Sweet Cambodian New Year's Treat

By Ratha Tep Posted December 27, 2007

Traditionally during celebrations of the Cambodian New Year, in mid-April, a dessert of coconut-y sticky rice-covered banana, either steamed or grilled in banana leaf, is served. Even though I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I crave it all year long. For this New Year's Eve, instead of making the wraps, I'll make a different,  super-simple Cambodian dessert that my mother taught me over the Christmas holiday. It has the a same oozy, coconut-y sweetness of the wraps—but it takes a whole lot less time and effort.

Sweet Coconut Rice Cake
Makes 12 servings
2 cups uncooked sticky rice (also known as glutinous rice)
2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon shredded coconut
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch of salt

In a medium, two-quart bowl, soak rice in enough water to submerge it by an inch. Drain water after two hours. In another medium bowl, whisk coconut milk, sugar and salt. In a large pot, combine rice and coconut milk mixture over high heat, and bring to a boil, about eight minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, stirring occasionally, until there’s no more liquid, about 12 minutes. Spread out evenly on a 13-inch by nine-inch rectangular pan. Sprinkle shredded coconut and sesame seeds. Let cake cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving.


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