Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork

By • April 22, 2014 80 Comments

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Author Notes: This fragrant rice makes for a satisfying and easy weeknight meal. As long as you have your mise en place before you start, the end is as comforting as a good risotto, though without all the stirring. As strange as it might sound, this is equally delicious and different with a can of sardines stirred into the finished rice in place of the pork. If you use sardines, serve with Korean seaweed (gim) and make bite sized hand rolls. gingerroot

Food52 Review: WHO: Gingerroot is a Hawaii-based art educator and mom of two.
WHAT: A fragrant, almost one-pot meal with just the right amount of sweet and salty.
HOW: Make like you’re preparing risotto, but ditch the constant stirring.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Because of the pork and the coconut milk, you might think this dish is rich. But it's not -- it’s lightly perfumed from the coconut milk, not too heavy, and so satisfying. We'd eat it as a savory breakfast, too.
The Editors

Serves 4

  • 3 to 4 large scallions, thoroughly washed, trimmed just above root
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon good quality fish sauce (like Red Boat or Three Crabs)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups medium grain Calrose rice
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (shake can before opening)
  • 1 head of baby bok choy (optional), end trimmed, leaves separated, washed, and sliced crosswise
  • Wedge of lime, for finishing
  1. Prep scallions by slicing 1/3 cup of white and light green parts. Thinly slice dark green part of scallions for 3/4 cup, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or similar pot. Add ground pork, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. When meat is no longer pink, add fish sauce and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Transfer meat to a bowl and cover with foil.
  3. Add 1/2 tablespoon canola oil to pot, followed by remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1/3 cup of sliced white and light green scallions. Cook, combining with wooden spoon, until fragrant, about a minute. Add rice and stir to coat, until rice is shiny. Add stock and coconut milk, stir to combine and cover. When rice begins to bubble, turn heat down to simmer. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
  4. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add 1/2 cup of sliced dark green scallions. Crisp up scallions by stirring frequently, remembering that they will go from crisp to burned in a second. Since they are dark, you won’t have as obvious a visual clue as with onions or shallots; I usually rely on smell. Once they start to smell dark and smoky I start to look for golden brown charred edges and begin to remove onions by the forkful to a paper towel lined plate until they are all done. It’s not the most delicate maneuver but they are delicious and worth it.
  5. If you are using the baby bok choy, add it to the still hot skillet once you’ve removed the crispy scallions. Cook in scallion oil until leaves are wilted and stem begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. When timer goes off, remove lid from rice pot and give mixture a stir. Rice should be perfectly cooked, plump, and almost risotto like, though without the extra liquid. Stir in reserved pork, crisped scallions, remaining 1/4 cup sliced dark green scallions, and bok choy if using. Finish with a squeeze from a lime wedge. Serve immediately and enjoy.

More Great Recipes: Coconut|Vegetables|Entrees|Pork|Rice & Grains

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Comments (80) Questions (2)

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20 days ago Renee B

Ground turkey worked great in place of pork. I used a hefty 2 T of both minced garlic and minced ginger. I added 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including some stems. Finally, the grocer's bok choy was old so I used fresh green beans cut on the diagonal. Just barely steam sautéed them in the pan used for scallions. I accidentally bought full fat coconut milk so didn't need to add more oil to make up for the fact that the turkey was 93% fat free. The meal was delicious. I'll definitely make it again but with low-fat coconut milk. Thanks for posting the recipe!

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21 days ago Renee B

Do you think substituting ground chicken or turkey for a non-pork eater would work well? Maybe add a little more oil since both are (presumably) lower in fat?

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21 days ago savorthis

I use chicken in recipes like this a lot, but my new favorite is tofu. I take a very firm tofu, cut it into 4 pieces and drain it well on kitchen towels pressing to remove as much water as possible. You can then grate it on the large holes of a grater and achieve almost the same texture as ground meat. I usually brown the tofu first (before adding garlic, ginger etc) because it takes a little while, but I bet it would be great in this recipe!

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21 days ago Megan Town

I think it would work, I'd just heed my comments below about adjusting the spices and it'd be a great start. Report back!

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21 days ago Renee B

Thanks, Megan and Savorthis. I will definitely increase the spices. We both like lots of flavor. Tofu would be fine for me but not for him! I'll try the chicken or turkey (whichever I can get at the grocery today) and will report back.

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21 days ago gingerroot

Hi Renee, if you are using lean turkey or chicken you might need a little more oil. Whatever you try, I'm looking forward to hearing how it turns out!

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3 months ago Megan Town

Absolutely loved this recipe. Our butcher gave us around 1.25lbs of ground pork when we ordered a pound, so we decided to up the spices to compensate for the addition of extra ground pork. We used around two tablespoons plus the one teaspoon for both the ginger and the garlic and it was perfect. It could potentially use a little more salt if you're using the bok choy, but this can be added per each person's personal taste once it's plated. We also used two jalapenos in the recipe (sauteed it with the pork), which added a bit of heat. Next time I'd try serranos since we were adding chile sauce/hot sauce as we were eating. Other than that, the flavors were wonderful and we can't wait to eat the leftovers!

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21 days ago gingerroot

Thanks for your feedback, Megan! As I mention deep in the comments, I usually add a little heat but kept it out this time for my kids. I will definitely try it with a serrano the next time I make it - I think you're right that it would add just the right amount of heat.

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4 months ago Lisa Yeager

This is really good - I made this without reading the modifications below. Next time I will definitely add a bit of heat and some cilantro. I tossed in some live leaves that I had on hand and that gave nice flavor to the rice. I used 2 heads of baby bok choy, and added salt to that while cooking. Also, I used some sesame oil in crisping the green onions. Lastly, I used short grain brown rice which did take longer to cook, but this recipe was very easy to adapt. Yum.

