Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert
For a creamier version of this dessert, pour a little coconut milk over each serving.
Sweet rice is a type of pearl rice similar to Arborio. It cooks quickly and yields a shiny glaze and sticky texture, with a faint natural sweetness that needs no added sugar. Coconut water is the liquid inside a fresh green coconut. It also is available in cans, typically with tasty bits of soft coconut pulp. (Coconut water is the sweet water extracted from trees of 7 months age, i.e. from green coconut. Coconut milk comes from mature brown coconuts.) You can find both sweet rice and coconut water in Asian grocery stores and large supermarkets.
- Combine rice and 1/2 cup coconut water in a saucepan. Let stand at least 20 minutes (but no more than an hour). Do not drain.
- Meanwhile, peel mango and cut into halves lengthwise around seed. Cut halves vertically into fans and set aside.
- Add remaining coconut water and star anise, if using, to pan; bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, partially covered, 10 minutes. Cover completely and set aside until cool. Spoon rice onto plates. Place mango fans alongside rice and dust with crushed pistachios, if using.