Prep this in 7 mins and enjoy in 30 minutes

Made in your rice cooker (no need to turn the stove on)

Delicious Mango and Sticky Rice
Credit: Eric Molina (permanently scatterbrained on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Since my area of Canada isn't ideal for growing mangoes, I rely on finding good ones at the grocery store. For most folks in North America, the best ones are sold May through September.[1]

Recently, I learned that my favorite Asian restaurant closed down. Not only did they serve an incredible cashew chicken dish, but they made a popular Thai dessert known as Khao Niaow Ma Muang or mango sticky rice.

And it's not at all like rice pudding with raisins (blah). It has a chewy, nutty, fragrant quality that isn't mushy or soupy. With ripe mango slices on top (and a sprig of mint) it's the perfect end to a lovely meal.

Alphonso Mangoes and Ataulfo Mangoes

Yellow mangoes tend to be less stringy and sweeter

Left photo: Mangoes! | Right photo: Yellow Mangoes from Cebu, Philippines
Credit: Left photo: Wee Keat Chin (visualdensity on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Right photo: Lemuel Cantos (lemuelinchrist on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Since I'm known for taking shortcuts in the kitchen (and I hate to see my man-servant working so hard), I searched for recipes to make mango sticky rice at home. I usually buy half a dozen mangoes at a time (when they look good) to make mango salsa and mango lassi.

Well, was I in for a shock.

After reading through (or viewing) how to make mango sticky rice, I found out I had to stir things on the stove (rice, coconut milk to dissolve the sugar, and then the sauce). Don't know about you, but I'm far too lazy to stir a few pots on the stove after eating dinner.

I have a rice cooker, for goodness sake. Why not let it do the work?

And so, I figured I'd try it out - with some logical tweaks.

Instead of sugar, I used maple syrup - thereby eliminating the need to dissolve sugar. Plus the maple taste gives it more of a nutty, woodsy-earthy taste. Traditionally, sticky rice is cooked in bamboo steamers.[2] I reasoned that the maple syrup sort of "Canadianized" this dessert.

The other thing I did (based on commentary left by CoraGregory[3] Mar. 21st, 2010 on a recipe for Asian coconut rice), was combine the uncooked rice with the coconut milk in my rice cooker.  

I didn't bother with the sauce - this dessert is best when the rice is warm and mango pieces are placed on top. The results were fantastic and the whole house smelled like a tropical paradise. 

Wicket in a sink
Credit: Karin Dalziel (karindalziel on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

My Oster is a white 10-cup rice cooker

Oster CKSTRCMS10-R 5-Cup uncooked resulting in 10-Cup cooked Rice Cooker with Steam Tray, Red
Amazon Price: $29.99 $29.57 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
Most rice cookers work similarly. The key thing to ensure is that you get one with a removable nonstick pot - especially for this recipe. What I like about the Oster brand is it's easy to clean. The lid isn't attached to the main body (like some pricier, larger models) so it's simple to take apart and wash. The 10-cup size seems to be the most practical size for most families. Love the automatic "keep warm" function.

The Rice

This is hugely important. Ideally, this dessert[4] should be made with Thai sticky rice - also known as sweet rice, glutinous rice, or waxy rice.[5]

The thing is, I found out that it costs more, it's hard to find (in my area), and I need to soak it for a few hours (or overnight). Blah, I'm far too lazy for all that and my cat will get into the rice during the night.

Jasmine rice is actually my favorite and it's affordable, easily found, and I don't need to soak it. I found conflicting reports about whether or not Jasmine rice is actually sticky.[6][7]

My thoughts? Nah, it's not as sticky - but it's fragrant, nutty taste combined with Canadian maple syrup makes up for that. Maple syrup is sticky.

Oh and one more thing: brown rice or unmilled rice just won't work for this recipe. Milled rice absorbs more water[8] (up to 25% more, in fact). Milling removes the husk and bran from the paddy rice (and keeps it free of impurities).[9]

The Maple Syrup

New labeling standards

If you've ever searched for pure maple syrup, you soon find out that there are different grades and numbers assigned to batches. Some grading systems are/were based on colour alone and had little, if anything, to do with quality.

