My Recipe Box

Slow-Cooker Citrus-Lemongrass Rice Pudding


Serves 6 to 8

  • by from Year-Round Slow Cooker

This simple-to-prepare rice pudding—delicious served cold or warm—is creamy and perfumed with the Thai flavors of citrus and lemongrass. It's best when made with medium-grain white rice, as for risotto. Don’t use long-grain or brown rice, which takes longer to cook and requires more liquid. To save time, zest the citrus with a Microplane rasp.

  • Cooking spray
  • 5-inch length fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3-1⁄2 cups coconut milk (not low fat), well shaken
  • 1-1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1⁄2 cups uncooked medium-grain white rice, such as arborio, rinsed with cold water and drained
  • 1-1⁄2 Tbs. total freshly grated lemon, orange, and lime zest (use a mixture for the best flavor); more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground cardamom
To adapt a slow-cooker recipe to a conventional oven, follow these guidelines: add more liquid, to accommodate for greater evaporation; bring the dish to a boil over high heat in a Dutch oven, then cover the pot and put in a 350°F oven. Plan on the dish taking roughly half the time to cook in the oven as it would in the slow cooker.

Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the lemongrass on a small piece of cheesecloth, form into a bundle, and secure tightly with kitchen twine. Add to a medium-size, heavy saucepan, along with the milk, coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Stir and bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat (to prevent curdling, do not let boil).

Pour the hot mixture, including the lemongrass sachet, into the slow cooker. Add the rice and stir well. Cover and cook on low until the rice is completely tender, about 2 hours (you want there to be some liquid left). Remove from the heat, discard the lemongrass sachet, and stir in the zest, vanilla, and cardamom.

Let cool slightly, then pour into individual serving bowls, cover, and refrigerate until cold. If desired, garnish with additional zest before serving.

Photo: Andrew Hugh Purcell

Out of this world good! I feel like I've been transported half way across the world. This is something I have definitely tasted in Thailand before. The flavors are exotic but not too overpowering, as someone else wrote. I can't imagine making this without the citrus or cardamom! The lemongrass is perfectly accented by the other flavors. However, I changed things slightly by adding the vanilla bean paste in with the milks on the stove top. This helped the paste to incorporate better into the mixture I believe. I also added the cardamom once I put everything into the slow cooker before turning it on and gave it a good mix. I also substituted one cup of agave nectar for the sugar as I'm not big on using white sugar whenever possible. It probably could have used even less agave. Coconut nectar would have been even better, I bet. Using the nectar definitely made it browner than your traditional rice pudding, but none the less tastey! Oh, I also used short grain japanese rice as that was all I had on hand, which gives it a slightly more sticky consistency. It ended up taking twice as long to cook in my slow cooker, and I stirred it every twenty minutes or so because I could see that the rice would clump up and stick to the bottom otherwise. All in all an excellent recipe, and something perfect to make for a pot luck, especially if you really want to wow other people's taste buds!

Wow! This is so incredibly delicious (with my adjustments)! You MUST try it. A few things: 1 hour and 45 minutes, I opened the pot to check the texture of the rice and all the rice was clumped at the bottom. I had to stir it and break apart the rice, so the milk could be absorbed. So, the texture was uneven at that point, but I let it sit for another 15 minutes. Maybe it is just my slow cooker? I have a cuisinart programmable 3.5 quart. Next time I make it, I might just try it in a regular stove top saucer? I also think that it tastes best without the added ingredients at the end (zest, vanilla and cardamom). It is really strong with those added. They are unnecessary, in my opinion. I know the recipe says citrus, but ah well. Lol. I also added a lot more milk in the end because it was not moist enough for my taste. So, I give it a 5 star for the taste without the zest, vanilla and cardamom.

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