In the Philippines, rice is life. There's archaeological evidence of it being grown as early as 3400 B.C. Even so, rice was historically produced in limited quantities for spiritual rituals. Because of its associated luxury, rice was considered only for elite members of the tribe, given as tribute to chiefs. When Spanish colonists introduced plow technology, rice production increased and it became a staple for everyone. Read more about this recipe.
Thicker and richer than coconut milk, coconut cream is the solid part that rises to the top of canned coconut milk. It's also sold separately. Skip anything labeled cream of coconut, which is sweetened and used to make things like cocktails.
You can find fried garlic and shallots premade at Asian markets and online. To make your own, heat 1/4 cup canola or avocado oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add thinly sliced garlic cloves or shallots and cook, stirring often, until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes for garlic or 3 to 4 minutes for shallots. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Refrigerate any leftover flavored oil to use in savory recipes.