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Easy Mango Sticky Rice

This recipe for Mango Sticky Rice (similar to Khao Neow Mamuang) is a refreshing and simple dessert, inspired by the traditional southeast Asian dish! Full of tropical flavors like coconut and mango, the whole family will love it.

overhead view of vegan mango sticky rice in a green bowl next to sushi rice
What is Mango Sticky Rice?

Mango sticky rice is a dessert made from glutinous rice (this does not contain gluten), coconut milk, and fresh mango, and sweetened with jaggery or palm sugar. It has origins in South and Southeast Asia (it is very popular in Thailand, Laos, and The Philippines). The Thai variation is known as Khao Neow Mamuang and is their national dessert. If you are interested in reading more about the traditional recipe and it’s preparation, that is available on
It is important to not that my interpretation is not at all authentic! Click here to learn the history.

What does it taste like?

Mango sticky rice has a light and sweet flavor with tropical notes of creamy coconut milk and tangy fresh fruit. It tastes like a tropical vacation and has a very satisfying, toothsome texture. Added mint can make it even more refreshing, making this a perfect recipe for spring and summer.

close up overhead view of vegan mango sticky rice in a green bowl

Is sushi rice glutinous rice?

No. Sushi rice is technically Japanese short-grain, while glutinous rice includes Indica, Japonica, and Tropical Japonica strains (source). Though very similar, sushi rice contains more moisture than glutinous rice. It also contains more of a protein called amylose, which gives the rice a softer texture as it cools. It can be easy to confuse these two types as they both become sticky when cooked.

However, I have struggled to find glutinous rice in stores in my area, though it can normally be found in Asian markets. I developed the below recipe using short-grain white rice, which comes uncooked in a bag sometimes labeled “sushi rice.”

How is Mango Sticky Rice Served?

This recipe is traditionally served slightly warm when freshly made and chilled when made in advance. I prefer it warm as the texture is a bit more less viscous. It is topped with thin slices of fresh mango, which I like to arrange in a “rose” shape (method detailed below).

What to Eat With This Recipe

Mango sticky rice tastes best when eaten as a dessert post Thai food, like this vegan Thai-inspired red curry (Kaeng phet).

side view of overhead view of vegan mango sticky rice in a green bowl

How to Make a Mango Rose (with video)

1. Peel the mango. Slice in half, avoiding the pit (try to get as much fruit off as possible.

2. Lay one mango half down on a cutting board and carefully slice thin strips (1/8-1/4 inch in diameter) from top to bottom.

3. Use your hands to press mango pieces out into one long strand, keeping each piece touching. Gradually you will be able to press this into a long diagonal strip, like a deck of cards on its side.

4. Starting at one end, roll the mango in a circle, taking care to keep a small overlap between pieces so that they stay stuck together.

Here is a video tutorial for making a mango rose!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for mango sticky rice! If you’re looking for more rice-based desserts, I recommend trying this Sushi Rice Pudding or these Brown Butter Rice Krispies (not exactly the same kind of rice, but still fun).

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overhead view of vegan mango sticky rice in a green bowl

Easy Mango Sticky Rice

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe for Vegan Mango Sticky Rice is a refreshing and simple dessert, inspired by the traditional southeast Asian dish! Full of tropical flavors like coconut and mango, the whole family will love it.

*This recipe is not traditional, simply an inspired take.*


  • 1 cup short grain rice (sometimes labeled “Calrose” or “sushi rice”)
  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk, full fat if possible
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Mango slices, mint, and sesame seeds to serve 


  1. In a fine mesh sieve, rinse rice. Add to a small pot along with can of coconut milk. If the coconut mixture separates (this is normal), just try to break up the pieces of coconut that rose to the top of the can. This cream will soften as you cook it down. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  2. Add salt and maple syrup. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, until coconut milk is absorbed. 
  3. Add 1 and 1/2 cups more water and continue cooking on low until all water is absorbed, about 5 more minutes. Stir a few times to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
  4. Serve warm with sliced mango (see tutorial for a mango rose in notes), a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and fresh mint if desired. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • Serving Size: One fifth of recipe
  • Calories: 348.5 calories
  • Sugar: 18.1 grams
  • Sodium: 149.1 milligrams
  • Fat: 12.9 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 11.5 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.4 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 51.4 grams
  • Fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Protein: 4.1 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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