Friday, October 3, 2008

Koko Rice

Like Kopai Koko, and Suafa'i, Koko Rice (or Alaisa, Samoan for rice) is one of my favorite Samoan dishes that is easy to prepare here in the States. Deb and I recently made some koko rice for our friends, Justin and Angela. I thought I'd share some pics and the recipe so you can make your own if you'd like.

First thing, you need only five ingredients: water, white rice (not instant), sugar, coconut milk, and, of course, Samoan cocoa. The last is kind of hard to get unless you have connections, so you can use any cocoa powder. Just know that Samoan cocoa has a very distinctive taste that cannot be matched or beaten by any domestic cocoa powders.

I'm not good at making recipes; when I cook I experiment till I feel I've gotten things right. So for you who want more specifics, here's a recipe for Koko Rice I found online at Samoan Sa'o:

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Calrose Rice
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 5 Table Spoons Grated Koko Samoa
  • Granulated White Sugar

Add rice and water in a sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil. After the water reaches a boil reduce the heat to low, cover, and let the rice cook for 20 min. (watch carefully as the water may boil over.) After 20 min. Turn off heat, add coconut milk, koko Samoa, and Sugar to taste (You'll probably need a lot of sugar.) then stir and serve hot with butter and bread or just by itself.

Substitutes:

If you don't have koko Samoa you can use cocoa powder. You obviously won't get that unmistakeable koko Samoa flavor.
If you don't have calrose rice you can use any white rice.

This recipe also works with hot coco mix. But, instead of using 5 tablespoons koko Samoa, I added 10 Tablespoons of hot coco mix and 3 Tablespoons sugar. It tasted good but if you can get koko Samoa don't waste your time with hot coco mix.

My way is a little bit different. I like to cook the rice first in a rice cooker. While the rice is cooking, I grate the koko.


Then I put a large pot of water on the stove and turn the heat on to medium high. I mix in the powdered koko like so:


I sweeten the koko to taste with sugar. Some like it really sweet, others like it almost bitter. I am usually conservative with the sugar to accommodate the bitter enthusiasts, and put out a bowl of sugar for those sweet types. After I've sweetened the koko, I scoop in the cooked rice.


Then comes the coconut milk. Don't by coconut cream or creme d'coco, or whatever it's called, it's nothing like the coconut milk used in this recipe.


Share the deliciousness with friends:



Photo credits: Angela.

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