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Green Tea Coconut Rice

green-tea-coconut-rice

I’m a bit obsessed with Matcha green tea.

Maybe it has something to do with the bright grassy flavor that almost makes the mouth pucker. Perhaps it’s because with Matcha, you drink the entire tea leaf, not leaves infused in hot water and then removed. It could be the disarmingly green color and hear me clearly, it should be bright and bold.

The color actually reflects the quality of the tea. While there are cheap versions of Matcha out there, you’ll find them to be dull in color and flat in flavor. Spend the money and invest in good Matcha. You might find yourself newly obsessed. This Japanese green tea typically is served infused with hot water and a special whisk to froth it. Often times, and in the United States it’s become popular to whisk Matcha with hot milk for a creamy beverage.

Maybe you’ve tried Matcha and you didn’t know it. If you’ve guzzled a Green Tea Smoothie or licked and slurped Green Tea ice cream, then chances are pretty high that you too have lapped on the luxurious green tea that is Matcha.

So it’s not such a far leap to consider how that bright, grassy flavor might deepen the creamy decadence that is Coconut Rice. I give you two suggestions below: for a more subtle Green Tea Coconut Rice, use only 2 teaspoons of Matcha and you’ll find the tea will paint the rice kernels a pale green with a flavor profile that is creamy, almost sweet with a slight green tea finish. For something a bit more bold and pictured below, use 2 tablespoons of Matcha green tea and you’ll find a much more pronounced tea flavor, a bright green hue with a slight creaminess of coconut. This bolder Green Tea Coconut Rice really works well and stands up to Asian cuisine like the Thai take-out we ordered for dinner earlier in the month.

SIDE DISH RECIPES- green-tea-coconut-rice

 

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GREEN TEA COCONUT RICE

YIELD: 6-8 side servings

This is one grassy and stark green rice. If you want something a bit more subtle where you get the green tea flavor in the finish with the coconut milk playing front fiddle, use only 2 teaspoons of Matcha. I tried it this way and it is a subtle cerulean green with a creamy slightly sweet flavor that ends on a grassy bright note. I prefer mine with more tea and even found it stood up to the flavors of Thai food when we paired it with take-out earlier in the month. It’s your call. I wouldn’t suggest swapping out light coconut milk for the real deal. It’s really quite pronounced of a difference and your rice is left wanting that supple quality that the full fat milk brings to it and the mingling with tea. Also, I tried this recipe with basmati rice but found the texture to be superb with a long grain white rice which served as a great canvas for the flavors. Special thanks goes out to friend Caryl at Lotus Foods for giving me samples of their specialty Mekong Flower rice to test in the recipe. It cooked up beautifully and gave a great texture.

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons Matcha green tea

2 cups long grain white rice

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk

  1. Rinse rice twice and discard rinsing liquid. Set aside.
  2. Bring water to a gentle boil. Measure out your Matcha and place in a measuring receptacle (like my Pyrex 2 cup measuring glass), slowly whisk in the boiling water. Now this is key: while you are eventually going to add enough water to the Pyrex glass to equal that 1 ½ cups, initially during the whisking stage, you want to only pour in a little bit of water- say ½ cup as it will make whisking easier. As you notice that any large clumps or notice that your tea is without clumps, add the rest of the hot water and whisk.
  3. Add your coconut milk and whisked Matcha tea to a heavy pot and place over high heat, stirring together. Once you find that the coconut milk and Matcha have integrated well and you are beginning to have larger bubbles on the surface of the liquid, add the rinsed rice and stir.
  4. Cover your pot and turn down the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS
This is a very versatile and unexpected side dish. The key is to pair it with foods that will not overpower the Matcha and coconut flavors.  I’ve provided a few ideas to get you started. Let me know if you come up with your own pairing suggestions.

FISH- Consider pairing with a filet of salmon or perhaps this Confetti Tilapia.

VEGETARIAN- Serve with a side of the white beans from this stew.

CHICKEN-  Try this with roasted chicken seasoned with garlic, ginger and shallots.

green-tea-coconut-rice-toasted

DOUBLE THE COCONUT
You could dice fresh coconut and throw it into the pot for an extra punch of coconut or textural difference. You could even toast some unsweetened coconut and then sprinkle some on top of your finished fluffed rice as pictured above. I find that the rice is lovely without either of these additions, though I tried it with both. Your choice.

