SOS: RockSugar’s festive rice

Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I absolutely love the food at RockSugar in Century City. Everything is always so fresh and delicious. One of my favorites is the festive rice. Do you think you could obtain the recipe?

Helga Niederhoff

Pacific Palisades

Dear Helga: RockSugar was happy to share its recipe for this wonderfully fragrant and flavorful rice. A garnish of chopped cashews emphasizes the nutty flavor of the rice.

RockSugar’s festive rice


Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: Adapted from RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen in Century City. We show the rice garnished with chopped cashews.

2 cups jasmine or basmati rice

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 small (2-inch) stick cinnamon

1 whole star anise

1 green cardamom pod, lightly crushed

1 whole clove

1 small lemon grass stalk, cleaned and bruised

1/4 cup finely diced white onion

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 1/2 cups water

2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Rinse the rice in a colander and place it in a large bowl. Add water to cover the rice by 1 inch and soak it for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom, clove, lemon grass and white onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the turmeric, and stir for 10 seconds to incorporate. Stir in the coconut milk, water and kosher salt, and continue to cook until the liquid comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Immediately add the drained rice. Stir gently until the liquid comes to a simmer again, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Continue to cook over very low heat until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and gently fluff the rice. Remove the spices and serve immediately. This makes about 5 cups of rice.

Each of 10 servings: 242 calories; 4 grams protein; 34 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 10 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sugar; 258 mg sodium.