Long before someone coined the term “foodie” I knew I was one. According to Wiki a foodie is “a gourmet, or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages.A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out for convenience or hunger. While gourmet and epicurean can be used as synonyms they have fallen out of favor and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude.”
I have always enjoyed dining experiences that I feel I cannot replicate at home – one of the main reasons I have always enjoyed eating at Thai restaurants. The specialized ingredients and kitchen equipment were more time and money than I was willing to invest to have an authentic Thai meal at home. My two favorite Thai places are on opposite sides of the country – Thai 99 II in Charlottesville, Virginia www.thai99usa.com and Thai Chili in Rocklin, California www.thaichili-rocklin.com . They are very different but are both wonderful because the food is really fresh and tasty and the staff is always so wonderful to us. The common denominator is they both have amazingly good sticky rice with mango – my all time favorite dessert (tied with bananas foster but I like to make bananas foster at home. ) Thai 99 introduced me to the dish, and Thai Chili introduced me to the purple (or black) rice version. Sometimes, once you get to the restaurant, the seasonal nature of mangoes might mean that they weren’t on the menu and I would be disappointed at the end of an amazing meal. After a lot of trial and error, I made this – an easy and delicious choice when you don’t feel like going out. This recipe is a combination of the traditional Thai method adapted to my cooking style and what I own as far as kitchen equipment. I also use “light” coconut milk because I honestly can’t taste the difference bwetween that and the regular, and if I want to have seconds I don’t feel quite so guilty about it 🙂
1 cup purple or black sticky rice (find at local asian markets or on amazon.com)
1 14 ounce can light coconut milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons raw shredded coconut, divided
2 ripe mangoes
In large covered heavy pot or dutch oven, add 1 cup cold water to the rice. Let soak for one hour to soften. The water will just cover the rice.
Make the coconut sauce by whisking together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves in the mixture. Set aside.
Cook the rice by adding 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of the coconut. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.Turn heat down to low and cook uncovered 20-25 minutes.
Slice the mango by first cutting off 1/2 inch of the top and bottom, then slicing each side starting just past the seed. Remove the skin with a paring knife and slice into lengthwise strips.
After 15-20 minutes, the rice should be sticky and soft.Pour half the coconut sauce in, fluffing and stirring with a fork. Add remaining coconut sauce and stir well. It will be soupy – let stand 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Lightly toast remaining coconut in a saucepan on the stove.
Now its time to serve this amazing dessert! Ladle a half cup or so of the rice on a dessert plate, then place 4 or 5 slices of the mango over top of the rice. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and dig in!
OPTION: for a more “authentic” version, substitute 3 tablespoons sesame seeds in place of 3 tablespoons coconut. Lightly toast in saucepan and sprinkle over dessert.