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before summer gets old

Recipe: thai sticky rice and mango

Guys, you have to learn not to read too much into what I’m writing. I didn’t say I was going dark, I just said if I did, I think it would be hard for me to get back into blogging after realizing how great it is not to write posts at the last minute like I’m doing now. Remember, I’m not a writer. I don’t like writing. But thanks for reading and for letting me know that you read. I think all too often there is a large silent majority – both in my readership and in the world we live in – that rarely speaks up. We need to stop being silent and participate more, yes? You’re all good eggs. xoxo

Last week we returned to the Front Range to trade in our little WRX and get a new Forester XT. Listening to our very inexperienced and not especially good sales person go on about wheel hub cosmetics and how black cars show dirt and scratches more than any other color drove home how we are so unlike most car owners. Cars are not accessories or adornments for us. They are workhorses. Safety and functionality are our priorities. Can it fit Jeremy’s powder skis or a couple of bikes (we do have bike and ski racks, but sometimes we like to chuck them into the car)? Is there room for Neva and all of our gear? Can we sleep in the back in an emergency or for the heck of it? How does it handle deep snow, snow and ice, or climbing mountain passes above 10,000 feet? Will it get us there safely, reliably, comfortably? We think Neva approves, although she hates all cars…


uncertain of this new torture mobile



After we drove the car home from the dealer, we loaded up the other car and headed back to Crested Butte just in time for the start of the wildflowers and my enthusiastic allergies. The early flowers are popping up on the hillsides and in the forests, and with them come butterflies, hummingbirds, and happy bees. I love summer when she is new, but I know from experience that come August, I will tire of this mistress and my daydreams will linger on winter powder days and spring backcountry skiing. My god, the back of my neck is tingling just thinking about ski season.

willows in fuzz stage on my trail run

magical lupine and a dwindling snowpack in the distance

healthy and colorful crimson columbine in bloom

hiking with neva after fetching and swimming (she swam some more after the hike, too)

neva looking to jeremy for a treat



Today’s recipe is an easy one with a handful of ingredients – Thai sticky rice and mango. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, not too sweet, tropical, and delightful. If you have a rice cooker, it’s EVEN easier! But without a rice cooker, you merely need a way to steam the sweet rice, which is glutinous sweet rice… which does not contain gluten, but is sticky as hell. Awesome.

coconut milk, sugar, sweet rice, sesame seeds, salt, mangoes



First, soak the rice in cold water for several hours, then drain and rinse until the water runs clear. My Zojirushi rice cooker has a “sweet rice” setting, but you can also steam the rice until it is tender to the bite. And sticky.

soak the rice in water

drain the grains

place the rice in the rice cooker

cooked sweet rice



When the rice is ready, stir the sugar and salt into the coconut milk. Try to use the thick part of the coconut milk rather than the runny part if you can. If it’s well mixed, there isn’t much to do other than measure out what you need. Stir the coconut milk mixture into the hot rice.

mix the sugar, salt, and coconut milk

stir the mixture into the hot sweet rice

the rice should be fragrant from the coconut milk and mildly nutty



Just before serving, peel and pit your mangoes, slicing up the flesh. The presentation doesn’t have to be fancy, just spoon some rice into a bowl or onto a plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and arrange a few slices of mango on the side. That’s it! Super easy, right?

peel the mango

slice the fruit

and serve



If you aren’t a fan of mangoes (why?!) I suppose you could substitute with other kinds of fruit. I recommend something of a tropical nature to play on the coconut-scented rice. Sticky rice and mango is not an overly sweet dessert. If you don’t think it is sweet enough, you can certainly increase the amount of sugar added, but I find it to be just right. The tart component of the mango strikes a good balance with the creamy starchy sweet rice. This dish also reheats nicely (covered in a microwave or briefly in a steamer) for let’s say, breakfast or a snack.

sticky rice and mangoes are fun to shape

make the servings as small or as big as you like

a lovely little bite


Thai Sticky Rice and Mango
[print recipe]
from Thai Cooking Made Easy

1 cup glutinous sweet rice
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsps granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 mango, peeled, cored, and sliced

