Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Coconut and sticky rice pudding with lime and papaya salad

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
From The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure
Here’s a great dessert to end a Thai feast. You’ll need a visit to an Asian supermarket to source the sticky rice, lime leaves and papaya - and plenty of time for soaking the rice. Well worth it.


  1. Soak the rice in 300ml/10fl oz of water for at least 30 minutes, but for up to four hours before using.

  2. Drain the rice and wash thoroughly.

  3. Line a bamboo steamer (with a lid) with either greaseproof paper, a banana leaf or a clean sheet of muslin. If using greaseproof paper or a banana leaf, pierce some holes using a skewer (don’t make the holes too large, but you do want them to allow the steam through).

  4. Place about 425ml/¾ pint of water (5cm/2in depth) into a saucepan or a wok and place the rice in the steamer. Put on the lid, bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat to low-medium and steam for about 20 minutes.

  5. In the meantime, add the coconut milk, salt, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves to a saucepan. Warm through over a medium heat - do not boil.

  6. Stir frequently for a good 5-7 minutes to infuse the flavours. Once infused, remove from the heat.

  7. Arrange the prepared papaya onto four plates or a suitable serving dish and pour over the zest and juice of the limes.

  8. Once the rice is cooked, put it into a mixing bowl and gradually add three-quarters of the infused coconut milk. Reserve the remaining quarter.

  9. Mix well and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the rice into individual serving bowls or a suitable dish and drizzle over the remaining infused coconut milk.

  10. Serve the papaya salad along with the rice. Garnish with a sprig of mint if liked.


  • 200g/7oz Thai sticky rice
  • 1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g/1¾oz palm sugar, roughly chopped if from a block
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 ripe medium papaya, seeds removed, peeled, cut into 5mm/¼in neat slices
  • 2 limes, zest and juice only
  • 4 sprigs mint, for garnish (optional)

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