RECIPE: Carioca

Carioca (Fried Sticky Rice Balls with Coconut Caramel Sauce)

(Fried Sticky Rice Balls with Coconut Caramel Sauce)

Suman is a tube-shaped rice cake made with glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, wrapped in either palm, banana or bamboo leaves, then steamed. It is always a great choice for breakfast as it can be paired with a variety of options: plain sugar, coconut jam, with fruits and, of course, a big favorite—homemade chocolate sauce. This breakfast treat is almost always paired with coffee or hot chocolate.

Serves 6 (24 balls)

2½ cups (315 g) sticky or glutinous rice flour

2½ cups (250 g) shredded sweetened coconut

1¼ cups (300 ml) coconut milk

2 cups (480 ml) cooking oil for deep-frying, or more as needed

1 (13.5-oz [400-ml]) can coconut cream

½ cup plus 3 tbsp (120 g) brown sugar

½ tsp salt

In a bowl, mix the sticky rice flour, sweetened shredded coconut and coconut milk until a dough forms. Scoop out about a tablespoon (15 g) of dough and shape into a ball. Repeat until all the dough is used up. A cookie dough scooper is helpful for this.

Heat the cooking oil in a saucepan over medium heat to about 350°F (175°C). To test if the oil is hot, dip a skewer into it. When bubbles form around the skewer, the oil is ready. Fry the dough balls in batches for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned all over. Scoop onto a strainer lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Repeat until all the balls are cooked. Set aside.

In a saucepan, stir together the coconut cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil, lower the heat slightly, stir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Dip the balls into the sauce, or to avoid sticky fingers, thread about four balls onto a wooden skewer and pour the caramel sauce over. Serve individually or on skewers.

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