My mom loves rice pudding. Any type of pudding really, although now she has to watch what she eats due to her type 2 diabetes. I on the other hand have never really been too fond of it myself. It was always on of those sweet dishes that I could take or leave. Never really held a spot in my foodie heart… until I discovered this: coconut rice pudding with fresh mango and lemongrass (maple) syrup.
I usually keep coconut milk in the house for smoothies, soups, curries & rice dishes, etc… so I thought it was only fitting to use it for a dessert rice dish this time. The flavor, creamy richness and smoothness of coconut milk can’t be beat. And the upside is that it’s dairy free for those of us that are “supposed” to restrict our dairy intake. A win in my book.
The fresh mango was a lovely, tart, tangy twist and the sweetness of the maple and bright acidity of the lemongrass in the syrup really made all the flavors tie together nicely. Funny since, it all started out with me just craving the mango then I saw the lemongrass puree, coconut milk and maple syrup in the fridge (they are all stored in a similar area in there) and thought, “hmmm, what can I make with this?”… turns out I had some short grain, sticky sweet rice (also known as sushi or risotto rice) and decided to use that. Luckily for me I made some of the rice prior and had about a cup of it in the fridge. What a time saver! This way I only had to reheat the rice with the coconut milk to give it that creamy, richness that I wanted without having to cook it from scratch which would have added another 20-25 minutes to the process. Lets face it, when I want something sweet, I had better be quick about it!
Needless to say the result was even more delicious than the picture. It was oh so tasty and really satisfied my sweet tooth without being overly sweet. Which can be weird, I know but I am not a fan of overly sweet things. I like them to be just sweet with a hint of savoriness to them. And this dish gave me that. It was so many things at once and pleasing to the eye and palate. Luxe yet light and simple with a twist of the exotic. Just my kind of dessert.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Fresh Mango & Lemongrass Syrup
- 1 cup cooked sweet short grain rice (sushi or risotto rice)
- 1 mango (skin removed, pitted and segmented)
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 3-4 tbsp sugar in the raw
- 1 tsp lemon grass puree
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Chop mango segments in to small pieces, and refrigerate. Add coconut milk and rice to medium sauce pan and heat over low/medium flame for 5 minutes or until thick. Stir in salt and add sugar in tablespoon increments until rice reaches desired sweetness. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and distribute evenly into individual ramekins or small bowls. Set aside.
In a small saucepan add maple syrup, lemongrass puree and vanilla extract. stir until well blended and cool on low flame for about 3-4 minutes or until syrup begins to slightly reduce. Remove from heat and stir once more. Using a table spoon, drizzle lemongrass syrup onto rice pudding and add chopped mango on top. Serve and enjoy, or chill for later.