Even though Canada produces more than 80% of the world’s supply of maple syrup,[10] it appears that standardized labeling will become mandatory in 2015. I feel this will help consumers decide what is best for their needs. This year, Vermont has already adopted four new grades and purportedly Canada will follow suit.[11][12]

What's more, unopened syrup in glass (at room temperature) tastes great for about 2 years[13] - so I predict older batches will go on sale in the next year or two. A good time to stock up on maple syrup.

Personally, for this recipe, I prefer Grade A (Light or Medium Amber) since I want the mango flavor to not be overshadowed by the richer, more maple-tasting Grade B syrups. 

Find out which maple syrup you like most

With Four Pure New Hampshire Maple Syrups

Ben's Sugar Shack, Sampler Set of Pure Maple Syrup, Four 1.7 oz. bottles
Amazon Price: $11.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 27, 2015)
If a similar kit were available from Canada, I would've showcased it too. I grew up with all kinds of maple syrups and find I like Grade B for pancakes (or when I want more maple flavoring in a recipe). This sampler kit allows you to try out one Grade B (which is becoming very popular) and three types of Grade A syrups. NOTE: Each bottle is 1.7 ounces (total amount of syrup in kit is 6.8 ounces or 200 mL).
Ben's Sugar Shack Sampler Set of Pure Maple Syrup
Credit: Amazon

Canadian Mango Sticky Rice Ingredients

Ingredients for Mango Sticky Rice
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Mango Sticky Rice with Maple Syrup

Makes: 5 cups | Prep: 7 mins | Total: 30 mins

I loosely based my recipe on one I found at allrecipes by Michelle.[14] However, I didn't bother with the sauce (nor the toasted sesame seeds). Also, her recipe seemed rather sweet - I used maple syrup instead of sugar. And, as you know, I made it all in my trusty rice cooker.


1.5 cups uncooked short grain rice (Jasmine)

1 can (13.5 oz/400 mL) unsweetened coconut milk

1/3 - 1/2 cup Grade A Maple syrup (light to medium Amber, if possible)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup water (to add last to rice cooker)

3 mangoes

Optional garnish: sprigs of mint and/or toasted sesame seeds


In the removable nonstick pot of your rice cooker (or a bowl), add the rice and run cold tap water over it in the sink (allowing excess to spill over) until the water looks clear. Drain the rice with lid of rice cooker (or plate). Keep rice in nonstick pot of rice cooker.

Using a can opener that removes the entire lid, open your can of unsweetened coconut milk. The tastiest cream often separates and sticks to the underside of the lid (and even vigorous shaking doesn't always get it off). Add the coconut milk to the rice cooker (and scrape inner sides and lid of can to get it all out).

Whisk coconut milk together with the rice and add maple syrup and salt. Combine thoroughly and allow to settle. Lastly, add 1/2 cup water to rice cooker (you need water to weigh down the rice a bit so it'll cook sufficiently). Turn on rice cooker. (Should be fully cooked in 15 mins - but let it sit for another 10 mins in cooker to absorb water).

NOTE: Some grains of rice on the bottom may appear light brown (but they taste fine).

Before serving your sticky rice, wash mangoes and slice, dice, or cube them. Scoop out rice into dessert bowls and top with mango. Garnish with a sprig of mint and/or toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Wash Jasmine rice in nonstick pot of cooker

Washing Jasmine rice in nonstick pot of rice cooker
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Scrape out any coconut milk fat stuck in the can

Showing underside of canned coconut milk lid
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Don't forget to wash your mangoes

This is Mango the cat getting a bath

Mango in the Bath
Credit: IanMurphy on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

From Ask a Chef

Ryan shows us how to cube, slice, or dice a mango:

The finale

Canadian Mango Sticky Rice
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved