Category: rice



Tteokbokki is the latest Korean culinary import to start trending in the states. In the last week alone I saw Bon Appetit feature a Tteobokki recipe, and even Trader Joe’s rolled out a frozen version. One of the most popular street foods in Korea, Tteokbokki read more

Java Rice

Java Rice

Java Rice is a dish so beloved that two different cultures claim it as their own. While it’s named after an island in Indonesia, Java rice is also an immensely popular Filipino dish. And it couldn’t be more simple. Just leftover rice mixed with a read more

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

I love rice so much that I made it into its own category, right up there with main dishes and salads. And coconut rice is one of my favorites. It’s creamy (but vegan!), rich, with just a hint of sweetness and a welcome crunch from the coconut flakes. It smells divine, and is made with things you likely have on hand. Like a little black dress, Coconut Rice goes everywhere and with everything.

coconut rice ingredients

Coconut, Two Ways!

My recipe for Coconut Rice uses both coconut cream and unsweetened coconut flakes. Coconut cream is to coconut milk what heavy cream is to dairy milk. Same ingredients, higher fat content. You can conveniently buy canned coconut cream, or you can use a couple cans of full-fat coconut milk and spoon out the cream that rises to the top of the can. As a lighter alternative, you can use coconut milk, but the flavor will be lighter and less concentrated. Unlike some recipes that call for adding the coconut cream at the beginning, I wait until the end so the coconut flavor is more pronounced.

I start by toasting the coconut flakes. Keep a close eye as they can go from perfectly golden to burnt in seconds. Want to use up the bag of coconut all at once? Toast it all off and save some to make Palitaw-you won’t regret it! If you want more texture, you could use larger shaved coconut or even one of the crunchy coconut snacks-just break it up a little.

flakes coconut rice

Jasmine Rice

I always reach for jasmine when making Coconut Rice. Its nutty aroma pairs beautifully with the coconut flavors, and jasmine rice grains stay separate and fluffy. You can choose any long grain rice for this, but no matter what you use, be sure to rinse it! (For a full dissertation on why rinsing rice is so important, read my earlier post about making perfect rice, every time.)


rinsing coconut rice

water coconut rice

At this point I like to let the rice rest 15-30 minutes. That helps it to cook more evenly. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this step.


coconut rice boiling

At this point the rice should look shiny and be mostly cooked through. It will be al dente, meaning firm, but should not have a core. Take a taste and if it’s still too hard, add a little water and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the Coconut Cream Later

Although many recipes have you mix in the coconut milk at the beginning of the recipe, I think that is a mistake. Between the thick coconut cream and the sugar, the rice often scorches at the bottom, but is undercooked towards the top. Moreover, rice needs even moist heat to cook properly and adding the coconut cream at the beginning keeps the rice from absorbing water by coating it with an oily film. Finally, by adding the cream in later, you keep the rich flavor intact without cooking it out.

cream coconut rice

Once your rice is done, it’s always a good idea to let it sit for a few minutes, which helps it absorb any remaining moisture. Then scoop onto a platter and garnish with the scallions and toasted coconut.

coconut rice garnish

Try it as the base for your favorite grain bowl, or as a side for Chicken Adobo. There’s honestly nothing that Coconut Rice doesn’t complement. I know you’re going to love this recipe; the incredible aroma and toasty coconut will make this a family favorite. Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe below, we love hearing from you. And let us see your creations by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen.

coconut rice feature


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coconut rice recipe card

Coconut Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (+30 minutes soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: rice
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian


  • 2 cups jasmine or long grain white rice
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions


  1. Preheat the oven to 275. Place the coconut on a small baking sheet and spread it out so you have an even layer. Bake it for about 3-5 minutes until it is a nice golden color. 
  2. Set the coconut aside to cool.
  3. Put the rice in a bowl and rinse it a couple of times with water to remove any excess starch. Put the rice in a heavy duty saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the water, sugar, and salt. Stir the rice to dissolve the sugar.
  4. If you have time, let the rice sit for 15-30 mins to let it start absorbing the water, which will help it cook more evenly. 
  5. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium high heat (it takes about 3 minutes), stirring once or twice with a spatula or wooden spoon, to keep the rice from scorching at the bottom. Lower the heat to medium low, stir the rice once more, cover with a lid, and cook for 12 mins.
  6. Check the rice. At this point the rice will be al dente, cooked but still firm. The rice grains should look shiny and will have lost their chalky dull look. If you’re not sure, take a fork and try a small taste. If it still has a bit of a core, add 2-3 more tablespoons of water and cook, covered, on medium low for 5 extra mins. 
  7. Then add the coconut cream, stir the rice once more, cover the pot again, lower the heat to low, and cook the rice for another 5 mins.
  8. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered in the pan for another 5 mins. 
  9. Scoop the rice onto a platter. Top the rice with scallions and coconut and serve. 

