Strawberry Sticky Rice: A Symphony of Sensations

Fact Checked By: Macaria Valerie

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In the grandeur orchestra of world cuisine, strawberry sticky rice emerges as a sonorous melody, weaving together notes of creamy, sweet, and tart into a harmonious dance that graces the palate with every bite. Rooted in the esteemed tradition of Thai dessert-making, where each ingredient is a cherished stanza in a poem of flavors, this delightful dish invites gourmets and casual diners alike into an intimate ballet of sensory delight.

The star of this culinary performance, glutinous sticky rice, offers a warm embrace, its tender, chewy grains absorbing the lushness of sweetened coconut milk, yielding a base note of comforting, gentle sweetness. But the symphony ascends to an evocative crescendo with the introduction of strawberries, whose juicy, tart eloquence imparts a refreshing counterpoint, turning each mouthful into a dialogic masterpiece of contrasting yet harmonious flavors.

This article invites you on a journey to explore the artistry of strawberry sticky rice, from the meticulous selection of each grain of rice to the artistic assembly of the final dish. A foray into the secrets that imbue this dessert with its magical allure, where tradition and innovation, simplicity and complexity, and comfort and luxury coalesce into a memorable, multisensorial experience. Step into a world where each bite is an invitation to savor, reminisce, and explore – welcome to the mesmerizing narrative of strawberry sticky rice.

Strawberry Sticky Rice

Strawberry sticky rice is a delightful variant of the classic Thai dessert, swapping the traditional mango for juicy, tangy strawberries. Tender, glutinous sticky rice is infused with a rich, sweet coconut milk mixture, offering a creamy contrast to the tartness of the fresh strawberries. This dessert balances the chewy texture of the rice with the softness of the strawberries, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Optionally, a drizzle of additional coconut sauce can elevate the dish, making each bite a tropical escapade of sweet, creamy, and fruity notes. It’s a refreshing, vibrant, and indulgent dessert that promises a delightful sensory experience.

Strawberry sticky rice is a delightful twist on the traditional Thai dessert, mango sticky rice. In this variant, succulent strawberries replace mangoes, offering a refreshing, slightly tart contrast to the sweet and creamy sticky rice. Here’s how you can make this delicious dessert at home.


For Sticky Rice:
  • 1 cup of glutinous sticky rice
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
For Strawberry Topping:
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional, depending on the sweetness of the strawberries)
For Coconut Sauce (optional):
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt
Prepare the Sticky Rice:
  • Rinse the Rice: Rinse the glutinous rice until the water runs clear. Soak it for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.
  • Steam the Rice: Drain the rice and place it in a steamer. Steam for about 20-30 minutes, or until the grains become translucent and sticky.
  • Prepare the Coconut Mixture: While the rice is steaming, mix 1 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Do not boil.
  • Mix the Rice and Coconut Milk: Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the coconut mixture over the hot sticky rice and stir gently to combine. Allow it to sit for around 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
Prepare the Strawberries:
  • Slice the Strawberries: Clean and slice the strawberries. If desired, toss them with a bit of sugar to enhance their sweetness. Set them aside.
Prepare the Coconut Sauce (optional):
  • Make the Sauce: In a separate saucepan, mix 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm it over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Assemble the Dessert:
  • Serve: Place a serving of the coconut-infused sticky rice on a plate, arrange the sliced strawberries on top or on the side, and drizzle with the coconut sauce if desired.
  • Garnish (optional): Garnish with sesame seeds, mung beans, or fried mung bean flour for added texture and flavor.

Enjoy this luscious dessert that marries the creamy and savory flavor of coconut sticky rice with the fresh and tangy taste of strawberries. Each bite promises a delightful mix of textures and flavors!


Here are some tips to elevate your strawberry sticky rice dessert:

Sticky Rice Preparation:

  • Soaking: Soak the rice for a few hours or overnight for optimal texture. This helps the rice grains absorb water and steam properly.
  • Rinsing: Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch, which can otherwise make the rice overly sticky and gooey.

Coconut Milk:

  • Quality: Use good-quality, full-fat coconut milk for a rich and creamy flavor.
  • Temperature Control: Heat the coconut milk gently to avoid curdling and to dissolve the sugar and salt evenly.


  • Ripeness: Choose ripe, sweet, and juicy strawberries for a refreshing contrast to the rich, creamy rice.
  • Preparation: Consider marinating the strawberries in a bit of sugar or honey to enhance their sweetness if they are not very sweet.

Flavor Enhancements:

  • Additional Toppings: Experiment with toppings like toasted sesame seeds, mung beans, or even a sprinkle of lime zest for a more complex flavor profile.
  • Spices: A dash of ground cardamom or cinnamon can add a warm, aromatic note to the dish.


  • Temperature: Serve the sticky rice warm with cool, fresh strawberries for a pleasing temperature contrast.
  • Presentation: Pay attention to the presentation; arrange the strawberries neatly atop the sticky rice and drizzle the coconut sauce elegantly for a visually appetizing look.


  • Separation: If you’re planning to store leftovers, keep the components separate to maintain their texture and flavor. Reassemble when ready to serve.

Alternative Fruits:

  • Variations: Though this version uses strawberries, feel free to experiment with other fruits like mango, kiwi, or even a mix of berries to keep the dessert exciting and seasonal.

Texture Balance:

  • Adjustments: If the rice turns out too thick or dry after soaking up the coconut milk, adjust the texture by adding a little extra warmed coconut milk before serving.

Implementing these tips will help you master the art of making strawberry sticky rice, ensuring a perfectly balanced, flavorful, and aesthetically pleasing dessert that is sure to impress. Enjoy the beautiful amalgamation of flavors and textures!

Why This Recipe Is Just So Good…

Strawberry sticky rice exudes a unique charm that lies in the harmonious interplay of flavors, textures, and sensory experiences. Here’s why this dish is undeniably irresistible:

Sweet and Tangy Harmony:

  • Contrast: The sweetness of the creamy, coconut-infused sticky rice is beautifully offset by the tangy freshness of ripe strawberries. It’s a dance of flavors where each element highlights the other.

Textural Delight:

  • Diversity: The chewy, tender sticky rice paired with the juicy, soft strawberries offers a textural contrast that tantalizes the palate. Every bite is an experience of both creaminess and juiciness.

Aesthetic Appeal:

  • Visual Feast: The vibrant red hue of the strawberries against the soft, white sticky rice is visually striking, making the dish as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.

Aromatic Infusion:

  • Scent: The aromatic infusion of coconut milk elevates the sensory experience. The gentle aroma invites a moment of anticipation, preparing the senses for the flavorful journey ahead.


  • Adaptable: The recipe is versatile. It opens up avenues for creativity, allowing for the incorporation of additional toppings or flavor infusions, ensuring a new experience each time it’s prepared.

Seasonal Freshness:

  • Season’s Best: Utilizing strawberries at their peak ensures natural sweetness and tanginess, encapsulating the essence of the season in every bite.

Cultural Fusion:

  • Global Touch: While rooted in the traditional Thai sticky rice dessert, this variant bridges cultures, offering a universal appeal that resonates with diverse taste preferences.

Nutritional Balance:

  • Wholesome: Beyond its taste allure, it’s a balanced dessert, combining the carbohydrates from rice, fats from coconut milk, and vitamins from fresh strawberries.

Celebratory Experience:

  • Occasion: It’s not just a dessert but an experience, suitable for both everyday indulgence and special occasions, echoing celebration and elegance.

Sensory Engagement:

  • Complete Engagement: The warm sticky rice, the cool and refreshing strawberries, the aromatic hint of coconut – it’s a complete sensory engagement, where taste, touch, smell, and sight converge in a harmonious symphony.

In essence, strawberry sticky rice is a narrative of culinary poetry. It’s where tradition meets innovation, simplicity embraces complexity, and every bite becomes an unspoken stanza of pleasure, nostalgia, and discovery. It’s more than a dessert – it’s an intimate journey through the nuances of flavors, an embrace of the soul, whispering the timeless allure of simplicity, quality, and sensory harmony.

Storage Instructions

Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and flavor of your strawberry sticky rice. Here are the steps to store it effectively:

Storing the Sticky Rice:

  • Cooling: Allow the sticky rice to cool completely before storing it to prevent condensation and moisture build-up.
  • Container: Place the rice in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and prevent it from drying out.
  • Refrigeration: Store the container in the refrigerator. The sticky rice should keep well for up to 2 days. Avoid storing it for extended periods as it can lose its optimal texture and flavor.

Storing the Strawberries:

  • Separation: Keep the strawberries separate from the sticky rice to preserve their freshness and prevent them from becoming soggy.
  • Container: Place the strawberries in a container, preferably in a single layer to avoid crushing or bruising.
  • Refrigeration: Store them in the refrigerator. They should remain fresh for 1-2 days.

Storing the Coconut Sauce (if used):

  • Container: Pour the sauce into an airtight container.
  • Refrigeration: Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Always check the aroma and consistency before use to ensure it’s still good.

Reassembling and Serving:

  • Heating Rice: Gently reheat the sticky rice either in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add a small amount of coconut milk or water to restore its soft, sticky texture.
  • Strawberries: Keep the strawberries chilled for a refreshing contrast, or let them come to room temperature according to your preference.
  • Sauce: Gently reheat the coconut sauce if needed.
  • Assembly: Assemble the dessert by placing the warm sticky rice on a plate, topping it with fresh strawberries, and drizzling the coconut sauce over the top just before serving.

Freezing (not recommended for optimal texture):

  • Rice: Although it’s possible to freeze the sticky rice, it may affect its texture upon thawing.
  • Strawberries: Freezing the strawberries can make them mushy, so it’s best to use fresh strawberries when serving.


  • Always store the components separately and assemble just before serving to enjoy the optimal texture and flavor.
  • Use airtight containers to prevent the absorption of odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
  • Always check the stored components for any signs of spoilage, like off-odors or mold, before consumption.

By following these storage instructions, you can enjoy your strawberry sticky rice while maintaining its quality, flavor, and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I use frozen strawberries for sticky rice?

A: Yes, but fresh strawberries are preferable for their texture and flavor. If using frozen, thaw and drain excess liquid to prevent the rice from becoming soggy.

Q: Can I prepare the sticky rice ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently and add a little coconut milk or water to restore its soft texture before serving.

Q: Is there an alternative to coconut milk for making sticky rice?

A: Coconut milk is ideal for its flavor and creaminess. However, alternatives like almond milk or regular dairy milk can be used but will offer a different flavor profile.

Q: Can I add other fruits to strawberry sticky rice?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with other fruits like mango, kiwi, or a berry mix to create varied flavor combinations.

Q: My sticky rice is too dry/hard. How can I fix it?

A: Reheat the rice with a splash of water or coconut milk, cover, and steam gently until it regains its soft, sticky texture.

Q: Can strawberry sticky rice be made vegan?

A: Yes, ensure to use a plant-based milk alternative like coconut milk, and check that any additional ingredients or toppings are vegan.

Q: How can I make my strawberry sticky rice more flavorful?

A: Enhance the flavor by adding a dash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Also, ensure the strawberries are ripe and sweet, and adjust the sugar level according to taste.

Q: Can I freeze strawberry sticky rice for later use?

A: It’s best enjoyed fresh. Freezing can alter the texture of both the rice and strawberries. If needed, only freeze the rice and add fresh strawberries upon serving.

Q: Is there a quick method to make sticky rice?

A: Soaking the rice overnight is recommended, but if you’re short on time, soaking for a minimum of 2 hours can suffice. Also, using a pressure cooker can speed up the cooking process.

Q: How do I achieve the perfect sticky rice texture?

A: Proper soaking, rinsing, and steaming at the right temperature are crucial. After cooking, letting it sit covered for a few minutes can also help achieve the desired stickiness.

Q: How does the type of rice affect the overall taste and texture of strawberry sticky rice?

A: The use of glutinous sticky rice is crucial, as it provides a unique, chewy texture and subtle flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the creamy coconut milk and tart strawberries. Substituting it with another rice type can significantly alter the dish’s traditional texture and taste.

Q: What’s the science behind soaking the sticky rice before cooking?

A: Soaking the rice grains allows them to absorb water and swell, leading to a more even cooking process. It softens the grains, ensuring that they steam effectively and yield the desired sticky, chewy texture.

Q: How can I balance the sweetness of the coconut-infused rice with the tartness of strawberries?

A: Achieving a balanced flavor profile involves adjusting the sugar content in the coconut milk mixture based on the natural sweetness of your selected strawberries. Taste-testing both components separately before assembly can guide sugar adjustments.

Q: Are there any specific techniques to ensure the sticky rice absorbs the coconut milk evenly?

A: Yes, the key is to add the coconut milk while the rice is still warm to ensure better absorption. Gently folding the milk into the rice and allowing it to rest helps in even flavor infusion.

Q: Can the strawberry sticky rice be infused with additional flavors without overpowering the dish?

A: Certainly. Subtle additions like a drop of rose or orange blossom water, or a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, can elevate the dish’s aroma and flavor complexity without overshadowing the primary ingredients.

