Preparation / Directions:
* 3 cups of coconut milk can be made fresh, if desired, by mixing 1 pound of grated, fresh coconut meat with 2-1/2 cups of hot (not boiling) water. Mix well, and work the mixture with you hands. Strain and squeeze out resulting liquid and discard the meat.
TO MAKE BASIC "CRUSTY RICE": Wash rice, if needed, and put into a pot or sauce pan. Add the 6 cups of water and put on medium heat until the rice is thoroughly cooked and the water had almost totally evaporated. Take the pot of rice off the heat and put aside to cool (rice should resemble a "soggy mess"). Lightly coat a shallow tray or cookie sheet with oil, add some of the cooked rice and spread into a thin layer. You may need several trays, depending on their size. Put the tray(s) out to dry in the sun (or into a warm oven). When the rice starts to dry (but not yet fully dry), use a knife to cut the sheet of rice into 2"-3" squares. Turn the pieces over and continue to dry thoroughly. The squares of crusty rice can now be either deep fried until lightly browned, or toasted. If fried, drain well. They can be stored for several days in airtight jar.
SHRIMP DIP: Place the coconut milk into a sauce pan and add the crushed cilantro roots/stems, chopped garlic, ground (chopped) raw shrimp meat. Stir well and put on medium heat. Stir until the coconut milk starts to boil, and continue to cook until the shrimp meat is cooked. Add tomato paste and chopped shallot (onion). Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the shallot is cooked. Add fish sauce, sugar, and crushed peanuts. Bring to a second boil and take off the heat. Serve warm in a bowl, with either toasted or fried crusty rice squares. Garnished the dip with chopped cilantro leaves and slices of medium hot red chili peppers.