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Sticky Rice with Custard

Sunkaya na Kai – A simple recipe of sticky rice steeped in sweetened coconut milk served with a coconut custard. This is one of my favorite recipes that my mom made for us growing up. And in honor of Mother’s Day, why not make something that reminds me of her.

This is similar to a version that mom made, so it doesn’t have the fancy coconut cream you drown the rice with at the end. Mom would easily whip this dessert up on a Saturday afternoon. The toughest part was waiting on the custard to cook. Although, we did have help passing the time watching those Thai Lakorns. Can you imagine us, a family of seven, sitting in front of our TV with our plate of sticky rice and custard? Good times.

The only twist that I added to the recipe is adding the coconut flakes into the rice. I remember one time making a batch of sticky rice mango for a multi-cultural thing at school. I added the coconut flakes to the rice for that batch. Then I left to go to work that day and when I returned, the whole batch had been eaten by my parents. Just the two of them. So I’m guessing the un-traditional coconut flakes wasn’t much of a deterrence. And I had to make another batch that day, so coconut flakes are a keeper for me, but they can be optional for you.

Another thing, if you haven’t noticed, I like to keep things simple with minimal extra ingredients (unless it’s flour). For example, I’m not a fan of having half a can of coconut milk left over. Then you have unnecessary pressure to use the un-used coconut milk.  No need for that. So this recipe is also a product of that. 🙂


  • Make sure to soak your stick rice for at least 3 to 4 hours. Overnight is even better. And don’t forget to take a wooden spoon and give your rice a toss while it’s cooking.
  • The coconut sticky rice can also be served with mango or ice cream. I’ve heard of restaurants serving it with sorbet.
  • You can steam the custard is a smaller pan for a thicker custard, but you’ll have to steam it longer
  • I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut the rice and custard into circles to serve. I also thinly sliced a mango and arranged the the slices in a circular shape to form a rose.

So here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Sticky Rice with Custard (or Mango)


For Coconut Sticky Rice:
2 cups uncooked sticky rice (washed and soaked for at least 4 hours)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk (reserve the rest of 13.5oz can)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)

• Wash and steam the sticky rice in sticky rice cooker or in cheesecloth in a steamer for 25-30 mins. Don’t forget to turn your sticky rice with wooden spoon at least once during cooking to allow for rice to cook thoroughly.
• Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan, heat 1 cup coconut milk, sugar and salt until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture boils (takes about 5-7 minutes).
• Turn the cooked rice into a bowl and mix in the coconut milk mixture. Add coconut flakes if desired. Cover and set aside.

For Custard:
4 large eggs
Reserved coconut milk (about 5.5oz)
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

• Whisk the eggs, reserved coconut milk, sugar and salt together until well combined
• Pour into 9inch cake pan
• Steam in steamer (over rapid boiling water) for 20-25 minutes
• Served over the coconut sticky rice

2 thoughts on “Sticky Rice with Custard


    Thanks for the recipe! In the past I made a lot of sticky rice & custard, but lost my recipe. Your’s sounds just like my old one and now to find sticky rice. That is not easy in rural East Texas , I may have to order online. Love Sticky Rice and Custard made with coconut milk

    • You’re welcome. I hope you like it. The internet does sound like your best bet to find sticky rice, if you do not have an Asian market or big box store nearby.


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