Peach on Sticky Rice with Sweet and Salty Coconut Cream
Mango sticky rice is one of the most definitive desserts in Thailand. The premise of the dessert is really simple: mango, steamed sticky rice and coconut cream. Because it’s so simple, you really rely on the quality of the mango – the best ones are sweet and tender, with a fragrance that you can smell from a distance away. As good mangoes are hard to find in the UK, I go for peaches instead. They are one of my favourite things at the greengrocer’s in summer. Inside that fuzzy exterior is flesh that’s soft and incredibly sweet, with a fragrance to match that of a mango. Try to get peaches that have been picked while ripe and in season; unlike pears, unripe peaches don’t grow that much sweeter when left on the counter.
You can swap the peaches for other seasonal soft fruit such as nectarines or plums.
- 200g glutinous rice (aka sticky rice)
- 240ml coconut milk
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 2 tbsp light palm sugar or caster sugar
- 2 very ripe peaches (or other seasonal soft fruit)
- 100g coconut chips
Rinse the rice and cover with cold water. Let soak overnight or for at least 2 hours. Drain the rice and pour into a cheesecloth-lined steamer basket, or a fine-meshed strainer. Place over boiling water in a wok or a large pot, cover and let steam for 20 minutes. Stir to bring the rice at the bottom to the top, then continue steaming for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer to bowls. Keep them covered while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Combine the coconut milk with the salt and sugar in a saucepan and simmer gently over a low heat. Stir to dissolve. Pour three-quarters of the hot sweetened coconut milk over the hot sticky rice, and let the rice sit and absorb the coconut milk.
Gently toast the coconut chips in a dry pan set over a medium heat, stirring often, until golden at the edges. Remove and leave to cool and crisp up.
De-stone and slice the peaches. Serve alongside the sticky rice, with a final drizzle of the remaining coconut milk just before serving. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted coconut chips.