I am very lucky to have an Asian supermarket in walking distance, so if I manage to figure this out, they can expect some repeated custom from me that's for sure. So I have been scouring the internet trying to find out what I need, looking at rice cooking methods (because oddly enough, to do it right, its not as simple as bung it in a pan of boiling water and drain when its soft), and comparing notes between recipes and methods, trying to distill them down into something basic that really can be done with a pan, a stove, and ingredients I can get hold of easily.
The hardest thing to find, is the Thai jasmine rice. And to do it right, apparently it needs to be jasmine rice. Though when I say hard to find, it seems that even my local supermarkets carry it! Bonus. So the hard part isn't all that hard. Secondly coconut milk. That I can get anywhere. Thirdly stock, chicken or vegetable, pick your poison. Today I am starting with some home made chicken and vegetable stock I finished in the stock pot yesterday while the AA were replacing my car battery.... its a long story and not relevant here. But cooking stock kept me from cursing and swearing about the car.... And lastly, salt. As far as I can see, these are all I need.
Most recipes work on amounts that boggle my mind, that would feed the five thousand it seems to me. Here's me with issues eating anything much bigger than an apple because I have a tenant squishing my internal organs, and I cannot fathom cooking that much rice. Not to mention this is my first trial run. I only want to cook enough to test if it works, and be able to reasonably eat in a short space of time. So after running through tonnes of conversion charts (cups, what a silly unit to measure things in as the volume varies based on whether you have a solid or a liquid, what size is a standard size cup? Do I own the right size cup? etc etc) and I have come up with this. Probably enough going on the rice packet instructions to allow for one large portion, or for pregnant me, two small ones that are just right.
100g of Thai Jasmine Rice
3 fluid ounces of stock of your choice
4 fluid ounces of coconut milk (not the light stuff, the good thick stuff)
a big pinch of salt.
- So here we go. Apparently you put everything apart from the salt into your saucepan, give it a stir, and now leave it to soak, no heat for 20 minutes. I think I can handle that.
- Now add the salt, place over the heat and bring to the point of simmering. Gotcha.
- As soon as it simmers turn the heat down to its absolute lowest, put on a good fitting lid or tightly cover with foil, set a timer for 15 minutes, and DO NOT TOUCH THAT LID. Seriously, everything I have read stresses this point.
- Your timer goes off, take it off the heat WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID and leave for another 10 minutes.
- You may finally remove the lid, fluff the grains with a tool of choice and serve.
Of course you can garnish. Toasted sesame seeds are the Thai restaurant's garnish of choice, I have seen coconut shavings too, and the internet suggests fresh coriander. Go mad, do what you feel. Maybe all three?
So the verdict? Is it any good?
First off, the amounts of liquid to dry rice work out perfectly, the texture is spot on to the restaurant stuff, as evidenced by my ability to do the fancy dome of rice thing, as its sticky enough to do it with, but light enough to eat without being a solid blob. Flavour is a little less coconut in your face than the restaurant stuff, however, it is right, aromatic on the nose, and very enjoyable. As a recreation in the home, I am giving it two big thumbs up.
I did get some of the slight browning issues on the bottom of the pan I read about, but so very slight as I cannot taste it, and it hasn't scorched. The amount given in my recipe above gives two domes of the size in my picture, so enough for two nice light meals. I am really very pleased with myself and enjoyed my stir fry with Thai coconut rice very much!