This ube mango sticky rice dish is where classic Filipino and Thai flavors meet

Published September 16, 2021, 3:17 PM

by John Legaspi

The famous Thai dessert gets a Filipino twist

When talking about Thai cuisine, a couple of dishes pop into our minds. There are the spicy curries, the stir-fried Pad Thai, and the savory Tom Yum soup. But if it’s sweet indulging we’re talking about, nothing could beat Mango Sticky Rice from claiming the top spot.

Made with white glutinous rice and slices of ripe mangoes enveloped by coconut milk, this humble dessert is definitely a dish one should never miss whenever heading to Thailand. And with its growing popularity, it is not hard to find it here in Manila.

While it is good on its own, a local brand tries to elevate the dish by giving it a Filipino twist, particularly, infusing it with the Pinoy favorite ube or purple yam.

Man and Mangoes’ Ube Mango Sticky Rice

Ube Mango Sticky Rice is the current star in Man & Mangoes menu. Led by James Yao, the food brand established in April 2020 is an homage to his and his father’s love for food. Much like many Filipinos, the corporate professional turned his passion for food into a livelihood to make an extra profit during this pandemic.

“I was always inspired to cook and enjoy food because of my dad. He loved cooking all types of dishes and experimenting in the kitchen,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “With the COVID pandemic and lockdown, I was frustrated and eager to procure and consume my favorite dishes, however, I was unable to due to strict lockdown. To remedy this, I decided one day to try to make one of my favorite desserts, the Thai Mango Sticky Rice. I loved it so much, and to offset my free time apart from my banking and data analytics career, I decided to start this business.”

Apart from cooking the Thai dessert, his kitchen exploration also led him to try out new flavors, which in this case is ube. As much as possible he tried to similar as the ones served in Thailand, James confessed that he can’t help but adjust it to his taste and hopes that other Filipinos will like his creation.

“Ube is a big component in various Filipino desserts and I love Filipino food,” James muses. “I wanted to experiment with incorporating the popular Filipino ingredient to one of my favorite dishes—and I fell in love!”

While the cooking method and its looks (except for the purple coloring) mirror Thailand’s traditional dish, all the ingredients that go into making it are sourced locally. Among them are the yellow mangoes that are sourced from Davao and Guimaras, according to him.

“If you’re looking for a fun, refreshing, and sumptuous dessert, Ube Mango Sticky Rice is the way to go,” he ends.

Visit to know how you can order the Ube Mango Sticky Rice.