Soak rice for 6 hours in enough cold water to cover the top of the rice with an inch of water. Drain the rice. Rinse with cold water until the rinse water runs more or less clear. Drain and steam the rice for 20 minutes on high heat or cook the rice in a rice cooker per the rice cooker instructions (there is a sweet rice setting on my rice cooker). Stir the coconut milk, sugar, and salt together. Mix the coconut mixture into the hot steamed rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with mango slices. Makes 3 cups. Serves 4.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

chinese eight treasure rice pudding chinese fermented sweet rice (jiu niang) chinese sweet red bean rice balls fried mochi rice (nuo mi fan)

35 nibbles at “before summer gets old”

  1. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    i like how you say that presentation doesn’t have to be fancy… and then your pictures have these gorgeous mango fans! i’m sure this would be delicious regardless (; and agreed about speaking up. blog-wise, yes, but mostly current events wise.

  2. Ellie's friend from Canada says:

    Hi, I love your blog and visit often. I notice your Zojirushi rice cooker and wonder if you have the Zojirushi bread maker which I am thinking of buying. If so, do you like it? Unfortunately, I am allergic to rice so can’t try your recipe but it is so beautifully presented. I love your photos and, this time, of the wildflowers, in particular. The lupines are stunning. I hope you’ll treat us to more wildflower photos as summer progresses. Thanks a lot. Ann

  3. Kristin says:

    Mmm…kind of like firm rice pudding? I will have to try! And I’m with you about cars. Do they work? Are they safe? Yep? Ok, then I don’t care about the hail dings on the Prius or the huge dent in the van where the deer ran into us, though I DO hope the deer was ok, since it just started running before it ran into us, and MAYBE it didn’t hit us hard enough to seriously hurt itself? Maybe?

  4. Mary Karen N says:

    I’m a long time fairly silent follower- for the photos as well as the food and your stories. Lucky enough to finally visit your beautiful state of Colorado this week; we came out to run the Revel Rockies half and do some hiking. I’m already in love with these mountains!

  5. Susannah I. Sherwood says:

    Hi and thank you so much for a favorite dessert I never thought I might recreate. I hope you don’t mind my asking where the salt goes?

  6. jenyu says:

    heather – ha ha! I make it look nice so folks will want to make the recipe, but when I eat it myself at home, it’s a scoop in a bowl or on a plate with LOADS of mangoes cut most unceremoniously :)

    Ann – I do not have the bread maker (mostly because I don’t make a lot of bread, but if I do, it’s by hand). That said, I love my Zojirushi rice cooker. I can’t imagine that they make a bad product :) I’m so sad to hear that you are allergic to rice!

    Kristin – More like sticky sweet rice – way denser than pudding. It doesn’t have a pudding consistency, really. I guess it’s a texture and consistency that a lot of Asian cultures are familiar with. Ugh, hitting (or being hit by) a deer must be so nerve wracking!

    Mary Karen N – Yay! You should move here!

    Susannah – Oh gosh! Thank you for catching that! I added a pinch while I was shooting the recipe, but totally forgot to make a note in my notebook. I’ve corrected it in the post and the recipe. The salt gets stirred in with the sugar and coconut milk. It’s just for balancing the sweetness. Thank you – I appreciate when readers let me know if something is wrong/off in the recipes!

  7. Teresa says:

    Same as Mary Karen N — long-time reader but very infrequent commenter. I was chatting with my husband, who can’t cook to save his life, and found out HE is also a reader of your blog. We both enjoy the food and photography, so thank you :) I am hoping one day he might learn to cook!

  8. Jan says:

    I love your blog and am generally quiet but just had to answer your question of “why” wouldn’t one like mangoes? I understand it is a gene thing. you either have the gene that lets mangoes taste good or you don’t and they taste something akin to turpentine. I know this because I love mangoes and my sister can’t stand them. So I did some research. Thought I would pass this along.

  9. Amos says:

    Yuie, my only question is if I am allowed to eat these in your new car… :) Love the coconut and mango combo.

  10. Kristen F says:

    I really love your blog ever since I found your recipe for the crunchy Kale salad. Since then I’ve been a fan. Your pictures are a source of inspiration.
    And your writing is on point! No worries!!!

  11. angelitacarmelita says:

    I love mango and sticky rice… my favorite sweet ending to a spicy Thai (or any!) meal. Your pictures are ridiculous…. so beautiful.

