Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

I have always wanted a garden but never have the space since I live in an urban apartment with limited space. However after I discovered the secret of container-grown vegetables, I started my little urban garden in the little space right outside of my window.

I started to with a pot of mixed herbs then the year after I moved onto growing multiple pots of herbs and flowers. Last year, my project got big enough that I had various herbs, kales, and flowers – all grown out of two long containers.

Then one day morning, a family of one adult squirrel and two newborns invited themselves to one of my plant containers and decided to call it home. Because of the two newborn squirrels, I kindly let them stay. Consequently over the few months, the squirrels not only transformed my little “garden” into piles of leaves, paper towels, and random plastic debris, they also dug the soil, chewed my plants and killed my veggies. I ended up evicting the then fully grown up squirrels out of my “garden” some months after because they had created a serious sanitary issue. Unfortunately I also lost containers and plants as well.

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

That’s not to say I’ve given up on urban planting. This year I started anew but with a much scaled down project – just one pot of basil. My wife helped see two different types Asian basil one month ago and they are already 2 inch tall. I can’t wait to use the basil leaves for dishes such as three cup chicken.

In celebrating the arrival of summer, today I am sharing a great summer dessert recipe using a rather mysterious ingredient called Chinese black rice.

Chinese black rice is also known as purple rice or forbidden rice, a name derived from the belief that this rice was once reserved for the emperor. Black rice has a slightly chewy texture resembles the brown rice and sticky rice. Moreover, black rice is loaded with amino acids, fibers, minerals, and other nutrients.

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

Black rice with mango in coconut sauce is a sweet pudding like dessert that is particular popular in Asia. If you’ve never had this before you need to do yourself a favor and check it out now. This dessert is common sold at Southeast Asian restaurants. You can make it without any toppings but if you want a real treat just throw in a few slices of fresh mango. You will not believe how delicious this dessert is.

If you are concern about the amount of coconut milk (hence fat) in this recipe, you can reduce the amount of coconut milk and replace of some fresh coconut water or shredded dried coconut to get the flavor. But seriously, after reading this longer than usual post, I think you really deserve a full indulgence 🙂

Here are the step by step illustrations:

Soak the black rice in cold water overnight. Drain the water and rinse the rice

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

Add some water and steam the rice 30 minutes. Slice the fresh mango.

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

Make the coconut sauce by combining the sauce ingredient. Do not boil the sauce.

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

To serve the dessert, scoop a few spoons of black rice in room temperature to a serving bowl. Add a few drizzles of sweet coconut sauce and top with a few slices of mango.

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

Black Rice with Mango in Coconut Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 6


  • 2 cup black glutinous rice
  • 2 ripe mango
  • For Coconut Sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar


  1. Soak the black rice in cold water overnight. If preparing this on the same day soak the rice for at least 4 hours.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the rice in running water until the water becomes clear.
  3. In a wok or steamer, steam the rice with 3 tbsp of water for 30 minutes.
  4. Halve the mango. Cut parallel slices into mango flesh crosswise. Scoop out the mango slices with a spoon.
  5. Make the coconut sauce by combing the milk and sugar and boil over medium heat. Add the coconut milk to the sauce when it is about to boil. Turn off the heat and stir the sauce to mix.
  6. To serve the dessert, scoop a few spoons of black rice in room temperature to a serving bowl. Add a few drizzles of sweet coconut sauce and top with a few slices of mango.


  1. 16

    I made a variation using almond milk, raw cane sugar, coconut cream, fresh berries, and Thai mint. Yum! I’d post a picture if I could.

  2. 15

    Wow..I like this dessert very much..But just i want to know coconut sause has to be thick????

  3. 14

    I have always been wondering where I can get coconut milk

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  5. 13

    we have a very similar dish in singapore/malaysia, called bubur pulut hitam, which is like this, minus the mango. I’m very intrigued by your steaming method though, as I just cook mine in the pot, as it;s meant to become a sort of porridge. I’ll try this out next time, love mango sticky rice!

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  7. 12

    I have used this black rice to soak with normal sticky rice to stain it and then I steam it and eat it as the rice side dish with meat. I have always wondered how else to eat this black rice dish. Thanks to you Yi now I know and I can impress my relatives!

  8. 11

    I’ve seen this dish many many times but I’ve never actually tasted it before. Since I’ve never had rice pudding or anything rice with sweet flavor, this dessert was “weird”… (and ironically I make dango with glutinous “rice”, haha!). Black rice is interesting. I need to try it one day and taste it first. I know where to get a recipe now when I want to make it at home!

  9. 10

    Oh My! How naughty squirells!! I loved this dish…the colur if the rice beautifies the dish even more. Love learning authentic reipes from you!

  10. 9

    Oops, looks like the little squirrels did not reciprocate the kindness you have shown to them :O

    As I have limited space in my apt, I have resisted to grow anything so far. But I really want to grow some small pots of herbs if I can.

  11. 8

    Nice dish! I’ve never made this – sounds spectacular. I love mango in anything, so this really speaks to me. BTW, if you like rosemary, you might like to add a pot of rosemary to your container garden. Fresh is so much better than dried, and when the cold weather arrives, you can take it inside (it will need some light), and it should last throughout much of the winter. At least ours does. Anyway, good post – thanks.

  12. 7

    I know I will love them as I use to eat them when I was growing up, not the black rice though. Using the black rice makes it even more enticing, just look at the contrast in colours.

  13. 6

    A nutritious and delightful rice dish. I need to get some black rice to try!

  14. 5

    Hi Yi! That’s a very interesting story about the squirrel family! My parents had a cardinal family living outside of the breakfast room window, for weeks they would watch the Mama and Papa bird work hard at protecting their eggs/baby birds, until one day the cardinal family just took off and left. To say my Mom experienced empty nest syndrome is a pretty fair statement…

    Onto your recipe, I’ve only had a good fortune to eat mango with sweet rice at a local Thai restaurant, it was absolutely delicious, and your beautiful photography brought the mouth watering memories back. Didn’t know black rice can be used for this dessert, a must try!

  15. 4

    Yum. I often get the sticky rice with mango as a dessert at Thai restaurants. This is making me crave Thai food just so I can get the dessert!

  16. 3

    MmmMmMmmMm! Everything looks delish

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