Among the rice eating community here in Asia, the Japanese are possibly the ones who pays the most attention and dedication to the types and quality of rice they consume. The myriad of Japanese rice varieties available at the Japanese supermarkets fascinates me. A couple of months ago, I bought 3kg of Japanese short grain brown rice at the Japanese supermarket just so that I could use the rice polishing machine there. By turning the knob on the machine, I was able to select the different degree to which I would like my rice to be polished. Last month, during the Chinese dumpling Festival, someone was raving to me how the Japanese short grain glutinous rice makes really tasty sweet dumpling. During my last trip to Japan in April, my Taiwanese colleague had the gall to ask me to help him lug back the latest electric rice cooker that cost US$400! The latest model by Zojiroshi (the elephant brand) , it came with vaccumm and high pressure features that cook each rice grain to the core (including the harder brown rice) in a shorter time to yield a more fluffy and bouncy texture. I was intrigued, ...I was...but alas the voltage setting does not work in Singapore. Sigh, yes, almost all things made in Japan are good, (I hear protests over the recent Toyota debacle). Their dedication to and appreciation for quality and perfection are almost always reflected in the things produced in Japan.
2 weeks ago when I was on my business trip in China, I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in Hong Kong while I was running between southern China and Shanghai. One of my favourite haunts in Hong Kong is the City Super Fine Food super market. This time, I must have spent close to 45mins, lingering over the Rice and Grain Section, peering at the different types of Jasmine rice, Arboria rice, Taiwanese short grain rice (these are also becoming really good) and the huge selection of Japanese rice stored specially like good wine in a dedicated refrigerator. I was particularly drawn to the short grain white glutinous rice and black glutinous rice. The Japanese short grain glutinous rice grains were snow white with a lovely luminescence while the black glutinous rice were jet black, plump and looked more like black sesame than rice. I had really wanted to get both but that would add weight to my luggage and I still have more than a week's travel to manage. In the end I chose to only get the black glutinous rice and for the rest of trip, I was contemplating about what to do with them when I get home.
So, if you know of other black glutinous rice recipes, please do enlighten -I am looking forward to experiment with the rest of my short grain black glutinous rice.
100g Black Glutinous Rice, washed
3 Cups Coconut Juice
Sugar To taste.
2 Pandanus Leaves, knotted
20ml Coconut cream
1. Soak black glutinous rice over night and wash until water is clear. (water will purple in colour but should be clear)
2. In a pot place drained black glutinous rice, coconut juice, pinch of salt and sugar (I did not add sugar as I was happy with the natural sweetness of coconut juice) and pandan leaves. Bring to boil, lower heat to medium and continue simmer for 45 mins. I did this without covering the pot. If the water dries up, add more coconut juice or water.
3. When rice is cooked, (I cooked to soften with an al dante bite - some may prefer this to be more 'mushy') stir in coconut cream at low heat. Bring to low simmer for 2 mins. Remove from heat and cool down a little if preferred and serve with a dollop of durian pulp.