Learn how to make the best Thai Glutinous Rice Balls recipe.
Homemade Mango Sticky Rice Balls are one of our favourite quick & easy dessert recipes to cook at home when craving a tasty vacation to Thailand.
This Glutinous Rice Balls recipe is inspired by the famous Thai dessert “mango sticky rice,” and features simple and affordable ingredients like mango, glutinous sticky rice, coconut cream, sugar, lime juice and sesame seeds.
You’ll love snacking on our mango-stuffed Thai Rice Balls, a healthy snack that is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.
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What Are Glutinous Rice Balls?
There are several varieties of Glutinous Rice Balls, served as a sweet dessert or snack across Asia.
The most famous recipe is a popular snack in China. Glutinous rice balls, also known as tang yuan, are filled with red bean, sesame, peanut, and other sweet fillings that ooze out from mochi-like dumpling skins. The dumpling skins owe their pleasantly gummy texture to glutinous rice flour, which produces a chewier dough.
Our take on Glutinous Rice Balls is inspired by a popular dessert in Thailand, Mango Sticky Rice. The dish typically features chunks of fresh mango and glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and sweetened with sugar.
Our Thai Rice Balls recipe features glutinous rice that is stuffed with chunks of fresh mango, offering snackers a sweet surprise!
What Is Glutinous Rice?
In China, glutinous rice has been grown for over 2,000 years. Culinary historians believe that glutinous rice distribution appears to have been culturally influenced and closely associated with the early southward migration and distribution of Tai ethnic groups, particularly the Lao along the Mekong River basin originating from Southern China.
The main ingredients in our healthy Glutinous Rice Balls recipe is Thai White Glutinous Rice.
Sticky rice, also known as “glutinous” or “sweet” rice and locally as Khao Niao, is a staple of northern and northeastern Thai cuisine. It can be used when preparing both sweet and savoury dishes.
Thai sticky rice is typically steamed rather than boiled, helping create a tender and chewy mouthfeel. Individual grains of rice maintain their structure while still sticking together.
Travel to Thailand by Making MangoGlutinous Rice Balls at Home
I love traveling to Asia.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Macau and the Maldives.
On my first visit I spent over a month backpacking through Thailand. I’ve revisited Thailand two times since as a food and travel journalist and always love to discover new regional dishes. Over the years I’ve explored Thai destinations such as Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Chiang Khong, Chang Mai, Sukothai and Bangkok.
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Where To Eat Thai Mango Balls
Haven’t traveled to Thailand before? It may be helpful to first sample Mango Balls at a local Thai restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the best sticky rice to mango ratio, ideal size to shape each of the balls and how much coconut sauce to serve as a dip.
I spent months researching the best Thai restaurants in Toronto, visiting popular restaurants that serve authentic Thai dishes such as Sabai Sabai, Sukothai, Khao San Road, Pai, Kiin, Bangkok Garden, Mengrai Thai and Favorites Thai BBQ. If you’re looking to snack on a yummy Glutinous Rice Balls recipe in Toronto try visiting one of these award-winning restaurants for inspiration.
Join Dobbernationloves founder Andrew Dobson in the kitchen by signing up for a fun virtual cooking class! Classes begin with a cocktail that you can sip while preparing 2-3 recipes that are curated around a unique culinary theme. Check out our current Cooking Class Schedule!
My Family Loves VeganGlutinous Rice Balls
I love cooking Thai food for my family!
I knew my family would love this quick & easy Glutinous Rice Ball recipe because my parents enjoy healthy desserts, creamy coconut and fresh mango.
During my many trips to Thailand I’ve likely consumed over 100 orders of Mango Sticky Rice! It’s a perfectly affordable, healthy and delicious treat.
Along the beautiful beaches of southern Thailand street food vendors typically set up shop for the day under a big umbrella. They make good coin selling these sweet vegan gluten free snacks to surfers and beach bums.
The sticky rice stays warm in the afternoon sun while a mountainous pile of fresh mangoes, picked right off the tree, ensure a juicy and sweet fruit experience.
Mango Sticky Rice is also served at restaurants and is the most famous dessert on Thai menus around the world.
These Glutinous Rice Balls are a fun grab-and-go snack that kids can enjoy as a healthy taste of the tropics.
Our homemade Thai Rice Balls are packed full of healthy ingredients!
