Thai Mango Sticky Rice
The best dessert I’ve eaten while traveling abroad is Thai mango sticky rice. It might be one of the best desserts I’ve eaten, period. Sweet, sticky rice and juicy mangos are smothered in a rich coconut sauce, creating an irresistible blend of sweet and salty, chewy and creamy.
Cooking this dessert usually requires the rice to be soaked for several hours or overnight, and then steamed in a tall aluminum pot and bamboo basket. The Instant Pot makes this process quicker, more easily accessible, and eliminates the soaking step.
Traditionally, mango sticky rice is topped with toasted or fried yellow mung beans (dry-toast them in a skillet for a few minutes until golden brown and crispy), but you can substitute toasted sesame seeds for an equally delicious crunch.
Servings Prep Time
4Servings 5Minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4Servings 5Minutes
Cook Time
  • 1cup Thai sticky ricesweet rice, or glutinous rice
  • 1 1/3cups canned full-fat coconut milkwell stirred
  • 7tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2tsp fine sea salt or kosher saltplus more to taste
  • 1tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 ripe Ataúlfo mangoespeeled, pitted, and thinly sliced or diced (see Tip), honey, about 6 ounces each
  • 2tbsp yellow mung beanstoasted, or 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
  1. For easy removal of the pan from the Instant Pot, create a foil sling. (Alternatively, you can use oven mitts to carefully remove the pan.)
  2. Place the sticky rice in a large bowl and add water to cover. Gently stir the rice with your hands, then drain the water, and repeat 4 or 5 times until the water runs almost clear. This removes the excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming gummy. Place the rinsed rice in a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl that fits inside the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Add 2/3 cup cold water to the bowl to cover the rice.
  3. On the counter, place the bowl on top of the steamer rack with the handles facing up and arrange the foil sling (if using) underneath the steamer rack. Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Carefully lower the steamer rack and bowl into the inner pot using the foil sling or steamer rack handles.
  4. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 13 minutes.
  5. Once the 13-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  6. While the pot is depressurizing, in a small saucepan, bring 2/3 cup of the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat. Add 5 tbsp of the cane sugar and 1/4 tsp of the salt and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the milk tastes salty-sweet. Keep the sauce warm.
  7. Open the Instant Pot and, with oven mitts, transfer the cooked sticky rice to a large bowl and pour the warm coconut milk mixture on top. Stir well to combine and gently fluff with a fork. Cover and let it sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. You can let the rice rest at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile, set aside 2 tbsp of the remaining coconut milk in a small bowl. Wipe out the saucepan and add the remaining coconut milk. Add the cornstarch to the small bowl and whisk until smooth, forming a slurry. Bring the coconut milk in the saucepan to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Whisk the slurry into the coconut milk on the stove and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp cane sugar and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt until the sugar is dissolved. The coconut cream should be slightly saltier and less sweet than the coconut milk mixture used to cover the rice.
  9. When ready to serve, use a 1-cup measuring cup to scoop the coconut rice into mounds on individual plates and arrange the sliced or diced mango alongside. Drizzle the warm coconut cream over the rice and garnish with the toasted yellow mung beans or sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Do not warm up or refrigerate, as the rice will turn rock hard.
Recipe Notes


Ataúlfo (honey) mangos are the best variety of mango available in the West for this Thai dessert. Compared to the more common Tommy Atkins mangos (usually available year-round), they are smaller, sweeter, more flavorful, and less fibrous. They’re available from late February to early August. You can find Thai sticky rice, sweet rice, or glutinous rice at well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, or online.