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Categories
Recipes

Green Tea Granola

BREAKFAST RECIPES- Green Tea Granola

This past Saturday, early in the morning, we decked out tables with pink and coral tablecloths in front of Noe Valley Pets and nearby Omnivore Books. As San Francisco food bloggers arrived with their freshly baked goods, we assembled them into categories by price and hugged the participating bakers or in my case tackled them with iPhone instagram photo-taking.

san-francisco-food-bloggers-bakesale san-francisco-food-bloggers-bakesale-tableomnivore-books

A box of cherry chocolate macarons flanked a box of mini macarons on one table. On another gorgeous loaves of sprouted wheat sourdough and miso rye bread sat near a dark chocolate earl grey tart. Dispersed over the tables we positioned s’mores cookies near bubblegum marshmallows and gluten free chocolate chip cookies.

allison from bake your heart outstephanie-shih-desserts-for-breakfastariel-jutkowitz

Peanut butter chocolate dream bars schemed with nearby peanut butter and jelly cheesecake bars. Chocolate raspberry sables were situated near strawberry tarts. From the cheery presence of a table well filled with sweet treats, passersby began meandering over to the San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale before we opened.

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Throughout the day, a steady stream of people popped by the table as bakers mingled, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. This is truly one of the joys of participating in something like a bake sale.

From the desire to do good in our community comes community. This is priceless.

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I have enjoyed working with Anita, Irvin and Shauna the past few years to organize the bake sale. In fact, I still remember befriending Irvin that first year as we both were the only bakers to bake gluten free. New friendships have been a bake sale perk. All of the amazing volunteer food blogger bakers make the bake sale one happy event. Aside from this, our reason to bake is bigger than us. At Taste of the Nation, there was a prevailing attempt to keep front of mind the reason for the fete and likewise, we had some good opportunities to talk with people at the bake sale who walked by, interested in baked goods as much as the cause at hand. It surprises me still to hear the statistic that 1 in 5 children in the Bay Area are at risk of hunger.

Being a part of the nationwide Great American Bake Sale and joining hundreds of home cooks baking across the United States for Share our Strength is something that reminds us that the issue is much larger than just something occurring in the Bay Area. The work being done to bring awareness and resources to the issue is far bigger too. I’m happy to report raising $1140 for Share our Strength was a sweet way to spend a Saturday in Noe Valley this April.

green-tea-granola

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GREEN TEA GRANOLA
A healthy food blogger friend and I chatted recently and he lamented that bake sales never have healthy choices from which to choose. I apparently decided to take that as a challenge and whipped up a batch of granola with just enough oil and a hint of sweetener. I had a tendency of munching on a few tendrils of Gyokuro tea leaves at my desk with their walnut flavor and had been toying with baking them into granola for a while now. I’ve baked it into shortbread cookies for the Bake Sale for Japan last year. This is not a particularly sweet granola. Instead, you’ll find it to be slightly roasted in flavor  from the amaranth, sesame and oats with a delightful nutty accent of the walnuts and green tea mingling with just a hint of maple syrup and agave. I give some suggestions of how to modify this recipe in a few end notes.

YIELDS: 7 pint sized mason jars (perfect for a bake sale fundraiser – cut out colorful labels listing the ingredients so shoppers with food allergies can be informed.)

4 cups rolled oats

2 cups chopped walnuts

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons amaranth

1 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

2 tablespoons Gyokuro green tea

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil

3 tablespoons agave

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place a sheet of parchment onto a four-sided baking sheet.

2. Place a pan over medium high heat and let the pan get hot. Test that the pan is hot enough by putting a drop of water in the pan. If it sizzles, then the pan is hot enough and you’re ready. Pour the amaranth in your hot pan 1 tablespoon at a time. The amaranth pops quickly, so take heed for they will burn quickly.

3. Pour the popped amaranth after it’s popped, into a bowl with oats, walnuts, sultanas and sesame seeds. Stir the mixture.

4. In a small sauce pan and over low heat combine the grapeseed oil, maple syrup, agave, cardamom, salt and Gyokuro tea leaves. Stir until heated through and combined. The green tea leaves will tinge the sweetened oil slightly.

5. Stir the green tea oil into the oat mixture until coated. Pour the green tea granola onto the baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven and stir twice during the baking. Place the baking sheet of granola on a rack after it’s done to harden and cool.

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten free oats in place of regular rolled oats. Also, if you’re going this route, make sure all equipment used is thoroughly washed down if it might have come in contact with gluten. Keep all wheat products and products with gluten segregated from your work surface and away from ingredients you’re using to make your granola.

LIKE IT SWEET: Add another tablespoon of maple syrup. That will still only give you a slight maple flavor. If you really want it sweeter, my suggestion would be to top some vanilla yogurt or other flavored yogurt which are typically pretty high in sweetener with an ounce of granola.

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