We needed merienda to celebrate today. I quickly cooked Ginataang Mais – Rice Porridge with Corn that was warm, and comforting. It was easy to do on the stove-top, and in the Instant Pot, even faster. Today was the kind of day we needed a bowl of happiness.
Lelut Mais or Sampelot is the Kapampangan term for ‘ginataang mais’. Ginataang means cooked with gata (coconut milk). This is a sweet Filipino rice porridge cooked in coconut with corn kernels. It is a favorite snack or merienda fare in the Philippines. Traditionally, I often heard family and friends comment that it was time to cook Sampelot whenever an infant learned how to turn over for the first time. In Filipino culture, it was a celebratory gesture that a baby was growing healthy.
America just elected a new President and Vice President. That is what our family is celebrating today. As immigrants, we rejoiced. The people have elected a true leader that exudes more compassion and inclusivity. The will of the people has chosen a fairer, stronger and respected America. That means a lot to our children and the generations after them. This last election was a lesson to our youth that telling the truth and being a good person matter.
At the end of the day, we are not defined by the color of our flesh. We are defined by the love in our hearts. It’s a new beginning. The world seems brighter and better today. Let’s celebrate with a hearty bowl of Ginataang Mais.
Savor this sweet rice porridge. Dig in with a large spoon and go deep into the rich, thick creamy coconut liquid, and the plump rice grains. Embedded deep within are the juicy, bright yellow corn kernels that add a special dimension. The delicate coconut aroma twirls around the pot as you stir it around. Mix it well with a spoon, watch the round white rice grains merrily jostle against the corn kernels.
If the Ginataang Mais is warm, it will soothe your soul. If it’s served chilled, you’ll feel the shrill coolness slither down. Either way, it fills the tummy, it calms with a comforting familiarity, like a kind old friend who’s always there for you. Be safe and well, folks.
Ginataang Mais - Instant Pot + Stove-top
- Instant Pot multicooker - 6 or 8 quarts
- Rice Cooker - as an alternative
- Medium-sized Stockpot - 4 quarts or 6 quarts - for stove-top cooking
- 1½ cups sweet rice, malagkit rice to Filipinos
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, or use vegetable oil
- 3 cups coconut milk, canned or fresh
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups corn kernels, canned, drained; if using fresh corn, must be cooked
To prepare sweet rice:
- Soak the sweet rice grains in water in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.When ready to cook, drain and discard liquid. Wash the rice grains through running water.
To cook in the Instant Pot: (Option 1)
- Pour the oil into the inside of the Instant Pot. Tilt the inside pot around to spread the oil.Add the sweet rice. Pour the coconut milk over the rice. Sprinkle the salt.Cover and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.Click RICE on the keypad. The rice cooks on Low Pressure for 12 minutes.When timer beeps, do a Quick Release.Carefully unlock the lid and place on a safe, dry place on the counter.Using a long cooking spoon, stir in the sugar and the corn kernels. Combine ingredients well.Serve warm in individual dessert bowls. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
To cook stove-top: (Option 2)
- Soak the sweet rice grains in water. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.When ready to cook, drain liquid. Wash the rice through cold running water.In a medium-sized stockpot, line the bottom with oil. Combine the rice, coconut milk and salt. Stir and cover.Over medium high heat, allow the rice and coconut milk to boil in about 5 to 6 minutes. Lower heat to a slow simmer. Stir the rice every now and then to prevent sticking to the bottom or burning. Continue simmering for 13 to 15 minutes more till rice is cooked.When rice is cooked completely, add the sugar and corn kernels. Serve warm or chilled.
- If fresh corn is in season, I use that. I boil the corn in a heavy stockpot with water or else I cook it in the Instant Pot, which cuts cooking time. I share how to cook corn in the Instant Pot in a previous blog post. Click here for the recipe.Sweet rice is also known as 'malagkit' to Filipinos (translates to 'sticky'). This variety of rice is often used for Philippine kakanins (rice cakes cooked with coconut).Rice Cooker: You can also cook the rice grains + coconut milk in a regular rice cooker. Follow instructions above and click the button to start cooking.
Instant Pot Notes:
- It takes about 17 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before cooking time begins.For safety, use accessories recommended for the Instant Pot. For more information, please read the product manual.Instant Pot is the brand name of a multicooker that cooks in high and low pressure.
- This is not an ad. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to endorse the brand. My opinions are my own.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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