Coconut rice is known as an extremely unique specialty in the “coconut land” of Ben Tre. Although coconut rice is an idyllic, rustic, rural dish, to talk about the taste, it makes anyone who enjoys it must be drunk like a cigar. And in particular, to choose the ingredients as well as the way to cook this coconut rice dish requires the chef to be picky, meticulous and precise in a certain way.
The main ingredients for processing coconut rice are rice and coconut. The coconut chosen to cook for this dish must be Siamese coconut, so that the rice has a sweet, sweet, and greasy taste. As for rice, people often use Hau Giang white rice, which has berry white grains and is large and round.
To make a dish of coconut rice, the cook must first cut the top of the coconut and pour all the coconut water out. The coconut will now act like a rice cooker. The head that has just been cut off is the replacement for the lid of the pot. Hau Giang white rice, after being washed a few times with water, is poured into the coconut. Instead of using filtered water to cook rice as usual, the cook will use the coconut water just spent to cook the rice. As for cooking, people will not put the coconut directly on the fire, but will put it in a large pot and then bring it to a water bath.
In some places, some people even add potatoes, carrots, cove beans, diced mushrooms, lotus seeds, … to add more flavor to the rice.
Coconut rice is most delicious when enjoyed when it is just cooked and still hot. Because if left for a long time, the rice will be soaked in too much coconut oil and the rice grains will no longer be white but will turn pale yellow. According to people in Ben Tre, delicious coconut rice must be eaten with roasted shrimp and coconut milk. Roasted shrimp can choose the type of gourd shrimp, slug shrimp or giant freshwater shrimp, etc.. But for the best taste, it must still be the crayfish caught from the river.
For anyone who enjoys coconut rice, especially visitors who experience it for the first time, they will feel the sweet, greasy taste very clearly. Because during the time of water distillation, each grain of rice has been thoroughly soaked with fresh Siamese coconut water. And especially, the fatness of the surrounding copra makes the rice grains more fragrant, delicious and different than ever.
As for the fried shrimp with coconut water, it has a characteristic salty, rich, crispy flavor and also comes with the fatty and sweet taste of coconut water. Each grain of white rice is eaten with roasted shrimp, giving people a feeling that is hard to describe but also hard to forget.
If you have set foot in Ben Tre but you do not linger to enjoy coconut rice with roasted shrimp, then your trip to this coconut land is considered incomplete. Take advantage of the coconut rice dish to have both new experiences about the extremely rich culinary treasure, and have more unforgettable impressions about this land of Ben Tre!