Keywords: coconut rice, coconut, asian sides

Kimchi Rice

Kimchi Rice

As a restaurant family, we frequently eat quite late at night. And there’s nothing more comforting after a looong day than a big bowl of Kimchi Rice. Carbs, delicious carbs! It’s also super quick to pull together, especially if you have leftover rice in the read more

Omusubi Rice Balls

Omusubi Rice Balls

Jamaica has meat patties. Argentina has empanadas. India has samosas, and Japan has omusubi. Omusubi Rice Balls are a savory handheld snack. They are enjoyed throughout the day in Japan, as a quick lunch or on the run snack. They are a shelf stable, portable read more

Sushi Party!

Sushi Party!

During covid so many people have told me that one of the things they miss most is going out to restaurants, particularly for sushi. They miss the ritual of sharing sake, dipping their rolls into soy sauce spiked with wasabi, and of course the exquisitely fresh fish. Well, good news!  You can recreate those flavors at home, and you don’t have to apprentice under a sushi chef for years to make it happen.

At the restaurant, we sell sushi kits where you receive everything you need to make sushi rolls at home, including the bamboo mat. We also provide a video and instructions to get you going. This theatrical way of creating sushi at home definitely speaks to an American interest in bridging dinner with entertainment. Plus, you need some practice to pull it off.

Sushi At Home-No Skills Needed

When I was a kid, we used to have sushi parties with extended family all of the time in the summer, but it was definitely more taco night than dinner theater. And we looked forward to dinner as soon as it was announced. All of the kids got to pick their favorite items and we would place them neatly on the table, along with plenty of sushi rice, nori sheets, and some wet kitchen towels. Why kitchen towels? Because you need them to keep your hands stick-free.

In Japan, no one whips out a sushi mat to bang out dozens of rolls for the family-ok, a couple people may do this. Instead, we make hand rolls, which are easy to do (children make their own all the time), customizable, and stress free. Plus, it’s a ton of fun. The cook gets to hang out with everyone else because there’s no more cooking or preparation once the hungry guests arrive. All of the prep can be done in stages, earlier in the day, or even the day before. And it’s finger food. Who doesn’t love eating with their hands?

This Sushi Party takes all the elements you love about sushi and turns them into a fun and interactive dinner party. And because we are making handheld rolls, you won’t need any special equipment either. So grab your sushi missing crew, and get ready to party!

sushi party ingredients

Setting Up a Sushi Party

First, make a batch of sushi rice and let it cool. Today, we are making sushi rice that closely resembles the recipe and technique we use at the restaurant. It’s not difficult and it makes a huge difference when rice is a major component in the dish. Good sushi rice enhances the freshness of the ingredients and neutralizes some of the stronger seafood flavors, so there is a gentle balance. Traditional sushi rolls (before spicy mayo, eel sauce, and sriracha) have very few flavors, so properly seasoned sushi rice is key.

I cannot overstate the importance of selecting high quality sushi rice (my favorite in the US is Tamaki) and cooking the rice with some time and care. (But there are days when you just gotta get something on the dinner table, am I right? And if you’re running home and some sushi rice is the last thing you need in order to get this party going, then don’t let rice get in the way. A quicker recipe for sushi rice is available in Salmon Poke Bowls.)


sushi rice ingredients


sushi rice

vinegar sushi rice

Go Fish!

Next, you need the fish! I like to assemble a mixture. Tuna, salmon, snapper, cooked shrimp, those packages of crab legs- all are excellent choices. I talk more about selecting sushi grade fish here. And if you can get your hands on some cooked eel, or unagi, that’s a great addition. Inari, which is canned fried tofu (they may also carry it in the freezer section), is a nice option for vegetarians. Once you have all the seafood prepped and ready, pile it all neatly on a platter, and keep it covered in the fridge until ready to go.

sushi party fish

sushi party eel

Prep Sushi Veggies

Now that the fish is ready, it’s time to get the vegetables ready. What would sushi be without cucumber and avocado to enhance your rolls? The fresh, crunchy creamy additions are what make the rolls sing.

sushi party cucumber

avocado sushi party

Sushi Condiments

Sushi just isn’t sushi without all of the accoutrements. Scallions, sesame seeds, masago caviar, Kewpie mayonnaise, soy sauce, sriracha (almost obligatory now), and of course wasabi and pickled ginger, all enhance the sushi experience.

Mix up the wasabi powder with water, and gather all of the other condiments on a platter.

sushi party wasabi

(Sushi) Party Time!

