From the archives: a fragrant salty-sweet rice pudding I remember my Pearents making. They didn’t much go in for sweets, preferring fresh fruit or my attempts at baking, but they’d sometimes make huge batches of this, scooping it out from a pot in the fridge and reheating perfectly in the microwave. It’s easy, comforting, and you can control exactly how sweet it is.
There are many ways to make this pudding. You can get a little fancy and only cook the sticky rice until thick and firm before pouring in fresh pandan or butterfly pea juice for scent and colour. You can knot some pandan leaves and throw them into the pot. You can use longan and young coconut meat instead of sweetcorn, or sago instead of sticky rice.
Here, I make it in its simplest form, not because I actually believe simplest is always best (there’s always room for complexity in our lives), but because it is specifically what I remember.
The only change I made was to add palm sugar for sweetness, which isn’t usual, but I love the rounded caramel flavour here. As long as it goes with the gentle flavours of rice, coconut, and sweetcorn, you can add any flavouring you like.
You can also have this pudding whenever you want: I’ve had it as brunch and I’ve had it as dessert and I’ve had it as a soul-soothing midnight snack. In this respect, there are no rules. Eat it.
COCONUT STICKY RICE PUDDING WITH SWEETCORN (ข้าวเหนียวเปียกข้าวโพด)
Adapted from SheSimmers’ Coconut Sticky Rice Pudding with Sweetcorn (ข้าวเหนียวเปียกข้าวโพด)
For 1 very generous, comforting, healing, restorative bowlful of pudding as a snack, or 2 smaller dessert servings after a meal, or as brunch…
You can keep this in the fridge for several days, reheating gently on the stove or in the microwave, but it will get stodgier–your call on whether or not this is a good thing.
A good starting point for the rice:water ratio is 1:5, so scale the recipe as you please. You can really cook the sticky rice to your taste: try the recipe as written and adjust as you like, adding more water for a soupier pudding, or cooking more briefly and with less water for more distinct grains. You can have the finished pudding at whatever temperature you like. I prefer it warm.
50g/1/4 cup (4 tbsp or 60 ml) long-grain glutinous rice
300 ml/1 1/4 cup cold water (more if needed)
Optional flavourings: a knotted pandan leaf or two, or vanilla bean fragment
1 medium ear of fresh sweetcorn (~100g) or a few heaped tbsp of tinned sweetcorn
1 – 2 tbsp sugar or more to taste; white granulated is usual but I love combining golden or palm sugar, too
2 – 3 tbsp good quality creamy coconut milk (the head), such as Chaokoh
Pinch of salt
Place glutinous rice and cold water in a small pot, cover and bring to a gentle yet insistent simmer. Cook the sticky rice for 20 – 30 minutes (possibly more, depending on age of rice). You don’t need to babysit the pot, but do check every 10 – 15 minutes, topping up with a little water if it looks dry–there should always be some liquid surrounding the grains.
It’s done when the grains are completely tender and slightly broken down into a thick mixture–it should resemble rice pudding (or risotto or porridge, whichever example makes most sense to you), falling easily from the spoon.
Turn off the heat and stir in the sweetcorn kernels. Cover tightly and leave to sit in warm spot for at least 30 minutes: the residual heat will be enough to warm it all through, and it will encourage the rice pudding to become especially thick and soft.
Sweeten the still-warm rice to taste, adding enough sugar so it’s just a bit sweeter than you’d like. If rice has cooled completely, reheat very gently to ensure sugar dissolves. If you’re not eating the pudding immediately, cover and chill right away; you can reheat pudding gently in a microwave or over the stove to the temperature you like.
When you’re ready to eat, combine the creamy coconut milk head with a little salt in a small bowl. Dish up the pudding and let each diner top with as much salted coconut milk as they like.