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Pandan, an aromatic Southeast Asian plant, is the perfect compliment for these coconut cream-centered arancini balls.

Pandan Arancini Dessert


  • 1 can coconut cream

  • 1 cup glutinous rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 15 to 20 pandan leaves

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup panko

  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 3 cups peanut, coconut or grapeseed oil, for frying


  1. Place the rice in a fine mesh sieve and run under cold water until the water runs clear. Add rice to a sauce pot.

  2. Wash the pandan leaves and cut them into 3-inch pieces. Place in blender with the water, and puree until as smooth as possible. Strain through a fine mesh sieve directly into the pot of rice, and discard the fibrous solids. Soak for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Fill a silicon mold with small circular shapes with the coconut cream. (Try to open the can as carefully as possible without shaking it, so that you can use the coconut cream without any liquid.) Freeze overnight or until completely solid.

  4. After rice is done soaking, add sugar and salt to the pot, then place over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Cover, and lower temperature so that rice is simmering. Offset the lid on the pot so that some steam can escape. Let cook for about 10 minutes, then check rice. Cook until all of the pandan water has been absorbed.

  5. Once rice is cooked through, make sure lid is snug and let steam for about 10 minutes.

  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread sticky rice on top, adding another sheet of parchment to the top. Place in fridge to chill.

  7. In a food processor, add panko and coconut, and pulse until combined and panko and coconut are finely ground. Transfer to a baking dish.

  8. Place oil in a medium pot and heat to 350 degrees.

  9. When rice is chilled, pull it out of the fridge with the coconut balls. Just like arancini, wrap the rice around each coconut ball. Place arancini in panko mix and toss to coat.

  10. Fry arancini, then drain on a plate with paper towels. Serve immediately.

 Pandan Arancini Dessert




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- One of my favorite flavors I discovered while traveling is pandan, and I'm gonna show you a really cool way to incorporate it into a classic dish like arancini and have it for dessert. Let's get started. So we're gonna start by making our pandan liquid that we're gonna cook our rice in. And this is pandan. It's from Southeast Asia. We're gonna make a little puree. And we're gonna cover that with water. Get that on nice and tight. All right. This is looking pretty blended, so we're gonna strain it straight into our pot with rice. We've got our strainer. We're just going straight into our rice. This is a beautiful green color. And we're just gonna let this soak for about 30 minutes to start absorbing some of that liquid. So I've got some coconut cream here, and we're gonna freeze it. So I'm just gonna scrape it into this silicone candy mold. All right, our coconut is in our candy mold, and we're gonna go pop this in the freezer. All right, I've put our coconut into the freezer, so it's time to cook our rice. We're gonna add some sugar. We're gonna add a little bit of salt. Give it a little stir and get the heat going. So we're gonna have it on fairly high heat just to get the liquid up to temp and boiling. Then we're gonna lower the heat and let the rice cook, sort of like you would regular rice, except we're actually gonna leave the lid offset so some steam can escape. So our rice has cooked and absorbed all of the liquid, so now what we're gonna do is we're gonna let it steam. So we're just gonna snugly adjust our lid. That's now letting no steam escape, and that's gonna sit for another little bit before we spread it out and chill it. Our rice is ready to chill. So, since our pot is hot, carefully remove the lid. And I've just got a spoon and a little bit of oil, just since the rice is sticky. Oh, the smell is fantastic. That's gonna do it. So we'll just cover this with our second sheet of parchment paper, and we're gonna pop this in the fridge or the freezer to chill. All right, I've got my frozen coconut balls, and I've got my chilled rice, so it's time to start rolling our arancini. Pop these guys out. What's nice is it sort of stays in a flat layer, which makes it easier to just roll our rice around. And these we're gonna drop into a mixture I have here of panko breadcrumbs, shredded coconut. And you wanna use an oil with no flavor but a fairly high smoking point. So we're just gonna gently drop them in with a spider. And these should fry up pretty quickly. Remember, everything's cooked. And these are gonna just gush in the middle with that coconut. They're gonna be really hot, so be careful. But you do wanna serve them pretty hot. Oh my goodness. Mm. The flavor is amazing. The vanillainess from the pandan and the coconut in the center. This is definitely a dessert you're gonna wanna try.

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