Like most people, rice is an important staple in my home.  I eat it with soups, beans, proteins and even for breakfast with a little egg (like my Korean roommate taught me). I couldn’t live without it.

Last night, I went in on some pan-seared salmon with lemon cream sauce and a nice mix of watercress, spinach and haricot vert. Instead of doing my normal  steamed jasmine rice, I decided to step it up a bit. I had some coconut milk, a nice chunk of ginger and a stalk of lemongrass that I knew could go into a pot of lovely fragrant rice. I’m glad I switched it up because it came out super moist and smelled bright and citrusy.

I’m officially in love with it. You probably will be, too. Easy recipe and cheap to produce. Check it out:

-2 cups Jasmine rice, thoroughly washed
-2 stalks of lemongrass, cut into 1inch pieces (white parts only) and split in half
-a nice chunk of ginger (about 1inch)
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 ½ cups water
-1tsp salt
-thinly sliced scallion (to garnish)–OPTIONAL
-sesame seeds (to garnish)–OPTIONAL

Add your washed rice and the remaining ingredients to a pot and stir well to combine. Be sure that the lemongrass and ginger are fully submerged in the rice.

Place the pot over high heat, bring it to a boil and give it a good stir to prevent your rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot (note: the liquid will thicken slightly as it comes to a boil). Once the liquid is boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Continue to cook until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

After the rice has absorbed the liquid, remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to steam with the lid on for an additional 10 minutes.

When you go to plate your rice, you can discard the lemongrass and the ginger, but I like to leave them in the bowl for a more interesting presentation (just be sure that your dinner guests know not to eat them). Gently fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a deep serving bowl. Garnish with thinly sliced scallion and sesame seeds (optional) The rice may be served hot or just warm. Enjoy and pass it on :)

Santana Caress Benitez