The world’s best coconut rice, and the Bowen Appetit Trifecta of Certainty
There’s a saying about how there are few things you can count on in life aside from taxes and death … or something like that. (I’d like to add sleep deprivation to that list, but that’s just me.)
But the good news is there are plenty of things you can count on in the kitchen. Like citrus zest, caramelized onions, and garlic. I’m pretty certain that if you add one, two, or all three of those ingredients to almost anything, you’ll make it taste better. I’ve spent a lot (a LOT) of time this summer proving that hypothesis.
For instance: coconut rice is pretty great. Savory, sweet, rich, silky, and exotic. But coconut rice with caramelized onion and lime zest and garlic – now it’s out of this world. And now you have the Bowen Appetit Trifecta of Certainty.
And here’s what you should do – serve it with some easy refried beans made with bacon fat. (This is ridiculously easy – heat 1 Tbsp. bacon fat in a pan, add one can of drained black beans, heat through and mash around a bit. Salt and otherwise season as desired and if needed.)
Well, shoot. Should I add bacon fat to the Trifecta? It’s a pretty certain improvement, in most situations. But what’s the equivalent word for four items?
This is too challenging for my poor morning brain. I’ve been overwhelmed by bacon fat.
Also, while we’re on the topic – salt goes without saying as a certainty. Salt makes almost everything better. There’s a reason salivate and salt start with the same three letters, my friends. Also salary. And Salzburg. That’s where I learned all kinds of impressive things about salt.
Okay, this is seriously aside from the point.
The point is: here’s some awesome coconut rice.
We ate it with a few grilled peppers, refried beans, and some mahi mahi coated in a lime-based sauce and grilled in banana leaves, and it added a perfectly perfumed, sweet note to an other wise fairly savory and citrus-oriented meal.
World’s best coconut rice
- Canola oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced finely or minced
- Zest of one lime
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock, veggie stock, or water
– Add enough oil to a 1 to 2 quart pan to cover the bottom (a tablespoon or two, probably). Heat over medium high until oil is hot, then add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally. After a minute or two, add the garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.
– Add rice and the lime zest to the pan and stir until it starts to look a little milky.
– Add coconut milk and other liquid and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. If there’s still liquid in the bottom of the pan, uncover and turn up the heat to boil off the liquid.
– Fluff the rice with a fork. Turn off the heat, put the cover back on the pan, and let sit covered for about 10 minutes (if you have time – it makes a bit of a difference, but isn’t necessary).