How to Make Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Water

Mango and sticky rice is a dessert more commonly associated with Thai cuisine, but it’s also very popular in Malaysia, in particular in the northern states bordering Thailand, such as Perlis and Kelantan. I remember one the best versions of mango and sticky rice I’ve ever eaten was at a Kelantanese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru (new village), where the sticky rice was infused with pandan colouring so it looked green.

Another variation to mango and sticky rice is to cook the glutinous rice with coconut water – apart from the well-known health benefits of coconut water, it also gives the dish a subtle natural sweetness. (In fact, you can pretty much replace water with coconut water in any of your recipes, to achieve the same result.)

Most recipes call for the glutinous rice to be soaked overnight, then steamed gently for about 20-30 minutes. I usually lack the foresight to plan my cooking that far ahead of time, so the quick and easy method I deploy is to cook sticky rice is to soak it in freshly-boiled coconut water for 15 minutes before steaming it, or if you’re not fussed about the rice being “loose”, you can just cook it in a rice cooker per normal rice. It’s a great, simple recipe which is vegan-friendly to boot.

Here’s the replay of the Malaysian Ingredients Made Easy broadcast where I cooked this Live On Air >>

Recipe for Easy Mango and Sticky Rice with Coconut Water


2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

2 cups glutinous rice

2 cups Malaysian coconut water, freshly boiled

1 cup Malaysian coconut water

½ tsp salt

2 TBSP sugar

Sauce – 

400ml Malaysian coconut milk

2 TBSP sugar

½ tsp salt



  1. Soak glutinous rice with boiled coconut water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer rice into a steamer; add salt and sugar and steam until done (about 20 minutes), stirring in more coconut water if needed.
  3. To make the sauce, combine coconut milk, sugar and sauce in a saucepan and cook on low heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. To serve, scoop some glutinous rice in a bowl, top with mango chunks and coconut sauce, and garnish with sesame seeds (optional). 

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Here’s the highlights video on different ways to use Malaysian Coconut Water >>

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