If this sounds weird, it’s only because you haven’t had it. Think holiday. Think paradise. Think….okay, enough thinking.
This recipe comes from a friend (Lisa Patenaude) of a friend (Sharon Martinez), both of whom have lived in Thailand. Now, I have never lived in Thailand, but only because I haven’t retired yet! (Think holiday. Think paradise….)
1 1/2 cups raw sticky rice (available at Asian stores, also called “sweet rice” or “glutenous rice” – this is NOT regular rice)
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsps salt
6 ripe, sweet mangoes or other ripe, sweet/tart fresh fruit like peach, strawberry, kiwi, nectarines, or bananas
Soak the rice in a container that holds at least twice the volume of rice: Cover the rice with 2 to 3 inches of room-temperature water and soak at least 3 to 24 hours. If you need to shorten the soaking time, soak the rice in warm (about 100 degree) water for 2 hours. The longer soak gives more flavor and a more even, tender texture, but the rice is perfectly edible with the shorter soak in warm water.
Drain the rice and tie up in a cheesecloth over a steamer basket. Set the steamer basket over several inches of boiling water in a large pot or a wok. The rice must not be in or touching the boiling water. Cover and steam for 25 minutes, or until the rice is shiny and tender. Turn the rice over after about 20 minutes, so the top layer is on the bottom. Be careful that your pot doesn’t run dry during steaming; add more water if necessary, making sure to keep it from touching the rice. You may also do this in your rice cooker, if you rice cooker has a steamer rack.
While the rice is steaming, combine the coconut cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
The Thais wait for the coconut cream to break or “dtak,” which is what happens when it becomes fragrant at the point of boiling. Remove from heat.
When the rice is ready – soft, swollen, glistening, pinches easily into a small ball – transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the coconut cream mixture over the rice. STIR WELL (I’ve forgotten this part before!), cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes so the rice will absorb the sauce.
Serve warm, or at room temperature, with freshly cut mango or other tart fresh fruit.
Keep leftovers covered but NOT in the refrigerator.