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If you had once been a student growing up in Saigon, then you would clearly remember the familiar scene of street vendors selling delicious sticky rice on many small streets, main streets, all over the sidewalks and even in front of school gates.
Sticky rice is a very inexpensive and simple dish with an incredible distinctive taste that carries the traditional flavor of our rich Vietnamese culture. Today I would like to invite you to try this tasty coconut sticky rice dish with sweet mango, inspired by Thailand’s sticky rice dessert.

2 cups black glutinous rice (black sticky rice) • 4 ripe mangoes • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds • 1 bunch of pandan leaves, tied tightly, optional

1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz) • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 bunch of pandan leaves, tied tightly • 1 tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon tapioca flour, mixed well

Place glutinous rice in a bowl with water. Drain the rice a couple times until the water is clear. Cover rice in water and allow to soak overnight.
When ready to cook, drain the rice and place it on top of pandan leaves in a heat-proof bowl. Add a small amount of boiling water just below the rice level. Place the bowl on a steamer rack and steam over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Pour the brown sugar coconut sauce over the rice. Stir and mix well. Continue to steam for another 15-20 minutes to allow the flavours to be fully absorbed. If using pandan leaves, tie them with a short string. Bring the sugar, salt, pandan leaves and coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tapioca flour mixture and stir it frequently. Add vanilla extract if you don’t use pandan leaves. Pour coconut sauce into a bowl and set aside.

Peel the mango skin. Cut mangoes into small pieces. Set it aside.

To serve, place small portions of the glutinous rice on individual plates or martini glasses, drizzle with the coconut sauce, sprinkle sesame seeds on top and decorate with yellow mango slices and a sprig of green mint leaves.

Thanh Loan