1 ½ cups jasmine rice (not minute or converted rice)
1/3 cup currants
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp. finely minced or grated fresh lemongrass stem (optional but amazing)
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Asian chile sauce
2 tsp. orange or tangerine skin, very finely grated
1 Kaffir Lime leaf (optional) can substitute 1 tsp. of lime zest
3 tbsp. cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup minced basil leaves
1/4 cup minced mint leaves
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp kosher salt
Assemble all ingredients, Mise En Place
Place rice in sieve and wash under cold water, stirring rice with your fingers until the water is no longer cloudy, about 2 minutes.
Drain thoroughly and set aside with the currants.
Set aside the garlic and lemongrass.
In a small bowl combine: stock, coconut milk, sherry, fish sauce, chili sauce, orange zest, and kaffir leaf or zest and salt.
Place a 2-1/2 quart saucepan over high heat and add cooking oil.
Add garlic and lemon grass. Sauté 15 seconds.
Add rice and currants. Sauté rice 5 minutes until well heated.
Add coconut-stock mixture and bring to low simmer.
Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes, until all the liquid disappears and the rice is tender.
If done up to 2 hours in advance of serving, set aside at room temperature; if done further ahead, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
Within 2 hours of serving the rice, mince the red pepper and set aside with green onions, basil and mint. Place sesame seeds in a small sauté pan, put over high heat and cook until the sesame seeds turn light golden; then set aside.
Last Minute Cooking
If reheating the rice, cover saucepan and warm in a preheated 325° F oven until piping hot approximately 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir in green onions, basil, mint, red pepper and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve at once.