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Fancy mango sticky rice? Try these delicious sticky rice desserts

Michelle Lim

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The simple yet incredibly delicious combination of sticky rice and mango (mango sticky rice) has caught the world’s attention following a famous Thai rapper, Milli’s remarkable performance at Coachella, where she devours the beloved Thai dessert on stage. Since then, the mango sticky rice vendor’s sales have gone through the roof! Evidently, many of us caught the so-called “mango sticky rice fever”. To some of you unfamiliar with the dessert, you’re missing out! But for most of us who are well on the bandwagon, let’s venture on and try these other magical sticky rice desserts in Thailand. You might even find your new favourite!

Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang)

The idea of sweet sticky rice might be off-putting to some, but once you’ve overcome this barrier, you are looking at a whole new world of sweet palate pleasers. The most famous Thai sticky rice dessert is none other than mango sticky rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang).

The highlight of this dish is the sweet and juicy yellow mango you can find nowhere else but in Thailand. It is available all year; However, the tastiest mangoes should be consumed during the summer months of April, May and July. The sticky rice is steamed with fresh coconut milk, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Some shops may even use natural colourings to dye the rice, such as pandan leaves for green and butterfly peas for blue. Sprinkle some crispy yellow mung beans on top, and indulge in the sweet, salty and fragrant combo!

Custard Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Sung Ka Yar)

Custard sticky rice (Khao Neow Sung Ka Yar) is another popular sticky rice combo which you’ll see sold next to the mango sticky rice in most stalls! The custard made of egg, sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaf water is so tender and sweet, that it melts in your mouth. Typically, the local store would place a custard slice on the sticky rice and cover it in banana leaf. It works well as a grab-and-go snack. We promise you that you won’t be able to get enough. So, try it at your own risk!

Durian Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Tu Rean)

Here comes the king of fruits- Durian. Before this excites or throws off some people, we are just here to remind you that this combination tastes wonders. The creaminess of the durian enhances the sweetness and texture of the sticky rice. A bite of it will satisfy your sweet tooth. So if you are a Durian lover, this is a must-try. Unsure of trying the controversial fruit? This is an excellent way to ease yourself into deciding whether you’re a lover or a hater.

Longan Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Piak Lumyai)

Khao Neow Piak Lumyai is yet another delicious sticky rice-fruit combo. Even though it is not as popular as the other two fruit combos, try it, and you will find it deserves as much hype and appreciation. If you’ve never had this berry or nut-looking fruit, it is juicy and sweet with a hint of muskiness. The sweetness and texture of the fruit greatly complement the sticky rice, further elevating the whole dessert.

Sweet sticky rice with shrimp (Khao Neow Nar Goong)

This unique combination might raise many eyebrows. Shrimp in a dessert? Moreover, it is not just shrimp; the topping is made from minced shrimps seasoned with spices and herbs. You probably cannot imagine how it will compliment sweet sticky rice. But it does! In fact, you’ll find Khao Neow Nar Goong at many of the local dessert stalls.

If you are adventurous with food, definitely give it a try. Your palate might be confused at first, but after some time, you will see why it is one of the most popular sticky rice desserts locally!

Sweet sticky rice with dried fish (Khao Neow Nar Pla)

Since we’re already on interesting toppings, let’s talk about sweet sticky rice with dried fish. In most markets, you will not find the dessert since it follows an ancient recipe. Grilled fish is pounded finely and stir-fried with crispy shallots and delicately placed on the sweet sticky rice. Guess what goes with this dessert? Watermelon. Restaurants often serve it with juicy watermelon as it balances out the flavours.

Sticky rice wrapped in Banana Leaves (Khao Tom Mat)

Let us introduce you to Khao Tom Mat- sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. This version of the dessert comes in unique packaging. The flavoursome sticky rice is compactly wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed until tender and fragrant. There are many fillings available as well! The most popular ones are bananas or black beans. If you see these banana leaf wraps at the local market, get them. Also, don’t forget to ask the vendor what the filling is!

Coconut sticky rice in Bamboo (Khao Lam)

Thailand has no limitations to its innovation in making desserts. Aside from steaming sticky rice in banana leaf, sticky rice is also char-grilled in bamboo. The goodness-filled tubes are then carefully roasted over flames, allowing the ingredients to combine while they cook. This leaves a slightly charred bamboo fragrance on the soft coconut flavoured sticky rice. This dessert is not as commonly sold in Bangkok, but you will occasionally see vendors by the road. If so, grab the chance and try Khao Lam!

Sweet Crispy Rice Crackers (Khanom Nang Led)

Here is a new way to have sticky rice- deep-fry it. If you love to snack while watching Netflix, try Khanom Nang Led, crispy rice crackers coated with caramel sauce. The snack is initially developed in the Northern part of Thailand and is usually made from leftover sticky rice. The crunchy sun-dried cracker gained popularity all over Thailand, so it can be found in most markets simply because we cannot get enough of them!

Thailand’s food scene is the hub of the most innovative, exciting and delicious desserts. Here are sticky rice desserts for you to add to your must-savour list. Buckle up and be prepared to be wowed by all these fantastic Thai sticky rice desserts.

 

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    Michelle graduated with a double degree in Business Administration and Psychology from Webster University. She's a big nature lover, ailurophile and psychology enthusiast.

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