3 ways to cook with coconut oil

Three simple, tasty recipes to get you inspired and started with the oh-so-trendy coconut oil

“Nasi Lemak” with Otak-Flavoured Grilled Fish
“Nasi Lemak” with Otak-Flavoured Grilled Fish
30 Nov 2015

“Nasi Lemak” with Otak-Flavoured Grilled Fish

Preliminary research by an undergraduate student and his professor at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, has shown that cooking rice with coconut oil added to the water can reduce the rice’s calorie content by up to 50 per cent. According to The Washington Post, this method alters the starch in white rice to “resistant starch" that our bodies can’t digest. Which means fewer calories per bowl of grains. Apparently, for it to work, you need to add coconut oil to the water while it’s boiling, then add the raw rice. Finally, you cool the grains in the fridge for about 12 hours before consuming them. We can’t vouch for the veracity of these claims, but it can’t hurt to try. The best part about this nasi lemak for health nuts is that you’re better off getting started a day ahead. Besides cooking the rice the night before to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits, you should also make the rempah (spice blend) and marinate the fish overnight to get the best flavour. Which means that on the day of your meal, you need to do very little work. This one-dish meal offers pretty much the same lemak shiok-ness of coconut milk-infused rice, but with fewer calories. Sweet!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

For the rice:
1 cup white rice
2-3 tsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil
1½ cups water

For the fish:
1cm piece fresh turmeric (kunyit)
10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water and drained
3 fresh red chillies
12 slices galangal (lengkuas)
2 candlenuts
½ tsp belacan
1 tbsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 snapper or cod fillet (about 180g)

*To make the rice, bring water to the boil in a pot.
*Add coconut oil to the boiling water, then the rice.
*Cover the pot with a lid and reduce heat to low for the barest simmer.
*Cook rice for 20 to 25 minutes.
*Allow the rice to cool, then chill in the fridge overnight.
*Reheat rice when necessary (try steaming or microwaving).
*To make the fish, place the turmeric, dried chillies, fresh chillies, galangal, candlenuts and belacan in a small food processor and blend to form a paste. Or pound using a mortar and pestle. Add coconut oil and salt, and mix.
*Smear the fish fillet with this paste and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 15 mins or overnight.
*Place the fish on a piece of foil and grill in a 180°C pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
*To serve, place the heated rice on a serving plate and top with the baked fish. Garnish with some cucumber slices, if desired.

Coconut Oil “Kaya”
Coconut Oil “Kaya”
30 Nov 2015

Coconut Oil “Kaya”

In this no-cook wholesome raw “kaya”, you get all the rich, fragrant flavours of kaya without the sugar and coconut milk. You could also throw in a banana or two into the blender while whipping up this spread (the bananas will give it some “body” and make it easier to spread), but you’d have to consume it within the day. Take note that coconut oil solidifies naturally when chilled, so allow this kaya to thaw for a bit and give it a good stir if you’re storing it in the fridge, before smearing it on toast.

Ingredients (Makes about ¾ cup)
1 tbsp pandan extract*
10 tbsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil, slightly chilled so it is solid but scoop-able
1 small pinch of salt
4 tsp gula melaka syrup (try Singlong brand)

Place all the ingredients in a small blender and blend till smooth. Serve spread on toast. This “kaya” will keep for a week in the fridge.

*To make pandan extract, feed 8 to 10 young pandan leaves (choose the lighter green leaves) through a slow juicer. If you can only find dark green leaves, which are older and contain less juice, you’ll need about 20 leaves instead. You can also use a blender (chop the leaves and add a bit of water), and sieve the juice from the leaves.

Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut Oil, Bananas and Gula Melaka Syrup
Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut Oil, Bananas and Gula Melaka Syrup
30 Nov 2015

Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut Oil, Bananas and Gula Melaka Syrup

This fuss-free, raw, healthy treat boasts the lovely taste and textures of the decadent sago gula melaka Peranakan dessert — but with less of the guilt. Chia seed pudding has become the Instagram darling dish of healthy hipsters. And we can see why — it’s so easy to prepare that even a five-year-old could do it. It’s also photogenic adorned with fruit, and the vitamin-laden seeds swell into fun-to-eat jelly-like little orbs when soaked in liquid. This version steeped in milk, then topped with bananas and finished off with a drizzle of gula melaka syrup and coconut oil tastes surprisingly like the real thing. Coconutty, caramelly, wobbly and yum. Prepare it the night before for a quick breakfast or dessert. This recipe also works very well with avocados in place of bananas (tastes sort of like the Indonesian avocado shake).

Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 cup fresh milk or unsweetened nut milk
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp gula melaka syrup, plus 1 tsp for drizzling
2 bananas, sliced
2 tsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil

In a bowl, whisk milk, chia seeds and 2 tsp gula melaka syrup till well blended.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight to set.
To serve, garnish pudding with sliced bananas and drizzle with coconut oil and remaining
1 tsp of gula melaka syrup.

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