Recipe – Glutinous Red Rice with Lychees


I love glutinous rice desserts and have always wanted to experiment with them so, inspired by a dish that Mark Jensen served me several years ago, I came up with this easy, tasty version. It’s quick too, as long as you get organised and soak the rice the day before. Glutinous red rice (nép den in Vietnamese) is also sometime labelled black rice; in Chinese it’s called ‘blood rice’ due to its deep burgundy colour.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (100g) glutinous red rice
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 50g palm sugar, shaved
  • Pinch salt flakes
  • 12 lychees, peeled, seeded and halved
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
Method
  1. Soak rice in cold water overnight.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until it’s a rich caramel colour.
  3. Quickly add ⅓ cup of the coconut milk (take care as it may spit) and stir over a low heat until the caramel completely dissolves into the coconut milk and it just comes to the boil. Set aside.
  4. Drain rice, place in a saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender; most of the water should be absorbed but add a splash more if it looks like it’s going to catch.
  6. Stir in remaining coconut milk, palm sugar and salt and cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until it thickens and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Spoon into bowls, top with lychees and the caramel sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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