Blue Thai Sticky Rice & Mango

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Last Updated on December 16, 2020 by Karen Lasta

Anyone who eats Thai food even if you’ve never step foot in Thailand knows about the famous dessert, Thai Sticky Rice & Mango. It is a common dessert option on most Thai menus.

Well, I just came back a few weeks ago from visiting Chiang Mai & Bangkok. They have a different version there that uses blue rice. You are probably wondering how in the heck do you make blue rice.

It starts with a dried butterfly pea flower. You first make an extract with the flowers and boiling water. This extract can then be used to create a variety of blue-hued food and beverages. You can use it as-is with just a little sweetener as a beverage.

However, it’s often used to make blue sticky rice. I brought my package of dried butterfly pea flowers back from Thailand. However, you can purchase them from Amazon here.

Butterfly Pea Flower Sticky Rice and Mango
Blue and white sticky rice coming together nicely with sliced mangoes and mung bean toppings.

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My street food experience in Thailand

This week I just wanted to feature street food as I found inspiration from my experience in Thailand. Especially popular in Chiang Mai and the street food outlets there, the popular Thai dessert is served with both white and blue sticky rice.

I purchased my butterfly pea flowers at the Or Tor Kor market in Bangkok. This is a farmer’s association market that is a must-visit for any foodie. Things like curry pastes and a variety of food items you might want to take back home can be purchased here.

Additionally, they have a great food court where you can also enjoy lunch. It’s also a farmer’s market where all varieties of produce are sold. In fact, it’s ranked #4 as the world’s best fruit market.

So after my trip to Bangkok, I can say I visited one of the best fresh markets in the world and one of the top ten hospitals in the world…but that’s a story for another post…

This is where I tasted my first durian and if you get one that’s not too ripe, it’s actually not as bad as people say. Until you make it to Thailand, you can order the pea flowers here from Amazon.

Or Tor Kor Market
Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok

Blue sticky rice in Chiang Mai

Meanwhile, here is a photo of one I purchased from a streetside vendor outside a temple in Chiang Mai. I had it at a few different places in Chiang Mai and they are all garnished with the fried mung beans.

mango
You can make your own Thai sticky rice with mangoes at home.

This street food is also served in restaurants. Here is a beautiful presentation at a restaurant in Chiang Mai.

mango 2
Fancy bowls filled with the classic Thai dessert.

What a great bite—with the crunch of the mung beans balanced with sweet, sticky rice and mango!

Nutrients from blue Thai sticky rice

Sticky rice is rich in fiber, protein, and zinc. It’s sometimes called “glutinous” rice, which might make people think it contains gluten, but it really doesn’t. The word “glutinous” simply refers to the gluey texture once this type of rice is cooked.

A cup of cooked sticky rice has the following nutrient content:

  • 169 calories 
  • 37 grams of total carbohydrates
  • 3.5 grams of protein
  • 5% of the recommended daily value of fiber for men, and 7% for women
  • 6% of the recommended daily value of zinc for men, and 9% for women

Plus, sticky rice also contains some iron. For men, a bowl of sticky rice can already give them 3% of their daily recommended intake. For women, that’s 1%.

Benefits of adding butterfly pea flower extract

If you add butterfly pea flower extract and make your sticky rice go blue, you’re also getting more antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E.

More than adding color to your sticky rice, the butterfly pea flower extract itself may be a great add-on to tea.

The ingredients for blue Thai sticky rice

Don’t be fooled by how long this list looks. I just grouped the ingredients according to the recipe elements that would come together beautifully in your bowl.

Also, the blue rice and white sticky rice have very similar ingredients.

Blue rice ingredients

  • dried blue pea flowers aka butterfly pea flowers
  • boiling water
  • coconut milk
  • sticky rice aka glutinous rice
  • pandan essence
  • salt
  • palm sugar
  • coconut cream

Sticky rice ingredients

  • coconut milk
  • sticky rice
  • pandan essence
  • salt
  • palm sugar
  • coconut cream

Mung bean ingredients

  • hulled mung beans
  • oil
  • sugar

Other ingredients

  • mango slices

How to make butterfly pea flower rice

  • Make the blue flower extract.
  • Make the mung bean topping.
  • Cook the sticky rice with the blue flower extract.
  • Make the white sticky rice.
  • Serve with mango slices and the mung bean garnish.
blue pea flower -edit
This is how you’d prep the blue flower extract.

Sticky Rice Variations

  • You don’t have to make it blue if you can’t find any butterfly pea flower around. The white sticky rice is already super tasty.
  • Soy, almond, and cashew milks are all potential replacements for coconut milk. However, there’s something about coconut milk that makes the sticky rice taste as close to the original Thai recipe as possible.
  • If you don’t have or can’t find pandan essence in stores, you could make the extract yourself. You can steep pandan leaves in hot water. Another option is to use vanilla extract instead.
  • Some alternatives to palm sugar are plain brown sugar or coconut sugar.
Mango Sticky Rice -edit
This healthy Asian dish can satisfy your sweet cravings.

Other Thai recipes to try

Want to enjoy a Thai-themed week? Don’t forget to check out some of my other Thai sweet treats:

Finally, here’s your full and printable butterfly pea flower sticky rice and mango recipe. Enjoy!

Butterfly Pea Flower Sticky Rice and Mango
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Butterfly Pea Flower Sticky Rice & Mango

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Calories: 4003kcal

Ingredients

Blue Rice Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried blue pea flowers aka butterfly pea flowers
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sticky rice aka glutinous rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pandan essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream

Sticky Rice Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sticky rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pandan essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • Mung Bean Ingredients
  • 1 cup hulled mung beans
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Other Ingredients

  • mango slices

Instructions

  • Place the dried blue flowers in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave for 1 hour. Drain well to extract all the liquid. A citrus squeezer works best for this.
  • To make the mung bean topping, soak beans for 1 hour. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Leave to dry for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Add mung beans and fry 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently. As soon as you can feel that they are getting crispy against the spatula or spoon, remove immediately to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Toss with sugar.
  • Pour the extract into a rice cooker with the coconut milk, sticky rice, pandan and salt. Cook until done. Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar and coconut cream. Stir to combine. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  • To make the white sticky rice, combine coconut milk, rice, pandan, 1 cup water and salt in rice cooker. Cook until done. Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar and coconut cream Stir to combine. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Serve with mango slices. and garnish with the mung beans.

Notes

If you put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, the thick part that will rise to the top is the coconut cream. You can also buy cans of coconut cream separately in markets that sell Thai products.

Nutrition

Calories: 4003kcal | Carbohydrates: 408g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 256g | Saturated Fat: 165g | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 2059mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 26mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
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Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Pavani

    Wow what an interesting twist to Thai sticky rice and mango. Love the color butterfly pea flower lends to the rice. Does it add any flavor too??

  2. Mayuri Patel

    Wow Mireille, what a beautiful blue coloured sticky rice. During my visit to Thailand I’ve tried several times butterfly pea flower iced tea but not a dessert using the flowers. Butterfly pea flower sticky rice and mango looks so delicious.

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