Thai Rice Pudding

Rice with Coconut Milk. Francis Kompalitch/Canopy/Getty Images
    25 min
Ratings (6)

This rice pudding recipe is scrumptious, plus healthy and nourishing. It starts with Thai sweet rice which is flavored with coconut milk, brown sugar, plus warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and star anise. An optional step includes adding red adzuki beans or red bean paste (this gives the pudding extra texture, vitamins, natural color, and flavor). Top with your choice of cream, milk (or condensed milk), soy or rice milk, or more coconut milk/cream. Mmmmm....

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups Thai sweet rice (also called "sticky" or "glutinous" rice)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup palm sugar, brown sugar, or white sugar (to taste)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Optional: whole star anise as garnish
  • Optional: crushed peanuts or toasted coconut

How to Make It

    1. Place rice in a large pot (you will also need a lid). Add 2 cups water and allow to soak for 10 minutes (or longer).
    2. Add 1 1/2 more cups water, plus 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir well.
    3. Place over high heat. As soon as the water comes to a bubbling boil, reduce heat to medium-low (around 2.5 on your dial). Cover 3/4 of the pot with the lid (so that the lid is sitting askew, allowing some of the steam to escape).
    4. Boil the rice like this for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
    5. Turn off the heat, but keep pot on the burner. Place lid on tight and allow rice to "steam" in this way for 5-10 minutes.
    6. Remove lid and add the coconut milk, stirring until incorporated (you may have to break up the rice a little with a spoon or fork).
    7. Turn heat on low and, while gently simmering, add 1 cup sugar (brown sugar will give you a darker color, while white will give you pure white rice pudding). Also add the spices except star anise.
    8. Taste test for sweetness, adding more sugar if not sweet enough, or more coconut milk if too sweet for your taste.
    9. The rice will eventually absorb most of the coconut milk, creating a very thick rice pudding. Now you have 2 options: either add more coconut milk to the pot to thin the pudding, then serve, or:
    10. Scoop some of the pudding into bowls. Surround the pudding with a little coconut milk, cream, soy or rice milk, etc. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or nutmeg, and decorate with cinnamon sticks, whole star anise and crushed peanuts or toasted coconut (if desired). Enjoy!