  12. Pey-Lih says:

    Oh my goodness! OMG! Sweet mango rice delivered so beautifully, too! I LOVE sweet mango rice. I have never seen it displayed like this – I like the way you sliced the mangoes so thinly. I should give this a try. I have plenty of sweet rice waiting to be cooked. Thanks for this recipe! I shall make this since mangoes are on sale now at the market (4 for a buck!)

  13. Catherine says:

    I have been getting your emails for many years I started because of your pickled vegetables for Bahn Mi Sandwiches and boba posting. I’m one of the silent viewers. Thanks for having a great blog and amazing recipes.

  14. Colleen says:

    Frequent lurker, rarely comment, but I adore your blog because you’re so real and down to earth. Cars, dogs, skiing, jury duty, photos, stories about your parents, about where you live and how you live. It’s wonderful. Thank you.

  15. Amanda says:

    I’m one of the silent readers who has been following you for a really long time. Thank you for always having amazing recipes, stories, and the very best photographs.

  16. Cyndi says:

    This looks delicious! I made sticky rice once, a long time ago. Must try again.
    Your car salesperson must be new to Subaru. Most Subie owners are “outdoorsy” types who care less about wheel color & more about 4WD. Our saleperson assumed we were campers because “all Subaru owners are” (we own 2)

  17. Cyndi R. says:

    I’m also a long time silent reader! Love the food, photos and dogs. We bought a Subaru for our daughter while she was attending Colorado State ( she just graduated! ) for safety and hiking.

  18. Jill Hyde says:

    Look at that awesome presentation! Pretty as a picture! xo, jill

  19. holagranola says:

    i’m also a silent reader and rarely comment, i’m a shy introvert :P
    i just want to say thank you for sharing your stories.
    i have a question though, can the forester accommodate 2 bikes inside? would you have to remove the front wheels?

  20. Noknok says:

    Yet another longtime, introverted silent reader here! Adore your blog – thank you for sharing & inspiring me to try new things. In this case, you’ve posted the most beautiful presentation that I’ve ever seen of my all time top top top favorite dessert. Seriously, my mom (she’s Thai) used to make this for me instead of birthday cake! We’re heading to Boulder shortly and I’m digging through your back postings now for restaurant recommendations. Would love hiking trail recommendations too if you have time..

  21. Amanda B. says:

    Another silent reader here, just chiming in to say hi. Thanks for sharing your fun Colorado life through photos, and thanks also for sharing your fun cooking life! I have tried several of your recipes myself, but I must admit that mostly I read just to vicariously enjoy your cooking process at times I am not in my own kitchen. Cheers from South Carolina!

  22. Kara says:

    Sticky rice and mangoes are my favorite!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  23. Kate says:

    I’m one of your silent fans and love this recipe. Not sure where I might get glutinous rice but i will try it with overcooked basmati :)

    Love Neva, also rice is life!

  24. Beck says:

    I love Thai sticky rice, but haven’t tried it in the rice cooker, that sounds much easier. Any thoughts on tropical winter fruit combinations when mangoes aren’t in season – orange segments maybe, or even papaya?

  25. Angelxchic says:

    Your presentation is so beautiful! If you have access to it, may I suggest cooking the rice with pandan leaf. It gives it an almost nutty herbal flavor/scent that plays well with the coconut.

  26. Sarah says:

    Beautiful! I look for your blog as I enjoy the writing, the amazing recipes and photos. And the Huckleberries of course

  27. Sabrina says:

    nice, really nice, like the technique here and sticky sticky rice! Thank you for this recipe, I love mangos

  28. Alexis says:

    Another fervent reader that rarely comments, but I wanted to add my support here! I look forward to your stories, and always trust that your recipes will be delicious! I don’t know the exact name, but the cold noodle salad with the coconut milk/cilantro/lime sauce is a household go-to for us. I also have a challenging, yet lovable, pup, so feel your pain there, too. Thank you for sharing your life and recipes with us all! Cheers from Oregon!

  29. Gioconda says:

    I am part of the silent majority that reads you all the time but does not comment. A fan from Venezuela.