Nearly 50% of the people in the world get over 50% of their daily calories from rice. If eating brown rice featuring nutritious bran you’ll enjoy health benefits like cancer risk reduction and diabetes control.
Mangoes are a good source of fibre and antioxidants, including vitamin C, which means they support a healthy immune system and may fight chronic and inflammatory diseases. They also contain nutrients that support eye and skin health and are a good part of an overall healthy diet.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Coconut is rich in fibre and may also offer a number of benefits including improved heart healthy and digestion. It is high in calories and sautéed fat so be sure to eat in moderation.
A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.
Thai Mango Balls Cooking Tips
This healthy Thai Glutinous Rice Balls recipe is quick and easy to make at home.
- We suggest preparing the glutinous rice in a large pot or Dutch Oven.
- Only use Thai White Glutinous Rice when preparing these Mango Balls as they have unique properties that make the grains sticky when cooked. You can not substitue for jasmine rice or sushi rice.
- Thai Rice Balls are easy to form with your hands using saran wrap.
- Be sure not to add too much fresh mango chunks to the centre of the Thai Rice Balls as they will break open. A solid outer layer of glutinous rice ensures a fruity surprise inside.
- If you’re hosting a Thai dinner party you can serve all of the balls piled onto each other drizzled with the coconut sauce. It’s an impressive show-stopping dish when revealed to an attentive crowd.
- We most frequently serve these Thai Rice Balls on a buffet, offering a ramekin or small bowl filled with the coconut cream sauce that guests can dip the glutinous rice balls into.
- Offer an extra bowl of fresh mango for those who are keen on eating additional fruit.
- Do your best to prepare enough Thai Rice Balls for your guests so they are consumed the day they are made. The day after they stiffen and dry out. You can reheat them to regain their sticky and soft texture by putting them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
What To Serve with Thai Rice Balls
We love serving this healthy vegan gluten free Thai dessert recipe as a snack or sweet finish to a Thai-inspired dinner party.
If you’re hosting a large potluck or buffet you might want to serve our mango-stuffed Glutinous Rice Balls with these other popular Thai dishes:
- Thai Pork Rib Soup with Vermicelli
- Egg Tofu Soup with Pork Meatballs
- Grabong Northern Thai Pumpkin Fritters,
- Gai Pad Med Mamuang Thai Cashew Chicken
- Gaeng Masaman Beef Curry
- Nam Tok Authentic Thai “Waterfall Beef” Salad
- Gaeng Keow Wan Thai Green Curry Chicken
- Thai Pork & Beef Mince Curry Khua Kling
- Chiang Mai Noodles “Khao Soi”
- Pad Kra Pao Thai Basil Stir-Fry
- Thai Beef and Pumpkin Curry
- Crispy Thai Prawn Omelette
- Thai Glass Noodle Stir Fry Pad Woon Sen
- Stir-Fried Garlic Basil Thai Eggplant
- Yum Woon Sen Thai Glass Noodle Salad
- Creamy Red Thai Pork Curry
- Khai Jiao Thai Ground Chicken Omelet
- Khao Pad Sapparod Thai Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice
- Thai Red Curry Prawn Burger
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How To Make Thai Mango Glutinous Rice Balls
Thai Mango-Stuffed Glutinous Rice Balls
- Large pot
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowl
- Plastic Wrap
- 600 g Thai Glutinous Sticky Rice
- 900 ml Water
- 3 Mangos
- 300 ml Coconut Cream
- 4 tbsp Brown Sugar or Palm Sugar
- 1 tsp Lime Juice
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1 tbsp Toasted Coconut Flakes
- In a large pot or Dutch Oven over high heat, combine the Thai sticky rice and water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir, re-cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
- Slice fresh mango into 1/2 inch chunks and store in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the coconut cream, sugar, lime juice and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 10 minutes. Once sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Take 1/4 cup of the coconut sauce and add it to the cooked rice. Stir to fully incorporate.
- Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Scoop 2 tablespoons of cooked sticky rice onto the plastic wrap. With your fingers push the rice against the sides of the bowl to create an even layer. Place 3-4 cubes of mango inside the rice. Using the plastic wrap, form the rice into a ball and twist the plastic wrap tightly to form a tight ball. Unwrap and repeat with the rest of the rice and mango.
- Arrange the rice balls into a pyramid and pour the remaining coconut cream sauce over them. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and toasted coconut flakes and serve immediately.
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