It’s officially been 1 year since my life-changing trip to Thailand. Traveling in Thailand brought a new inspiration to my cooking, one that changed the way I look at whole foods forever in the ultimate lesson in simplicity. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite dessert recipes I had in Koh Samui Thailand, Thai Coconut Black Rice Pudding. I can’t wait to share this in hopes that when you make it, you can get a sense of the simplicity Thai cuisine embraces so well.
The most inspiring and beautiful thing about Thai cuisine is their use of whole foods and getting the most flavor out of each ingredient – it’s very resourceful. For example, Thai cuisine will use corn as a natural sweetener like we talked about in this Sweet Corn and Coconut Ice Cream, or will use coconut, beans, and fruit to provide subtle, sweet flavor. Luckily for you, if you’re reading Nutrition Stripped and follow the NS lifestyle, your taste buds should be super sensitive and reap the benefits from the subtle sweet flavors from rice and coconut cooked together. If not, you know I have options for you!
Black rice is slightly sweet by nature and coconut milk has a wonderful sweet flavor to it which is only amplified when cooked and reduced, similar to the cooking process Thai cuisine uses in making Tom Kha Gai, one of my favorite soup recipes ever! The flavor is super delicious, and black rice is also incredibly nutrient dense from antioxidants, has more fiber than other rice varieties, and has more protein per 100g than other rice varieties. Black rice has also been shown to help improve heart health by reducing arterial plaque buildup (1), helps lower cholesterol because of the fiber content (2) and also the main phytonutrient called anthocyanin (3). It can also help fight free radical damage (4), and it’s gluten free which is a great choice for everyone regardless of living a gluten free lifestyle or not.
I use full fat coconut milk in this recipe to make the pudding really creamy and loaded with healthful fats like medium chain triglycerides that are found in coconut (which you can read up in detail here). Keeping with the theme of Thai simplicity, you can serve as is with a sprinkle of sea salt on top or with full fat coconut milk or coconut cream poured on top with some sliced ripe mango. When I had this pudding in Thailand, they served it with a thick dollop of salted coconut cream and it was the best flavor combination ever. They went heavy on the salt which created an incredible flavor when mixed with the sweetness of the rice and coconut cream. Salt might sound odd but it balances it out beautifully! Otherwise, I like to add toasted coconut shreds for an additional texture, and because I’m crazy about coconut.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Thai black rice
- ½ cup canned
full fatcoconut milk
- ½ cup canned light coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Garnish options: sliced fresh mango, high-quality sea salt, additional coconut cream (the thick top layer out of the can), and toasted coconut shreds
- In a saucepan over medium heat, mix water, rice and both light and
full fatcoconut milksand bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 35 minutes or until rice is tender.
- For the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, add an additional ¼-1/2 cup of water to make sure the rice stays sticky and doesn't dry out. The goal is to create a sticky rice texture and adding water helps achieve that.
- When the rice is tender, add coconut sugar and sea salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve warm with optional garnishes above. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ingredients I used to make this recipe: black rice, full fat coconut milk and light coconut milk, coconut shreds, high-quality sea salt
What about you?
Have you ever made or had black rice pudding? If so, what are your favorite ways to serve it? Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments or if you have questions. It also helps when you rate the recipe when you try it so I can improve them for you. Be sure to snap a picture when you make it at home share it on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so I can see!
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