Mango Sticky Rice with Herb-Smoked Coconut Milk – Recipe

With temperatures reaching 30ºC, not a cloud in the sky and me missing Thailand a little bit after a short but awesome trip, I decided to finally crack out this interesting herb candle-scented coconut milk that I bought over there to make the famous Thai dessert: mango sticky rice.

The candle is called a 'tian op' or 'tian ob' – I've actually used one before in my khanom kleeb lamduan (Thai shortbread) recipe a few years ago. If you can't get ahold of the ready-made candle-smoked coconut milk, you can buy a tian op online and smoke some yourself in the same way I smoked the shortbread. Or you can just use regular coconut milk too.

The real star of the show is, though, is the mango: so make sure you get a good variety (preferably Thai!) that's ripe enough.

Ready? Let's go.

(Serves 2.)


100g Thai sticky rice
180ml water
200ml Thai candle-scented coconut milk (or regular)
65g caster sugar
Generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 3 tsp water
Mung beans or sesame seeds to serve (optional)


1. First, toast the mung beans or sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium to high heat, tossing frequently, until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2. Cook the rice: bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan, reduce the heat to simmer, and cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to steam for a further 5 minutes, still covered.

3. Pour half the coconut milk into the rice and stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm.

4. Wash the saucepan, and pour the other half of the coconut milk in, along with the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, and add in the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Stir and cook until thickened, and take off the heat to cool.

5. Slice up a mango (fancy presentation optional!) and place half on a plate. Serve with half of the coconut rice, moulding if you like, and pour over a little coconut sauce. Sprinkle with your toasted beans or seeds before serving.

Enjoy, and have fun.

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