For years I had used a recipe from a Thai cookbook that a previous boss gave me. It never turned out like I wanted so I always adjusted it, like I do most recipes I find. So last night when I wanted to make some to finish off our Thai meal I searched Pinterest for ideas to get closer to what I really wanted, and I found it. The result is glorious rice that is creamy, not sticky, perfectly sweet with a sauce that has just enough saltiness to give it that wonderful finish that makes this dessert so freaking good!! As the weather warms up this is the perfect dessert for a refreshing finish to a meal.
It does take a little planning since you have to soak the rice and then let it sit while the coconut milk is absorbed, but totally worth it.
For the Recipe:
1 1/2 c. sweet rice (also called glutinous rice)
2 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. rice flour
To start, rinse the rice well. You want the water to run clear and for all the extra starch to wash away, don’t skip this step!!
Next, put the rice in a bowl, cover with water and soak for a minimum of 4 hours but up to 24. Drain the rice, don’t be too aggressive with this as the rice is tender at this point and could break, and you don’t want that. Use cheesecloth to steam your rice (if you have a bamboo rice steamer (not a rice cooker) you don’t really need to use the cheesecloth. I use my bamboo steamer for this step, but you could use your vegetable steamer or whatever else you have. You just don’t want the boiling water to touch the rice, you are steaming it. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the rice is tender. While the rice is cooking you want to make your sweet coconut sauce and the salty coconut sauce.
Sweet Coconut Sauce:
1 1/4 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
In a small pot over medium heat place all the ingredients. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from heat and set aside. You do not want this to boil or to reduce.
Salty Coconut Sauce:
3/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. rice flour (in a pinch you could substitute corn starch)
In a small pot over medium heat add the coconut milk and salt. Dissolve the rice flour in 1 tbsp. of water then add to the pot. Mix well, then cook until the sauce thickens just a bit. Remove from heat and set aside.
Back to the rice…
Once the rice has cooked place it in a bowl and immediately pour the sweet coconut sauce over the top and mix well. It will seem very soupy but don’t worry, the rice will absorb all of that sweet goodness. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then gently stir to make sure the sauce has been absorbed. Let it sit for another 10 minutes.
From this point you can either serve or let it sit out if you are serving that day. However, if you are not eating the day you make it then you will want to cover and place in the refrigerator.
To serve, put a scoop of the rice on a plate/bowl, place sliced mangoes on the side (or however you want to get creative with your presentation) and drizzle with the salty coconut sauce.
As an option, you can sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, cashews, almonds or mung beans. The sesame seeds and nuts you can just place in a dry pan and roast, but the mung beans you will need to rinse, then boil in water for about 10 minutes, drain, dry them off, then toast them in a pan with a little oil (I use coconut oil) until they dry and a little toasty.