Mango with Sticky Rice
Preparing the sticky rice for this classic Thai dessert is worth the trouble. This is a perfect dessert to follow a Thai-or any other Asian meal.
2 cups sticky rice (also called glutinous rice or sweet rice)
2 ½ cups coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 ripe mangoes, cut into thick slices
Prepare the rice: Soak the rice in water to cover for at least 3 hours, up to overnight. (The longer the rice soaks, the less time it will take to steam.)
Dain the rice and transfer to a bamboo steaming basket designed for cooking sticky rice suspended over a pot of boiling water. (Alternatively, steam the rice in a cheesecloth-lined steamer basket or colander suspended over boiling water. Place the rice in an even layer in the steamer basket for even steaming.)
Wait for the steam to begin rising through the rice, then cover the rice with a damp, thin kitchen towel, folded to completely cover the rice. Gently cover the rice (do not press down the towel) and reduce the heat to maintain a steady flow of steam. Have a pot or kettle of simmering water on the side to add as necessary to maintain the water for steaming. Steam the rice until it swells, glistens and can be molded into small, cohesive balls; the rice will be just tender (be careful not to overcook). Cooking time will vary from about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the cooking vessel and soaking time for the rice.
While the rice is cooking, combine 2 cups of the coconut milk in a saucepan with the sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a heat-proof cup or bowl. Set aside.
In the same pan heat the remaining coconut milk to a gentle boil. Add the remaining salt and continue to cook and gently stir for about 3 minutes or until coconut milk thickens slightly. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof cup or bowl. Set aside.
Turn the rice out into a large bowl. Pour the sweetened coconut milk over it and stir gently but well to incorporate thoroughly. Loosely cover the bowl and set aside, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is absorbed by the rice, 30 minutes to an hour. Serve mounded on a servicing platter with remaining coconut milk and sliced mangoes on the side. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds or toasted coconut. Serves 4
Note: Fresh ripe fresh peaches make a delicious substitute for fresh mangoes.