  30. Christine says:

    Thanks for this recipe. It’s one of my favorite desserts. Now that you have demonstrated that it can be made in the Zoji, we will be eating it more often in my house. I’ve steamed sticky rice in a bamboo steamer, but I wasn’t pleased with the results. I read your blog with pleasure in part for the fantastic recipes, but in equal part for your gorgeous photos. Your photos of natural places are incredibly beautiful.

  31. Shari Q says:

    Yum!

  32. jenyu says:

    Teresa – Oh man! That is so hilarious and awesome at the same time :) I do hope he learns to cook – or maybe you could cook together? xoxo

    Jan – Thanks, I didn’t know there was a gene (much like the cilantro issue for some)! But I actually meant the “why” for people like my husband, who doesn’t like mangoes because they are “too sweet”. This coming from the guy who likes all manner of sweet treats. I think it’s the class of fruits (drupes: cherries, mangoes, peaches, plums) that he doesn’t care for, but I still wonder “why” ;)

    Amos – Yes my dear. Yes, you are allowed to. BUT ONLY YOU!! :) xoxo

    Kristen F – Gosh, you are such a sweetheart – thank you!

    angelitacarmelita – Right? It sounds boring at first but it is sooo yummy :) xo

    Pey-Lih – I know, I love that the mangoes are on sale right now :)

    Catherine – Aw, you’re so welcome (and thank you for chiming in!!) xo

    Colleen – Thank you xxoo

    Amanda – Oh man, you guys are all so amazing. I swear I have the best readers in the world. *hugs*

    Cyndi – Ha! He kept telling us that he’s only been there a year (and yet seemed to know less than someone who had been there one week). Oddly, Subaru feels like the official car of Colorado because they are EVERYWHERE. And we also own two. I’m not sure I can ever go with a different car company :)

    Cindi R – Wow, what great parents you are for 1) sending your daughter to Colorado for college and 2) buying her a Subie :) Congratulations to her on her graduation and congratulations to you on raising such a fine young woman xo

    Jill Hyde – :) xxoo

    holagranola – Thanks and you’re welcome! If you fold the backseats down, you can definitely fit two bikes in the car, but you might have a better time of it if you remove the front tires.

    Noknok – Oh gosh, I’m so sorry for the delayed reply – things have been a little hectic around here lately. I’ll email you in case you don’t check back here, but there are lots of hikes out of Boulder and then there are lots (and better, in my opinion) hikes up high in the Indian Peaks, too. I’ll find out which ones you’re interested in.

    Amanda B. – Thank you for commenting and sharing how you enjoy the blog. I am always surprised to learn that folks enjoy it, but it makes me glad if it can be helpful or entertaining to others. xo

    Kara – You are welcome, my dear!

    Kate – :) You can find glutinous rice as “sweet rice” in Asian grocery stores.

    Beck – I never thought of using other fruit, but what a great idea! Yes, anything that has sweet and tang would work. Sticky rice is slightly nutty and the coconut adds that wonderful tropical aroma. I think just about any fruit you like could pair with it.

    Angelxchic – Oh, I would LOVE to do that! I haven’t been able to find fresh pandan leaf, but I’ve used the extract before for ice cream and it’s lovely. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Sarah – Yay! A huckleberry enthusiast! I know for a fact that you are an awesome person for your love of huckleberries alone :) xo

    Sabrina – You’re welcome!

    Alexis – Hi Oregon! Thank you for your comment – I love that coconut-lime-cilantro dressing :) I hope you have found a good working relationship with your pup so that things can improve for both of you. Neva is still a work in progress and some days it feels like she hasn’t learned anything and then other days she improves so much that it catches us off guard, but I love her more and more to the point that I can’t imagine life without her (even though I know it will happen one day, but hopefully not anytime soon) xoxo

    Gioconda – Thank you :) xoxo

    Christine – Yes, once I learned that my Zojirushi does a nice job with the sweet rice, I have been making more and more sweet rice recipes! :) And thanks for reading xo

    Shari Q – :)

  33. Danielle J Norman says:

    This is one of my all-time favorite desserts and your plating looks absolutely gorgeous!

  34. R.C. says:

    My partner and I just made this and OHHH SWEET BABY MANGO, is it DELICIOUS! She even made two little perfect mango leaves. I sprinkled a bit of cardamom on the slices, too. Thanks for putting this up!

  35. holagranola says:

    thank you for taking the time to reply! :) :) ❤️

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