Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Coconut-Ginger Rice

We love Thai food (in fact, our next class tonight is on Thai cooking) but one of the frustrations of making Thai curries is that ½ can of coconut milk that is often left over. As you can see in the photo, your typical can of coconut milk contains 14 oz. which is 2 ½ cups. (Someone out there is saying "Isn't 14 oz. just shy of 2 cups?" No, it weighs 14 oz. but it is 2 ½ cups by volume.* And yes, the can says 14 fl. oz. as my dear friend Deb has pointed out to me, but it's a lie. If you do the math, from the weight in grams per serving, it works out to 14 oz. by weight.)

School of Eating Good is here to help you with that pesky leftover coconut milk. I helped create a similar recipe for a Caribbean restaurant. It goes great with grilled fish or meat. It's pretty addictive stuff.

This recipe doesn't have a definitive amount of coconut milk. It's meant to use up what you have left over. So, if you use ½ a can, use the rest (about 1 ¼ cups) along with 1 ¾ cups of water to get to 3 cups liquid. We suggest you use at least 1 cup of coconut milk and as much as a whole can. We wouldn't want to create more leftovers trying to use up existing leftovers!

Coconut-Ginger Rice
(serves 6; total cost is  $3.10 if using all of a 14 oz. can of coconut milk)

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ small onion, minced
1 ½ cups long-grain rice (jasmine rice is exceptionally good though more expensive)
1 cup or more coconut milk
enough water when mixed with the coconut milk to make 3 cups of liquid
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and onion. Saute for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir well.

Add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Stir again, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

* Three common ingredients have the same volume as weight: butter, milk, and eggs. That is, 8 oz. by volume of milk, butter, or eggs equals 8 oz. of these by weight. You can remember this with the saying: "A pint's a pound the world around for butter, milk, and eggs." It's true of water too. It is definitely not true for coconut milk.

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