• Black rice breakfast with tropical fruit (Gluten-free bircher muesli)Source: Gluten-free bircher muesli

This recipe borrows a bit from several Asian cuisines. It is not faithful to any one country, but is delightful all the same. 







Skill level

Average: 3.1 (13 votes)

If you don’t have a chance to soak the rice overnight, it will take about 15–20 minutes longer to cook and you’ll need to add a little more water as the rice starts to thicken. 


  • 400 ml (13½ oz) tin coconut milk, chilled overnight 
  • 200 g (7 oz/1 cup) glutinous (sticky) black rice, soaked overnight in cold water and drained 
  • 2 strips pandan leaf, tied in a knot or ½ tsp pandan essence 
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or rapadura sugar 
  • pinch of sea salt flakes 


To serve 

  • sliced mango
  • lychees
  • toasted flaked coconut 
  • shredded lime zest 
  • crushed toasted sesame seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Carefully open the tin of coconut milk and scoop out 80 ml (2½ oz/⅓ cup) of the thickened coconut cream from the top of the tin. Place in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. 

Place the drained rice in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the remaining coconut milk from the tin, along with the pandan leaf or essence and 375 ml (12½ oz/1½ cups) water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30–35 minutes or until the rice is tender. Keep a close eye on the mixture as it starts to thicken. Add a little more hot water if the rice becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan. 

When the rice is tender, stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until it reaches the consistency you like (I like it so that it falls from the spoon in heavy dollops). Remove and discard the pandan leaves. 

Serve the rice into bowls and top with the reserved coconut cream along with mango, lychees, toasted coconut, lime zest and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. 


This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.