This deliciously smooth and velvety Thai Mango Pudding recipe just so happens to be vegan! Made with creamy coconut milk, fresh mango, and agar-agar, this delightfully tropical dessert is bursting with the lovely flavors of both mango and coconut.
I had bookmarked the recipe that eventually became this adaptation from About.com many years back. The original recipe called for gelatin, but as a vegetarian, I needed to find a substitute. Luckily, many years back I became aware of the incredible setting powers of an ingredient known as agar agar.
Agar agar is a completely vegan ingredient that is derived from a particular kind of algae. It is a perfect vegetarian substitute for gelatin, as it does a wonderful job helping liquids to coagulate and thicken. So for all you vegetarians and vegans out there who have been missing out on your favorite wobbly desserts, agar agar is your solution!
NOTE: Agar agar comes in both strand and powder form. Either can be used for this mango pudding recipe, but please be sure to use the correct measurement depending on what form you choose.
While this seemingly magical substance is an excellent substitute for gelatin, the amounts used are not the same. It took me a little tinkering, but I was finally able to crack the code.
This soft and creamy mango pudding recipe is an absolute delight! You can really taste the fresh, sweet mango and the coconut milk, making it feel like a tropical vacation in a glass.
I opted to keep the pudding pretty true to the traditional Thai recipe aside from making it vegan, so I haven’t used any extra flavoring ingredients. You could easily add vanilla extract, pandanus (kewra) water, cardamom, or cinnamon if you prefer.
How To Make Mango Pudding
Make Mango Purée
1. First, rinse and then peel 2 medium-sized mangoes. Chop them and add to a mixer or blender jar. You will need 1.5 cups of chopped mangoes.
Be sure to use ripe and sweet mangoes, avoiding those that are fibrous. If you can’t get your hands on any good fresh mangoes, feel free to use frozen instead.
2. Then add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Feel free to add more or less, depending on the sweetness of the mangoes. Since the mangoes I used were very sweet, 3 tablespoons of unrefined cane sugar was sufficient.
3. Blend till smooth.
Cook Agar Agar
4. In a small pan, take 2 tablespoons chopped agar agar strands. Chop the strands as small as possible with scissors, as long strands are difficult to dissolve. If you are using powdered agar, you can skip this step.
5. Add ⅓ cup of water.
6. Keep the pan on a low to medium-low heat.
7. Gently begin to heat this agar agar+water mixture. Keep stirring at intervals.
8. Let the solution come to a boil. When the solution is boiling, keep on stirring so that the strands are dissolved properly in the water.
9. In this photo, you will see that the strands have dissolved in the water and you get a smooth jelly-like liquid. Turn off the heat.
10. Here is another photo to show how the agar agar liquid appears – slightly thick, mostly clear, smooth jelly-like liquid.
Make Mango Pudding
11. Wait for 20 seconds and then add the agar agar solution in the jar containing the mango puree. Scrape down the pan to get all of the agar agar solution into the mix.
12. Add ¾ cup of thick coconut milk (200 ml). You can add 1 cup instead of ¾ cup if you prefer a looser pudding consistency.
13. Blend again till smooth.
14. Pour the mango pudding mixture into serving bowls. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixer jar with a spatula to get every last bit of goodness. Level the top layer of pudding with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
15. Cover the bowls with a lid or seal with aluminum foil. Refrigerate and let the mango pudding set for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours.
16. Serve mango pudding chilled as a dessert. Feel free to add some berries, dry fruits, mango cubes, or whipped cream on top. Enjoy!
Note that the color of the pudding will vary with the kind of mangoes you use.
Do note that while using agar agar, it is important to boil either the strands or powder in water until they are fully dissolved. If you skip this step, then the pudding will not set.
Also, make sure you give your mango pudding adequate time to chill. I suggest making it the day before you plan on serving it so you don’t feel rushed.
Feel free to substitute a 50/50 ratio of cream and milk.
Make sure you’re using full-fat canned coconut milk. The refrigerated kind that comes in a carton won’t set up properly with the amount of agar-agar that I call for in this recipe.
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- 2 medium alphonso mangoes or 1.5 cups chopped mangoes, use any sweet variety of mangoes
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar or add as required
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped agar agar strands or 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- ⅓ cup water
- 200 ml Coconut Milk (Thick) or about ¾ cup
Making mango puree
- First rinse and then peel 2 medium sized mangoes. Chop them and add in a mixer or blender jar. Do use ripe and sweet mangoes.
- Then add 3 tablespoons sugar to the mixer or blender. Sugar can be added less or more depending on the sweetness of mangoes.
- Blend till smooth. Set aside.
Cooking agar agar
- In a small pan, take 2 tablespoons chopped agar agar strands. Do chop the strands as small as possible with scissors. Long strands are difficult to dissolve.
- Add ⅓ cup water.
- Keep the pan on low to medium-low heat.
- Gently begin to heat this agar agar+water mixture. Keep on stirring at intervals.
- Let the solution come to a boil. When the solution is boiling, keep on stirring so that the strands are dissolved properly in the water.
- Once the strands have dissolved in the water then you will see a smooth jelly like liquid.
Making mango pudding
- Wait for 20 seconds and then add the agar agar solution in the jar containing the mango puree. Scrape off the agar agar solution from the sides and add this also.
- Add ¾ cup thick coconut milk.
- Blend again till smooth.
- Pour the pudding mixture in bowls. Level the top layer of the pudding with a spatula to make it even.
- Cover the bowls with a lid or seal with aluminum foil. Refrigerate and let the pudding set for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
- Serve mango pudding chilled as a dessert. While serving, you can add some berries, dry fruits or mango cubes on top.
- Keep in mind to use sweet and pulpy mangoes for a thicker pudding. Alphonso mangoes work best for desserts like these. If the mangoes are very juicy and have more water content, the pudding can have a thinner consistency.
- Swap agar agar strands with 2 teaspoons of agar agar powder. Cook the agar powder in the same way as the agar strands have been cooked in the recipe.
- Sugar can be adjusted depending on the sweetness of the mangoes and your taste preferences.
- You can easily scale up this recipe to make for a larger serving.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mango Pudding post from the blog archives first published in May 2017 has been republished and updated on 24 April 2022.