Coconut rice pudding

Enroute Karumba, QLD, AU

Tiffany’s been having a craving for rice pudding lately.  For some weird reason she gets this craving every few months (this and Mexican food.  Nope, not supposed to make sense).  In our previous lives this was easily and promptly solved by a trip to Trader Joe’s…

Unfortunately for her, they have not yet expanded to Australia.  So she took her tastebuds online.  Now, Tiffany prides herself as a rather “uncomplicated” cook.  She can cook, and very well thank you, but generally she looks for what both Greg and her agree are the “3 hallmarks of good food” –

Easy –

if the recipe calls for more than about 3 ingredients, she’s usually just not interested.

Effective –

Fills one up without getting them fat

Good –

We would choose to eat it again

That being said, since we’ve been traveling and eating restaurant food or quick stuff, both of our desires to cook have increased (a little bit anyway).  The great thing about living on a boat is that you learn lots of new recipes that fit our criteria exactly.

What is awesome is that both of us have learned to make lots of new things that only take a few ingredients and we’ve gotten to the point that if it has 5 ingredients we’re willing to put the effort in.

coconut milkEspecially if one of those ingredients is coconut milk.

We have seriously come to love it.  There are 2 main ways that we eat it, either in a curry (favorite is Thai Green Curry) or in coconut rice.  Coconut rice can be pretty easy or quite complex depending on how much effort you’re willing to commit and what you plan to eat it with.  When Tiffany was first figuring out how to make it there were way too many recipes to chose from.  Based on multiple friends’ recommendation, she went with the easy but tasty version of

1 can of coconut milk + 1 can of water + 1 can of rice

It works, and it goes great with anything you would normally serve with rice.  It’s a nice, subtle coconut flavor that really enhances what you’re eating.  Greg really likes it with his Indian Curries.

As we’ve traveled closer and closer to Asia, we have had more and more opportunities to eat at new Asian restaurants.  Which in turn has given us more opportunities to sample coconut rice in all of its glory.  So far Tiffany’s favorite version of coconut rice can be found at the Thai restaurants that we’ve been to here in Australia.  They make it sweet!  We’ve asked how it’s made, and they all give me a look and say “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret”.

It amuses Greg that a large portion of the rest of the planet has yet to figure out that the lady gets what she wants sooner or later.


As mentioned earlier, Tiffany was looking for a recipe to make rice pudding.  She made it once about 7 years ago and pretty much only remembers it not being too complicated (although she managed to burn that batch and has never made it since.)  Exact recipes are not Tiffany’s strong point (unlike Greg who refuses to add “about” a can of water to Cambell’s soup), so she browsed around until she had figured out what could be done based on the ingredients we had access to.  No allspice or nutmeg or raisins like many of the sites had mentioned, but we did have rice, sugar, cinnamon and milk which are really the only core ingredients.  She found a link for chai rice pudding (with nutmeg, but also cardamom and ginger) and thought ginger sounded nice as did the coconut milk, so she ended up using rice, milk, coconut milk, sugar cinnamon and ginger.

This was a very inspired choice.

She’s not sure if she cooked things too long, but somehow the rice managed to absorb almost all of the liquid, unlike normal rice pudding, which left her something much closer to the consistency of sticky rice that very closely resembling coconut rice.  When it cooled enough so we could taste it, Tiffany realized that not only did it look like coconut rice, but it tasted like the best restaurant coconut rice we have had so far!


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagullsopening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!

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