Burmese Coconut Rice

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As a child, the only time I ever really ate rice was when my mother made rice pudding.  We were a meat and potatoes family, through and through.  But these days I’ve joined the billions of other folks worldwide who consider rice a diet staple.

I love the versatility of rice.  Not only do you have a seemingly countless amount of varieties and colors, but it’s equally appropriate as an appetizer, side, main course, or dessert.

Even simple coconut rice can have endless variations.  I’m used to making sweet, sticky coconut rice that I serve with mango or mango sorbet for dessert, but this savory long grain version is just the ticket when  plain ol’ white or brown rice isn’t doing it for you.  And if you have a rice cooker, this is one of those “throw everything in the rice cooker and turn it on” kind of dishes.  Perfect.

White rice results in a slightly more striking dish, but I’ll take the nutty chew of brown rice any day.

Burmese Coconut Rice

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

* 2 cups long grain white or brown rice
* 1-3/4 cup coconut milk (approximately 1 can)
* 1-1/4 cups water (use an additional 1/3 cup if you’re using brown rice)
* 1/2 yellow onion, cut into several wedges
* 1 Tablespoon oil
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* dried, shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

Directions:

If using a rice cooker, combine all of the ingredients except for the unsweetened coconut in the bowl of the rice cooker and turn on. When it turns from cook to heat, let the rice rest an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, top with coconut, if desired, and serve.

If you’re using a saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the unsweetened coconut in a saucepan with a glass lid. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to very low, below a simmer. Let the rice cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-25 minutes, depending on whether you’re using white or brown rice. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, top with a coconut, if desired, and serve.

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