Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coconut Rice

Mangoes over coconut sticky rice is one of my favorite Asian desserts.  If we're being honest here, there are very few Asian desserts that are any good.  The Chinese like to throw beans in things and call it dessert (like baobing - Taiwanese shaved ice with beans, fruit and syrup).  But mangoes over coconut sticky rice is unbelievably delicious.  The idea to use coconut rice as a savory component to a meal, rather than as a dessert, came from Fatty Crab here in NYC.  They serve coconut rice with their chili crab and their mussels.  The coconut rice is also used in their nasi lemak and the Malay fish fry we tried there the other night.  So as a side for the Spiced Chicken with Coconut Cream we made the other night I decided to go ahead and make some coconut rice and serve it both as a more savory side and for dessert.  The texture of the coconut rice isn't the same as the sticky rice, thus it's not quite as dessert-like, but it makes an amazing side dish.  One that we will definitely be making more often.

Recipe after the jump!

Coconut Rice

1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil or butter

Place all ingredients together in a heavy pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil until liquid is just below the level of the rice.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.  After rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.  Serve with sliced mangoes, or with an entree.

**NOTE:  Follow the cooking instructions for your particular brand or type of rice and just replace the amount of water required with coconut milk and you should be fine.  Each brand/type of rice has different proportions of rice to liquid, as well as different cooking times.  This recipe is written for my brand of basmati rice, but you should modify as necessary.

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