Gather everyone around, and let them make their own rolls. It’s fun and easy!

roll sushi party

cone sushi party

We like to eat them and make more as we go. That way the nori stays crisp. I pour the soy sauce over while I’m holding it so everything stays in the little ice cream cone.

sushi party soy sauce


Hosting a sushi party is so much fun! Mix up a batch of ginger saketinis, put on some music, and let the good times roll. Rate this recipe or leave a comment below, and be sure to let us see your own sushi party by tagging us in your insta pics @funkyasiankitchen.

sushi hand rolls



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sushi rice

Sushi Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4


Authentic Japanese sushi rice


  • 2 cups short grain Japanese rice (preferably tamaki gold or nishiki)
  • 2 cups water plus 2 tablespoons if using stove top method
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2”x2” piece of kombu kelp (about the size of your palm)


Rinse Rice:

  1. Wash rice thoroughly under running water using a gentle scrubbing motion. You are trying to wash away some of the outer starch on the rice. Wash the rice twice and drain water.  

Cook Rice:

  1. If using an automatic rice cooker, use the cup that comes with the cooker to measure 2 cups. Then, after rinsing fill the water up to line #2 on the sushi rice or white rice line and push the start button. (Otherwise, rinse the rice as described above and then put it in a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid and pour 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water over the rice. Let the rice sit for 30 mins for best results.)
  1. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium low, stir the rice once with a fork, cover with a lid, and cook until the water disappears, the steam starts to create little holes on the surface, and the rice starts to puff up. This will take approximately 7-8 mins. 
  1. Then stir the rice once more with a fork, cover the pot again, and lower the heat to low and cook the rice for another 10-12 mins.

Check for Doneness:

  1. Check the rice. The rice grains should look shiny and will have lost their chalky dull look. Take a fork and try a small taste if you’re not sure. If the rice is done, let it sit covered for another 5 mins. If it still has a bit of a core, add 2-3 more tablespoons of water and cook, covered, on low for 5 extra mins.

Make Sushi Rice Vinegar:

  1. While the rice is resting, make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sake, sugar, and salt to a simmer over medium high heat in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture starts to simmer, turn off the heat and add the kelp. Let the vinegar cool to room temperature, then remove the kelp. Set aside until ready to use.
  1. Turn the rice out into a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the seasoning vinegar onto the hot rice.  Mix the rice using a gentle, slight chopping action. Do not over mix or the rice will become gluey. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes to start absorbing the vinegar and then lightly mix again. Let the rice sit out and cool to room temperature before using.


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sushi party recipe card

Sushi Party!

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes!
  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • 1 recipe sushi rice
  • 8 ounces seafood (any combination of tuna, salmon, snapper, unagi, shrimp, or crab meat is a good start)
  • european cucumber
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can inari fried seasoned tofu (optional but good for vegetarians)
  • 3 tablespoons masago or tobiko caviar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Kewpie mayonnaise
  • Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons wasabi powder


sushi ginger


For the Wasabi:

  1. Mix the wasabi powder with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Mix until the paste is smooth.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Prep the Seafood:

  1. For the tuna and salmon, cut the fish into thin slices and then cut the slices into thin batons/logs.
  2. Next put the fish on a plate.
  3. If your plate is large enough, arrange all of the seafood on it. If not, then use a couple of plates keeping your piles neat and attractive. Keep all raw fish covered and refrigerated until ready to use. 

To Serve:

  1. Put all of your veggies on one plate. Cut the cucumber chunk in half lengthwise and then cut the two pieces in half. Cut across the tops to remove the seeds. Then slice the cucumber into long thin pieces. Place the cucumber on a large plate.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seeds. Cut each avocado half into 10-12 thin pieces. Peel the skin off and put the avocado next to the cucumber. Take the inari out of the can. You can leave the pieces whole or cut it into thin pieces. Put it into a small bowl to contain the juice and then put the bowl on the plate with the other veggies.
  3. Next, put all of the condiments together on a plate. Put the scallions, caviar, sesame seeds, mayonnaise, and sriracha in small containers with little spoons so it is easy to access.
  4. Finally, put out the nori sheets, sushi rice, soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger. 

Make Rolls:

  1. First take a half sheet of nori and spread 2-3 tablespoons of rice on the left side of the nori. Smear a small amount of wasabi on the middle of the rice if using.
  2. Then add a couple pieces of seafood, veggies, or some condiments. 
  3. Take the bottom left corner and bring it up over the filling so you create a cone shape.
  4. Keep rolling until you come to the end of the nori.
  5. You can secure the end with a little dab of rice.



  • It’s best to eat as you go and not make the rolls all at once to preserve the crisp texture of the nori. I like to pour a little soy sauce directly on top of the roll so the filling doesn’t have a chance to spill out.