Alaisa fa’apopo – Samoan coconut rice


Lots of Asian countries do a coconut and rice dish, but they don’t do it like Samoans do. (As far as I know.)

Alaisa fa’apopo literally means rice that’s been coconut’ed, which of course means that we’ve done something very coconut-y to the rice.

(I’m cracking myself up right now).

It’s all true, though.

The only other thing you need to know about alaisa fa’apopo is that it’s yummmmm and goes perfectly with hot Koko Samoa. Here’s how you eat it.

Warm, sticky coconut rice in a bowl. Steaming hot Koko Samoa in a mug. Scoop up the rice with a spoon, dunk it in the koko, pop it in your mouth. Chase it with a (careful) swig of sweet koko. Oh my life.

I rejoice in alaisa fa’apopo every rare occasion someone (usually my mom) makes it. It happens so infrequently I thought it would be a difficult recipe, but it’s not. It’s so easy, and super cheap, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure this out.

So under mom’s watchful supervision, I made my first batch of alaisa fa’apopo yesterday, and it turned out not too bad.

Here’s the How To:

Alaisa fa'apopo - Samoan coconut rice

Luscious coconut cream pounded into hot steamy, salted rice... Alaisa fa'apopo is a beautiful Cup Tea treat to go with a strong hot cup of Koko Samoa. 

Course Cup Tea
Cuisine Samoan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Lils

Ingredients

  • 5 cups white rice, (dry)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or, to taste)
  • 2 cans coconut cream (or 850mls)

Instructions

Cook the Rice

  1. Chuck the rice into a pot, rinse well, then add 6 cups of water and the salt. 

  2. Place the pot on a burner and bring to boil, stirring every minute or so. 

  3. Cover the pot and turn the hob right down to low. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until the rice is well cooked. It should be slightly wetter than you'd expect for normal rice.

Mash and pour

  1. While the rice is still hot (leave the burner on low), add some coconut cream and start mashing. 

  2. Add a bit more coconut cream and keep mashing. Taste the rice and add more salt if necessary (to taste). 

  3. Continue pouring and mashing until you've used up both cans of coconut cream.

  4. Taste the rice again. Is it good? Is it mashed up and sticky but not too wet? Do you like the amount of salt in it? Can you taste the yummy coconut cream flavour? 

  5. Tweak stuff until you can say yes to all of the above, then turn off the stove because it's done. 

Alaisa fa’apopo is great in any weather but it’s even more gratifying in New Zealand, when it’s cold. Or when it’s late at night and you want a heartier snack than chippies.

Or for breakfast.

Or, you know… just all the time.

Lils

About Lils

Made in Samoa, a child of God, lover of language, business and food, I'm a weekend photographer, wannabe world traveler, dilettante musician and sci-fi trekker of stars. Perpetual student, irrational optimist, I'm going to own a cafe someday and teach machines to think like us. Known irl as Lillian T Arp, I'm also that tea-totaling Hamo Geek Girl from One Samoana 😉

Lils

Made in Samoa, a child of God, lover of language, business and food, I'm a weekend photographer, wannabe world traveler, dilettante musician and sci-fi trekker of stars. Perpetual student, irrational optimist, I'm going to own a cafe someday and teach machines to think like us. Known irl as Lillian T Arp, I'm also that tea-totaling Hamo Geek Girl from One Samoana ;)

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