Double Feature Friday: How to Make Coconut Rice Pudding AND How to Make Coconut Milk

Coconut Rice PuddingNow that you’ve had two days to pick out a lovely, aromatic pineapple at the grocery store, cut it into pieces and munch away, you may have discovered, like me, one little problem with eating pineapple: it’s incredibly acidic. After innumerable little bites during Wednesday’s pineapple photo shoot, my tongue was begging for something more neutral. Conceding that I had probably met my pineapple snacking limit for the day, I resorted to avocado and milk and cereal for lunch.

Instead of pushing the pineapple to the back of the refrigerator, try serving it with Coconut Rice Pudding, an ideal complement for those tasty but acidic pineapple pieces. It’s a party waiting to happen—a Piña Colada without the rum (though that might not be a bad addition).

How to Make Coconut Rice Pudding

Makes 6 generous servings.

2 cups milk
2/3 cup Arborio rice
½ cup sugar
½ cup flaked coconut
2 14-ounce cans light, unsweetened coconut milk, divided* (or 3 ½ cups homemade coconut milk)

  1. Combine the milk, rice, sugar and flaked coconut in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in 1 can (or about 2 cups) coconut milk. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to very low and simmer gently, uncovered, until pudding thickens and the rice absorbs the milk, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rest of the coconut milk, simmer, stirring often, until milk is fully absorbed and rice is tender, about more 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer rice pudding to a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface (this prevents the pudding “skin”) and chill until cold, at least 4 hours.
  5. Serve with fresh pineapple.

*In case you’ve never come across the term “divided” in a recipe, listen up! It means that you won’t add all of the coconut milk at once. It’s a simple heads-up to the cook to pay attention to the amounts stated within the recipe method as opposed to in the ingredient list. We’ll never know how many cooking disasters have been averted thanks to the simple clue “divided.”

Adapted from the Coconut Rice Pudding in The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast, Easy Fresh , p 649.

How to Make Coconut Milk

This method for making coconut milk is from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Quick and simple, this recipe is a lifesaver when you realize you don’t have as many cans of coconut milk in the pantry as you thought you did.

Makes about 2 cups. (You’ll need to make more if you’re using it in the recipe above.)

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut meat (I used coconut flakes)
2 cups very hot water
a blender

  1. Pour the coconut in the blender.
  2. Add the hot water.
  3. Secure the lid.
  4. Pulse for a few seconds, then let it whirl for 15 seconds or so.
  5. Let is sit for a few minutes.
  6. Pour through a strainer, pressing to extract any remaining liquid.
  7. Discard coconut solids.
  8. Use coconut milk immediately or store in the fridge.

5 Thoughts on “Double Feature Friday: How to Make Coconut Rice Pudding AND How to Make Coconut Milk

  1. I grew up eating rice pudding as my fav dessert during the summer months. We live close to a rice pudding shop, however, that was a disappointment. When Andrea said she was going to make one from scratch, I was excited and was looking forward to the day of cooking :) .
    The rice pudding was great and I loved the coconut flavor and the fresh pineapple on top was a perfect accompaniement.

  2. Crescent Rainwater on May 9, 2010 at 5:57 AM said:

    I can’t wait until I am actually home with the right cooking utensils and a grocery store with the selection of foods that I always took for granted by living in California. Makes me think of the yummy coconut ice cream we had together!

    • andrealein on May 9, 2010 at 8:32 PM said:

      Yes, we certainly are blessed with a bounty of wonderful foods in CA. :) Thanks for reminding me of that amazing coconut ice cream! I’ll have to stop in there to get some when it gets hot this summer!

  3. I just finished my sample of this pudding tucked inside a small jam jar. It was heaven. I liked the chewy round rice grains, the distinct flakes of coconut and the cohesive creamy sweetness of the milk holding it all together. You have started me on a journey of thought: What else would combine so dreamily with rice pudding?

    • andrealein on May 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM said:

      Oh dear, we must be related because I thought that too! I thought some classic spins on creme brulee could also be applied to rice pudding: pumpkin and eggnog (not at the same time, of course!). But really, I’d much rather have coconut rice pudding than pumpkin or eggnog rice pudding. Any other ideas?

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