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THAI GRILLED COCONUT-RICE PANCAKES
(KANOM KROK)
 
3 14-oz. cans coconut milk or 1 3/4 cups coconut cream with 3 1/2 cups lighter coconut milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. tapioca or arrowroot flour
3 tbsp. uncooked white jasmine rice
1/3 cup finely shredded fresh coconut, or 1/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups rice flour
2 tsp. sea salt
2 to 3 tbsp. peanut or corn oil

Optional Filling Ingredients:

1/4 cup green onions, cut in thin rounds
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
2 tbs. cilantro leaves

If using canned coconut milk, spoon into a small saucepan 13/4 cup of the creamiest part from the top of three cans of coconut milk. Heat just enough to melt and smooth out the lumps. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool before mixing in 2 1/2 tablespoons of tapioca or arrowroot flour. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

Combine the remaining coconut milk from the cans and stir until smooth, heating if necessary to melt the coagulated parts. Allow to cool. Grind the uncooked white rice in a food mill or clean coffee grinder as finely as possible. Do the same with the shredded coconut.

Combine the two with the rice flour, salt and coconut milk. Stir and mix until well blended and smooth. Heat a well-seasoned kanom krok griddle (or substitute with an Ebelskiver pancake griddle) on the stove, in a hot oven or over a small round barbecue kettle with medium-hot charcoals. When the griddle is hot, brush the surface indentations with peanut or corn oil. Wait a few seconds before spooning the salty rice mixture into each indentation to about two-thirds full. The batter should sizzle when it hits the hot metal. (If you have a teakettle with a spout, you may find it helpful as a container from which to pour the rice batter onto the griddle.)

Before the batter sets, add a dab of the sweet coconut cream mixture over the top to fill and sprinkle the center of each cake with a little bit of one of the toppings, or leave plain. Cover with a round lid and allow to cook for a few minutes, or until the pancakes are firm and crispy brown on the bottom. Remove gently with a rounded spoon. Re-grease the griddle before making the next batch.

Because rice flour tends to settle, stir the coconut mixture well before pouring onto the griddle. Serve warm.

Submitted by: RC
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