When I think of rice pudding, my mind instantly jumps to the backstreets of Bangkok, and buying breakfast on the side of the road. The rice is often purple! Then I’m transported to an Auckland café called L’oeuf, where they serve an extremely tasty black rice pudding called ‘The Cambodian’. This is my take on an Asian treat, and it’s delightful for breakfast, dessert or simply a ‘just-because’ snack.
Serves 4 | To prep 10 minutes | To cook 1½ hours
Vegan | Vegetarian
Gluten Free | Dairy Free
1 cup black sticky rice
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup coconut cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1½ teaspoons flaky sea salt
1 pandan leaf (optional)
1 x 440g can whole lychees, drained
Bring the rice, water and salt to the boil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. The rice should be nearly cooked and still wet. Add the sugar, vanilla and coconut milk, and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the rice is cooked al dente. Remove from the heat.
For the salted coconut cream, combine the coconut cream, sugar and salt in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Add the pandan leaf (if using). Bring to a boil over a low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove the pandan leaf and set aside to cool.
Divide the rice pudding between four bowls, top with lychees and drizzle with salted coconut cream. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Tip The pandan leaf adds an authentic Asian flavour, but isn’t necessary. You can easily find pandan leaves in the frozen aisle of your local Asian supermarket.
Variation To make this dish beautiful and extra-special, top with some edible flowers.