Coconut Fried Rice Balls with Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce

coconut fried rice balls on a white plate with a small dish of spicy peach dipping sauce

We’re doing everything right today with this recipe: Coconut Fried Rice Balls with Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce. Joey and I enjoyed these two nights in a row this week because we have no limits on crunchy fried starchy things with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Yeah, that sauce… today is its first appearance on the blog but it won’t be its last; it’s definitely going to pair up with some fish and/or chicken soon. It’s two fresh peaches, 1/2 a jalapeno, and a little coconut cream, in a blender. Coconut cream is kind of a specialty ingredient, I know, but the good news is, it’s also an ingredient in pina coladas, which pair amazingly well with these Coconut Fried Rice Balls. Sooooo… you’re welcome?

coconut fried rice balls on a white plate with a small dish of spicy peach dipping sauce

These fried rice balls begin with someone else’s recipe (Chrissy Teigen’s from this cookbook) for coconut rice. It’s long-grain rice, cooked in coconut milk and water with a little salt and sugar for that salty sweet yum yum flavor combo we all love. Then, the rice becomes the best version of itself with toasted coconut, breadcrumbs, eggs, and a hot bath of oil.  (Pssstttt… really quick, before you read the recipe and think I’ve messed up: the breadcrumbs, coconut, and egg all get mixed in with the rice, then rolled into balls and fried. I know it seems like it should be just rice balls, dipped in egg, then rolled in breadcrumbs and toasty coconut (like a Caribbean version of arancini) but it just doesn’t work, I tried. They need to be all mixed together to stay together and, trust, you will still get a crispy, crunchy, coconutty exterior.)

Do you have feelings about deep frying at home? I did too but I got over them a long time ago and I’m so glad I did. My big issue was all the freaking oil… deep frying uses so much and what do I even do with it when I’m done? Let me give you a little info that will ease your deep-frying nerves:

how to dispose of used frying oil

  1. Don’t dispose of it (yet)! You can reuse it. Cool the oil, strain it through a coffee filter or a few paper towels back into the empty oil bottle or another resealable container, and reuse it the next time you fry something. You can do this 2 times. One exception here… if you fried fish in the oil, you may not want to reuse it for something other than fish. The oil tends to pick up some of the fishy flavor.
  2. When you’re ready to toss it out, cool it, pour into the empty bottle/resealable container, and throw it in the trash. Or…
  3. Check with local restaurants to see if you can recycle it there. Or…
  4. Check with your town; some areas have oil pick-up a couple times a year or have drop-off locations that recycle oil for bio diesel.

There, you feel better, right? Me too. Let’s fry some rice balls!

coconut fried rice balls on a white plate with a small dish of spicy peach dipping sauce
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Coconut Fried Rice Balls with Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce

coconut fried rice balls on a white plate with a small dish of spicy peach dipping sauce

Crispy fried coconut rice balls with ribbons of toasted coconut inside and a sweet and spicy peach dipping sauce!

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 30 min + 1 hour for cooling
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour + 1 hour for cooling the rice
  • Yield: 16 rice balls 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: deep-frying
  • Cuisine: Caribbean
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C jasmine or basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 7 oz. of canned coconut milk (1/2 a can)
  • 7 oz. water
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C unsweetened coconut
  • 1 C panko breadcrumbs
  • canola or vegetable oil for frying (enough to come 3 – 4″ up the sides of your pot)

spicy peach dipping sauce

  • 2 fresh peaches, sliced, with the skin on
  • 1/2 a jalapeno pepper
  • 1 T coconut cream, like Coco Lopez 
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, and 1 t of salt in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, then let it cool for about an hour. You can do this step ahead of time and just keep the rice in the fridge if you like.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the coconut by heating it in a  dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Once it’s brown, remove it from the skillet and let cool to prevent it from burning.
  3. Add 2 cups of the cooled, prepared rice, the egg, the cooled, toasted coconut, the breadcrumbs, and a 1/2 t of salt to a bowl. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can just wait until the oil is shimmering and drop in a pinch of rice, if it sizzles and floats, you’re good to go. Scoop and roll 16 golf ball-sized balls of rice and gently drop 4 or 5 balls into your hot oil. Fry for 5-6 minutes, until the outside is golden brown; using two forks or a spider, remove them to a wire rack to cool. Keep them in a warm (200 degree) oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining rice balls. Serve with the Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce (and a pina colada for extra enjoyment!)

spicy peach dipping sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. 

Notes

I know it seems like these should be just rice balls, dipped in egg, then rolled in breadcrumbs and toasty coconut (like a Caribbean version of arancini) but it just doesn’t work, I tried. The rice, egg, breadcrumbs, and coconut all need to be mixed together to stay together. I promise you will still get the crispy, crunchy, coconutty exterior you are looking for:) xoxo

Ready to show off your deep-frying bravado some more? Try this fun little guilty pleasure: Fry Bread!

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