US, my summer favorite is Ataulfo mangoes from Mexico. They are sweet and creamy and so delicious. It reminds me of Thai mangoes.
In summer, when mangoes are abundant, you will see sticky rice and mango everywhere along the streets of Thailand, seriously. It seems everyone turn into mango vendor. Sticky rice is a kind of rice, it becomes sticky when cooked. Sticky rice are often called sweet rice or glutinous rice at Asian stores. There are long grains and short grain varieties. We use long grains in Thai cooking. Although called glutinous rice, sticky rice has no gluten in it. It is safe for gluten free diet. The substance that makes sticky rice glutinous is called Amylopectin.
Pandan or Pandunas leaves are fragrant leaves that usually come frozen at Asian market. You can also buy essense but it's not as good. It acts like vanilla in dessert, it adds fragrance and also make the sweetness from sugar a little heavier.
2 cups sweet or glutinous rice (either long grain or short grain. Long grain is preferred just because that’s the kind we use in Thailand but if you have short grains, they work just as good. It will take longer to cook short grains because the grain is thicker)
2 cups coconut cream (a small can)
1.5 cups sugar
large pinch of salt
Pandunas Leaves or Pandan leaves or the essence (optional)
Soak rice overnight or for about 4 hours. Drain, rinse and steam over medium heat in a steamer for about 15-20 minutes. Any steamer will do just fine. If you have one of those bamboo steamer, go for it. Check if the rice is cooked from the thickest part of the pile.
If a steamer is not available, put soaked sticky rice in a bowl and cover with a dish or cheesecloth. Cook for 3 minutes without adding any water. Check if the rice is cooked, if not, then cook for another 3 minutes and keep checking.
Meanwhile, in a pan, heat coconut milk, add sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir until dissolved. If using Pandunas leave, add it to the sauce and simmer for about 2 minutes to let it infuse into the sauce. Cool the sauce off completely. When the rice is cooked, pour prepared coconut cream over rice. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place. Serve with coconut ice cream or mangoes.