Friday, August 19, 2011

Sticky Rice with Mango

Most sticky foods aren't exactly what you'd call sophisticated. Off the top of my head, there's gummy bears, caramel apples, tootsie rolls, marshmallows, jelly beans and gum (if you can call gum food). So here's one with a little more class...sticky rice.

Only it's not really all that sticky (it won't get tangled in your braces or yank off your dentures like taffy will). It's just called sticky rice because it's stickier than other rices. It's made from glutinous rice, which is totally gluten-free. Really (they only call it that to confuse you). Actually it's just the Asian term for gluttonous (it's so delicious that most people can't eat just one spoonful). Alright, I made that up. Seriously it's just because it's sticky and glue-like. Anyway, it tastes great. A nice light dessert that's not overly sweet.

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups glutinous (sweet) rice, soaked overnight*
1 1/3 cups well-stirred unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, palm sugar or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted lightly
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices (at least 24)

1.      Drain rice well in a sieve. Set sieve over a large deep saucepan of simmering water (sieve should not touch water) and steam rice, covered with a kitchen towel and a lid, 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender (check water level in pan occasionally, adding more water if necessary).
2.      While rice is cooking, in a small saucepan bring 1 cup coconut milk to a boil with 1/3 cup sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. Keep mixture warm.
3.      Transfer cooked rice to a bowl and stir in coconut milk mixture. Let rice stand, covered, 30 minutes, or until coconut-milk mixture is absorbed. Rice may be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead and kept covered at room temperature.
4.      While rice is standing, in cleaned small pan slowly boil remaining 1/3 cup coconut milk with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Transfer sauce to a small bowl and chill until cool and thickened slightly.
5.      To serve, mold 1/2 cup servings of sticky rice on dessert plates. Drizzle desserts with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Divide mango slices among plates.

*To soak the rice:
In a bowl, wash rice well in several changes of cold water until water is clear. Soak rice in cold water to cover overnight.

barely adapted from Gourmet, June 1994
glutinous rice (in the bag)
soaking the rice
soaked (and drained) rice in a strainer
(over a pot of simmering water)
towel and lid over the rice

I actually had the foresight to fold the towel up
so it wouldn't catch on fire (I congratulated myself
for a good 20 minutes on that one).
steamed rice
coconut milk, sugar and salt
pouring coconut milk mixture over the rice
mixed (it looks soupy now, but the rice will soak it up)
peeled mango
sliced mango

I think I would dice the mango next time
(just so it's easier to eat with the rice)
unmolding the sticky rice
sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds
sticky rice with mango

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