Citrus-Lemon Grass Rice Pudding 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; place mat from Crate and Barrel

Dec 18, 2013

Creamy and delicately perfumed, this version of rice pudding provides a cool lift at the end of a meal.

You'll need a 5- or 6-quart slow-cooker. If you don't have cheesecloth, use a rolling pin to smash the lemon grass, then tie it together with clean kitchen twine.

Make Ahead: The rice pudding takes about 2 hours in the slow-cooker.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; 9 cups

  • 5 inches lemon grass, smashed, then finely chopped
  • 3 cups low-fat (2 percent) cow’s milk
  • 3 1/2 cups canned, well-shaken coconut milk (two 13.5-ounce cans; do not use low-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked medium-grain white rice, preferably arborio, rinsed with cold water and drained well
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated zest from a mixture of lemon, lime and orange, plus optional zest for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


Use cooking oil spray to grease the inside/insert of the slow-cooker.

Wrap up and tie the lemon grass in a piece of cheesecloth (for infusing). Place it in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, along with the cow’s milk, coconut milk, sugar and salt, over medium heat. Once the mixture is hot but not boiling, pour it into the slow-cooker (including the lemon grass sachet).

Stir in the rice. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours; the mixture will be bubbling at the edges. Remove from the heat; discard the lemon grass sachet, then stir in the zest, the vanilla extract or paste and the cardamom.

Cool slightly, then divide among individual bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.

Discard the wrap; garnish with the optional zest, if desired. The pudding will thicken further as it cools.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Year-Round Slow Cooker: 100 Favorite Recipes for Every Season," by Dina Cheney (Taunton, 2013).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at