While in Australia, Wayne and Marie took me to a Thai restaurant where we had Black Sticky Rice with sliced dates. My taste buds fell in love! Back home I found a Thai restaurant with a similar dessert on their menu. It turns out that black sticky rice is a very common dessert in Thailand and the cook graciously shared with me the ingredients. This rice is known by several names: Black Sticky Rice, Black Thai Rice (Purple Sticky), Black Glutinous Rice, and even Forbidden Rice—because Chinese Black Sticky Rice once was eaten by the Chinese Emperor only (and was forbidden to the masses).

You may already know that black sticky rice is a naturally sweet, dark-purple rice that contains fiber and antioxidants. Because it is especially sticky when cooked it is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like and not in the sense of containing gluten. Like most rice products it is gluten-free.

Combined with coconut milk, the taste is amazing. And when you add some fruit and a bit of coconut cream on top (instead of whipped cream or ice cream) you have a light and healthier dessert.


  • 1 cup black sticky rice soaked overnight in water or for at least eight (8) hours
  • 4 cups coconut milk (you can also use ½ water and ½ coconut milk)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp of real vanilla flavoring
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or maple syrup, or brown sugar)
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut cream (or ½ cup of grated coconut)
  • Fruit such as sliced mango, lycees, dates, figs, or berries


Rinse and drain soaked rice.

Place rice in a saucepan with the coconut milk, sweetening, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and partially cover the saucepan.

Continue to boil for about 30 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until the coconut milk has been absorbed and the rice is tender. (If necessary, add small amounts of water if the rice appears to be getting too dry).

When the rice is soft and sticky, remove from heat.

Add vanilla and stir gently. Let sit for 20 minutes or so.


Spoon onto a shallow desert plate, approximately ½ cup per dish.

Garnish rice with a small amount of coconut cream or grated coconut.

Place choice of fruit on the side.