Q: What variations can be made to make strawberry sticky rice more gourmet or upscale for a formal dessert offering?

A: Presentation enhancements, like serving the dessert in hollowed-out fresh coconuts or garnishing with edible flowers, can upscale the dish. Integrating a strawberry coulis or infused syrups can add a gourmet touch.

Q: Is there a way to prepare a lower-calorie version of strawberry sticky rice without compromising the traditional creamy texture and rich flavor?

A: Opting for light coconut milk can reduce calorie content. Also, consider moderating the added sugar or substituting with natural, low-calorie sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.

Q: How can food safety be ensured, particularly given the combination of cooked rice, dairy, and fresh fruit?

A: Store each component separately and assemble them close to serving time. Ensure that the dish is stored in the refrigerator if not consumed immediately, and adhere to the 2-hour rule to avoid leaving it out for too long.

Q: What is the impact of different coconut milk brands or types on the consistency and flavor of the sticky rice?

A: Different brands may vary in consistency and flavor. Opt for unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk for a rich and creamy texture. Testing brands to find the one that aligns with your flavor and consistency preference is advised.

Q: How can the dish be adapted to cater to specific dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, nut-free, or vegan?

A: Strawberry sticky rice is naturally gluten-free and vegan, provided all incorporated ingredients, like coconut milk and sugar, adhere to these criteria. For nut allergies, ensure that no cross-contamination occurs during the preparation process, especially when adding optional toppings.

These expert-level questions and answers delve into the intricacies and nuances of making strawberry sticky rice, offering insights for gourmet adaptations, flavor balancing, and dietary accommodations while preserving the dish’s authentic essence.


As we reach the final notes of our culinary symphony, the unmistakable allure of strawberry sticky rice is laid bare, an enchanting melody of flavors, textures, and aromas that linger, invoking a nostalgic yet novel sensorial dance. We’ve navigated the intimate pathways of its creation, witnessed the tender embrace of ingredients where each holds a narrative, weaving a tapestry of experience as timeless as it is transient, as traditional as it is avant-garde.

In every grain of sticky rice, there lies an unuttered echo of the fields where it sprung, and in the luscious, red strawberries, the silent sonnets of spring’s tender kiss. Each spoonful, imbued with coconut’s tropical whisper, invites the soul to a far-off, sun-kissed horizon where each ingredient dances to the rhythm of nature’s ancient song.

But perhaps, the transcendence of strawberry sticky rice is found not just in its innate flavors but in its ability to unify – to bring together elements disparate yet destined, weaving a narrative of connection that bridges continents, cultures, and epochs. Each serving is more than a dessert; it’s a testament to the universal language of food, a narrative where each bite transcends words, echoing the unuttered sentiments of heart and hearth.

As the lingers of its taste embrace the silence, we are reminded – each dish, every ingredient, is a verse in the unfolding epic of our shared human experience. In the world of culinary arts, where flavors are both a medium and message, strawberry sticky rice emerges not just as a dish but as an emblem of the unifying spirit of gastronomy.

In the quiet aftermath of the last bite, amidst the lingering dance of sweet and tart, creamy and chewy, we find a truth – food is more than sustenance. It’s a narrative, an art form, a silent sonnet of shared stories and silent symphonies. In the humble yet profound embrace of strawberry sticky rice, we are not just fed; we are understood, connected, and endlessly, silently serenaded.

Photo of author

Macaria Valerie

About the author

With over 15 years of experience in the culinary world, Macaria Valerie has developed a unique niche expertise in the art and science of rice cooking. Born in Taipei and raised in San Francisco, Macaria's passion for perfectly cooked rice is a blend of her Taiwanese roots and modern culinary techniques. She has traveled across Asia, gathering traditional rice recipes and cooking methodologies. Macaria is not just about plain rice. She's explored the depths of risotto in Italy, paella in Spain, biryani in India, and sushi in Japan. Yet, she believes that the core of these dishes lies in mastering the basic foundation - the rice. In her popular blog, "Expert Reviews Best Rice Cooker", Macaria shares not only her favorite rice recipes but also reviews the latest in rice cooker technology. She's been a consultant for major kitchen appliance brands, aiding in the development and testing of their rice cooker lines. In her spare time, Macaria conducts workshops and classes, ensuring that the art of cooking perfect rice is accessible to everyone. Whether you're aiming for a simple bowl of fluffy white rice or venturing into the intricate world of flavored rice dishes, Macaria Valerie is your go-to guide in the rice cooker niche.

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