During my first trip to Thailand in June 2006, I became absolutely crazy about every kind of Thai food and have since even bought the many ingredients necessary to prepare it at home. Mango and sticky rice is the quintessential Thai sweet, meant to be eaten between meals, though, and not necessarily as a dessert. I’ve used it as a model for this tart filling, but I’m using quicker cooling Thai jasmine rice, a fragrant variety of long-grain rice easily available in Asian stores. I’ve also lightened it a little without sacrificing any of the essential flavor of the original. Please note that the coconut cream referred to here is a thicker variety of unsweetened coconut milk, available in Asian grocery stores, not the sweetened kind used for making cocktails. Coconut cream differs from coconut milk in that it is skimmed off the first mixing of ground fresh coconut and water and has a higher fat content. Coconut milk comes from the second moistening of the coconut with more water.
This is an excellent dessert for a light meal— a composed salad such as a salad Niçoise would be perfect before it. Use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to cut the tart into wedges. In Thailand it would be common to serve some freshly made coconut cream, available everywhere, with the sticky rice with mango. An easy alternative here is some very lightly sweetened whipped cream made with 1 cup of cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.