This time I tried out flavoring my coconut sticky rice with pandan. I had William make this while I was working on the other dishes.
We made our own fresh coconut cream from frozen coconut shreds and also did a second pressing to make coconut milk. We learned tonight that you can get the most liquid by using cheesecloth to squeeze the coconut solids (it was William's idea to try the cheesecloth). There is still milk left in the solids, when you just pressing the coconut solids against the side of a fine mesh strainer; to really extract all the flavor you need to squeeze and twist the solids in cheesecloth. We added 2 cups of hot water to about 2 cups of frozen shredded coconut; this made about 3 cups of coconut milk.
In addition, he also made about 2 cups of coconut milk by pressing the coconut solids a second time. He likes to drink this either as is, or with a bit of palm sugar mixed in (we used a few spoonfuls (to taste) of the pandan, palm sugar, and coconut cream sauce to sweeten it. Palm sugar is more authentic, but sometimes he also uses brown sugar since it dissolves more easily than palm sugar in cold coconut milk (palm sugar often needs the milk to be warmed to dissolve it).
We made pandan flavored coconut sticky rice twice, using two slightly different methods. The first time, we cut 2 pandan leaves into 1 inch pieces and blend it (using a blender) with 1 cup coconut cream, and then we cooked the mixture with 4 Tbsp palm sugar and 1/3 tsp salt, for about 10 minutes, and then strained it the mixture using a fine meshed strainer. We mixed about half of the pandan flavored sugared coconut milk with 1 cup of Thai sticky rice, and served it with some sliced mango. I was hoping that this would come out a brighter green. This pandan adds a very subtle bubblegum-like flavoring, though it is hard to detect.
The second time, I cut a lot of pandan leaves (as many pandan leaves as would fit into 1 cup of coconut milk--I wanted to use up the extra that I defrosted) into about 1-inch pieces. I then simmered the pandan leaves, coconut, and palm sugar for about 20 minutes, until the pandan became darker and had softened and started to turn the liquid green. I then strained the liquid and used it to flavor rice. The green color wasn't very strong; I probably could have blended it to extract more flavor and color.
After simmer for 20 minutes:
The liquid after straining: