Serves 4

Thanon Sarasin Saffron Rice

On my first trip to Bangkok, my hotel was located around the corner from Thanon Sarasin; a street lined with small restaurants and shops. It was there I first experienced the aroma and flavor of Saffron Rice; a dish meant to honor one’s guests. Cashews and scallions are traditional Thai ingredients but not necessarily in saffron rice. Their addition here provides a nice flavor contrast without over whelming the incredible saffron flavor. Packed into a custard cup and released on to the serving plate, it appears as a golden mound of pure bliss. Fish sauce is used in Flavor Tier 1 and Tier 3. If you have never cooked with fish oil before, fair warning, do not smell it, simply add as directed. The smell is incredibly potent but the flavor is essential!

1 ¾ c chicken stock
½ t saffron threads
1/8 t turmeric
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
1 lime, juiced
1 c Jasmine scented white rice
2 ½ t fish sauce
extra virgin olive oil for brushing custard cups
¼ c finely chopped cashews
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 t saffron threads

Finishing Sauce

1 lime, juiced
¼ t fish sauce
½ t saffron threads, crushed

Flavor Tier 1

Place stock in a medium saucepan with tight-fitting lid and place pan on stove over high heat. Add saffron, turmeric, red pepper flakes and lime juice to broth. Once broth begins to boil, stir in rice and fish oil. Reduce heat to low. Cover tightly with the lid and cook 13-15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and keep covered. Allow rice to sit rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. (The rice can remain covered in the pan for up to 30 minutes before fluffing. Do not open the lid and the rice will remain hot.) Right before serving, spray four custard cups with oil. Evenly divide the rice between the cups and push down to pack. Unmold the rice onto individual serving plates.

Flavor Tier 2

Place chopped cashews, scallions and 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads into small bowl and mix. Sprinkle evenly over the four rice mounds.

Flavor Tier 3

Place the lime juice, fish sauce and saffron threads in a small microwaveable bowl. Heat on high for 2 minutes to reduce. Drizzle over the rice mounds.