Rice has always been my top comfort food. It’s what my mom would feed me when I was sick, and the only food I ever wanted to escort me out of the haze of flu. As an adult, I vacillate between making beautiful, simply-cooked pots of plain rice and more elaborate creations that I think of as “wild style.” Lol. The simple preparations are the most comforting - basic brown short-grain rice with a bit of salt and (maybe) a pat of butter or drizzle of good olive or sesame oil. The wild style versions are the opposite. They're exciting to make - even invigorating! It’s when I grab from different cupboards, raid the spice drawer, and supplement the rice with other grains. I’m never 100% sure how things will turn out, but I make note of favorite wild-style versions in my notebook so it's easy to revisit them. This Spicy Sesame Coconut Rice has lots of stars next to it.
This version isn’t over-the-top ‘wild” per se - you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. But it’s a combination that’s just off-beat enough to be special. This recipe makes a pot of brown rice cooked in a thin sesame-coconut broth. It's showered with lemon zest and drizzled with sesame-chile oil if you like a bit of heat. It’s the kind of rice that goes nicely alongside a brightly cooked vegetable, and as the star component in whatever rice bowl you might be dreaming up.
You can see the coconut rice here, served family-style for lunch yesterday. It's pictured topped with tempeh crumbles, the last of an avocado, simple steamed asparagus, and scallion paste (just green onions pulsed with a splash of olive oil & a pinch of salt). If sesame rice isn't your thing, but you want a way to get more greens on your plate, make a jump to Bryant Terry's Amazing Green Rice, or browse all these other rice recipes.
A few favorite rice sources included: Massa Organics, Koda Farms, Lotus Foods, and Toiro Kitchen. If you're on my mailing list, I also put a bunch of favorite rice links, books, and media in there & will link to it in the archives once it goes out. Enjoy! xx -h
Spicy Sesame Coconut Rice
You can also use short grain brown rice here, but you may need to cook it a bit longer or add a tad bit more water.
- 2 cups brown jasmine or brown basmati rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon sesame-chile oil, or to taste
Rinse and soak the rice for at least 20 minutes, or overnight if you have the time.
Drain the rice and transfer it to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the coconut milk, water, salt, and toasted sesame oil. Bring to a boil, and then dial the heat back to a simmer, covered, for 35-45 minutes, until the liquids have been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and remove the pan from the heat. Let the rice sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, shower with lemon zest, drizzle with the sesame-chili oil, and fluff again with a fork. Drizzle with more chile oil if you like, and finish with lots of lemon zest.