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21 days ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know! Glad it worked with your adjustments.

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6 months ago Virginia Bacon

Echoing sentiments below, this really was very delicious. If you like everything spicy, as my fiance does, you will not be disappointed by adding Sriracha. It's really great comfort food and also makes great leftovers.

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3 months ago gingerroot

Hi Virginia,
Thanks for your comments. I definitely add sriracha as well.

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7 months ago Christy Luong

I didn't have baby bok choy so I used broccolini instead. Adding more ginger and cilantro also made it more fragrant. Turned out great. The recipe says it serves four but my boyfriend and I ended up eating ALL of it!For some reason, the rice made me really thirsty so I might try adding more coconut milk the next time. Thanks for uploading the recipe =)

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3 months ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know!

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7 months ago aepk

I had lamb + spinach around instead of pork+bokchoy. I thought it was great! I also followed the suggestions below to add cilantro. I had some leftover from another meal, so I finely chopped the stems. awesome recipe. thanks!

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3 months ago gingerroot

Hi aepk,
Thanks for your comment. For some reason I did not receive a notification about it. Glad you enjoyed it - will have to try it with lamb.

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9 months ago ChamindikaDraws

this is an amazing recipe! I've already made it 5 times, so delicious! Everyone I've made it for has loved it, brilliant recipe!

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9 months ago gingerroot

Thanks so much for letting me know! I'm thrilled you are enjoying this recipe. Happy Holidays!

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11 months ago Sarah E.

Just made this tonight--yum! Shopping for ingredients on a Sunday night at Whole Foods, I was disappointed but not surprised to find out they were sold out of ground pork. I was really set on trying this recipe tonight, however, so I decided to use another pork option that was in stock: super thin-sliced organic pork. I chopped the thin slices into small pieces, and it was delicious! It was also very quick to cook the pork because the pieces of meat were so thin. The only other substitution I made to the recipe was to use mostly vegetable stock instead of chicken (I used 1 cup veggie stock and 1/4 cup chicken stock), and I threw in some toasted sesame seeds at the end. I will definitely make again, and may double up on the bok choy amount next time!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Hi Sarah, so glad you enjoyed this and I love your pork substitution and sesame seed addition. I will have to remember that!

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12 months ago Myrica von Haselberg

Delicious! Added a bit of chopped spinach in the end, and topped it with some toasted peanuts. Very good and really easy!

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10 months ago gingerroot

I bet peanuts would be delicious!

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about 1 year ago tara hart

made this for dinner last night- upped the coconut milk to broth ratio and added some crushed red pepper flakes and it came out AMAZING! Definitely going into the recipe rotation and if there are leftovers- they do heat up really nicely! Must try!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Yum, crushed red pepper flakes are a great addition. Thanks for your comment, Tara!

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about 1 year ago Ashley White

Rice is such an easy dish. With this recipe, it makes it even better to eat on a weeknight when yo're looking for a quick dinner.

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10 months ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Ashley. Apologies for my belated reply.

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about 1 year ago SpaCook

This was tasty, and most importantly, picky, meat-averse toddler approved! Someone may have mentioned this already, but for those as reluctant to go all the way back through the comments as I am, I added salt to the rice as it was brought to the boil. Thanks for a great family weeknight staple. Those recipes are hard to come by!!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know, SpaCook! Apologies my reply is so belated - for some reason your comment went into my spam folder. I'm glad you and your family enjoyed it!

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about 1 year ago Carol Ross

It's even better the next morning topped with an egg. Yummy!!

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about 1 year ago Carol Ross

Love, love this. Found out about it by my best fiend and had to make it. Family loved it and I have a 17 year old picky eater. At the end I added a drizzle of sesame oil, sesame seeds, a squeeze of siracha and chopped cilantro. Served it with a nappa cabbage and marinated cucumber salad. I will make this again.

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

So glad to hear it went over well! Love your additions. Thanks for letting me know, Carol.

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about 1 year ago Lisa

Amazing, husband loved it so much! Did Step #3 in rice cooker to cut down on time, worked marvelously. Used kale instead of bok choy, great as well. This recipe is so adaptable, we will be making it again and again.

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

Thanks so much for letting me know! Step #3 in the rice cooker is so smart - I will have to try that next time. Cheers!

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over 1 year ago Kari L. Jaquith

Made this tonight for dinner. It's good not great. I honestly think it needs more spices and more heat, and I really like the idea of using roast pork instead of ground pork. I may try it again.

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over 1 year ago gingerroot

Hi Kari, thanks for your feedback. Your tweaks sound like they'd be delicious. I tend to want heat as well - this was a weeknight dinner I put together with what I had on hand, taking into account my kids' less-spicy loving palates. Also, I noticed I forgot to add a step - to add a pinch of salt to the hot, crisped scallion greens.

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over 1 year ago Michelle Saunders

Made this tonight for dinner. Husband loved it. I added 1/2 cup of chopped sauteed shiitake mushrooms and 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro at the end. Voila!

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over 1 year ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know, Michelle! Your additions sound wonderful.

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over 1 year ago Kari L. Jaquith

Looking forward to making this next week. I love simple yet very satisfying rice dishes.

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over 1 year ago gustus

This was great tonight with leftover roast pork cut into small cubes like hash, which I added once the garlic and ginger were browned. And I've never seen a recipe that actually calls for using the dark green ends of scallions...crisping them is a nifty idea.

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over 1 year ago gingerroot

Yum, using leftover roast pork sounds delicious! I'm also glad you liked the crispy scallions - I've decided crispy alliums make just about anything better.