Caribbean Coconut Rice

 

My family and I were lucky enough to go to Costa Rica over the summer.  It was an amazing place: full of friendly people, interesting adventures, beautiful plants, unique animals and tasty food.

One of our most memorable meals was in Playa Flamingo at a beach restaurant called Coco Loco, which we found on our Fodor’s Guide (yes, I still enjoy travel books).  (Trip Advisor Reviews).  We had the place and the beach to ourselves (probably because a storm was heading our way).  There was something for everyone.  My son had their signature dish of seafood mixed with rice and vegetables and cooked in a whole coconut.  My daughter had a wonderful salad, which included palm nuts (new to us). And my husband and I enjoyed the freshest fish tacos ever.  But it was our side dishes of coconut rice that had us discussing how we would replicate as soon as we got home.  It was very simple but so flavorful and delicious.

 

My son initiated finding a recipe and making it once we got home.  The Costa Rican version had a mixture of brown and jasmine rice, which we haven’t perfected.  But this is what we’ve been making from Vegetarian Times and substituting Earth Balance “butter” to make vegan so my daughter could enjoy too.  Amazing how it brings our thoughts back to that amazing beach….

Caribbean Coconut Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4cup toasted shredded, unsweetened coconut, optional

Preparation

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and cinnamon stick, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice, and sauté 2 minutes, or until rice grains are opaque. Add coconut milk, sugar, salt, lime zest, white pepper, and 3/4 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Stir once, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Fluff rice with fork, cover, and let rest 5 minutes. Garnish with toasted coconut, if using.

 

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