Coconut Rice

05.31.2019

Coconut Rice – soon to be one of your go-to side dishes! It pairs perfectly with a tropical meal, a Thai main dish, or seafood. It’s super easy to make, it has a delicious and rich, natural coconut flavor and it compliments so many flavors. Plus kids and adults alike love it!

Coconut rice in a wooden bowl set over a brown plate on a grey surface.

Coconut Rice Recipe

The great thing about this rice recipe is that it only requires a few basic ingredients you can keep in the pantry so you can make it anytime.

Once you try this you may not want plain white rice anymore! It’s such a tasty upgrade on otherwise neutral rice. And you’ll love how the fat of the coconut milk makes it seem almost buttery.

For a delicious summery dinner pair it with grilled chicken (it’s perfect with Jerk Chicken), shrimp or salmon. Scroll below for recipe ideas.

Ingredients for Coconut Milk Rice

  • Jasmine rice – for best flavor I recommend sticking with jasmine rice. It has a unique, slightly sweet and delicate flavor.
  • Canned coconut milk – not coconut milk beverage and not canned coconut cream.
  • Coconut water or water – if you use coconut water you’ll get a little extra flavor but water will work fine too.
  • Salt – it will taste totally flat without the salt so don’t forget it.

Can I Use Light Coconut Milk?

Yes, light coconut milk will work it just won’t be as flavorful and rich. It’s basically just watered down coconut milk.

Showing how to make coconut rice. Starting by rinsing rise under water in a fine mesh sieve.

How to Make Coconut Rice

  • Rinse rice: place jasmine rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clean.
  • Drain: drain off excess water, it works best to tap base of sieve against your hand or a hard surface.

Adding water and coconut milk to a medium saucepan.

  • Boil liquids: heat coconut milk and coconut water in a medium non-stick saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.
  • Add salt and rice: season with salt (about 3/4 tsp) add rice and bring to a simmer.

Bringing coconut milk and rice mixture to a boil in saucepan over stovetop.

  • Simmer until tender: reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water has been absorbed (you may find there’s a few small pools of liquid at the top and that’s fine), about 17 – 20 minutes.
  • Let stand off heat: remove from heat let rest covered 15 minutes.
  • Fluff and serve: uncover gently toss rice with a fork and serve warm.

Fluffing finished coconut rice in saucepan with a fork.

Tips for the Best Coconut Rice:

  • Rinse rice first so it doesn’t turn out overly sticky. It will remove some of the excess starches.
  • Use jasmine rice for the best flavor.
  • Bring liquids to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Otherwise you won’t end with the right texture of rice.
  • Let rice rest for 15 minutes after cooking so it isn’t overly wet.
  • Add mix-ins for more flavor. I’ve listed some ideas below.

How to Get a More Intense Coconut Flavor?

This isn’t like a coconut dessert. I think when we expect coconut flavor we go to sweet coconut. The flavor of this rice is more like the flavor of drinking out of a fresh coconut or eating a raw piece of coconut.

If you’d like a stronger coconut flavor though you could try it with a few drops coconut extract, and mix in toasted coconut at the end.

Coconut rice in a wooden serving bowl garnished with orchids, cilantro and pineapple wedges on the side.

Mix In Ideas:

Of course it’s delicious as is without anything added but if you want to take it up a notch try it with:

  • Toasted coconut (unsweetened or sweetened, fine or medium shred)
  • Diced mangoes
  • Black beans
  • Bell pepper (sauteed or raw)
  • Sliced almonds
  • Fresh diced pineapple
  • Cilantro and lime
  • Avocado

Wooden bowl full of Coconut Rice topped with flowers, cilantro and a side of fresh pineapple.

What Should I Serve with Coconut Rice?

Close up image of coconut rice garnished with toasted coconut.

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Coconut Rice

Soon to be one of your go-to side dishes! It pairs perfectly with a tropical meal, a Thai main dish, or seafood. It's super easy to make, it has a delicious and rich, natural coconut flavor and it compliments so many flavors. Plus kids and adults alike love it!

Servings: 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (14 oz) jasmine rice
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) coconut water or water
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Place jasmine rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clean. Drain well, it works best to tap base of sieve with your hand or against the sink.

  2. Heat coconut milk and coconut water in a medium non-stick saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, season with salt (about 3/4 tsp) add rice and bring to a simmer.

  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water has been absorbed (you may find there's a few small pools of liquid at the top and that's fine), about 17 - 20 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat let rest covered 15 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Most of the time I serve this rice plain but it's also good with mix ins. Here's some MIX IN IDEAS:

  • Toasted unsweetened coconut
  • Sliced almonds
  • Black beans
  • Fresh mango
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Bell pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
Nutrition Facts
Coconut Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Sodium 274mg12%
Potassium 271mg8%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin C 1.6mg2%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coconut Rice
Calories: 272 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

9 comments

  • Larry Hill: Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. June 2, 2019 at 8:11pm Reply

  • Jennifer: This sounds delicious! What about using a rice cooker? June 2, 2019 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should work great too :). Sorry everyone seem to have the same question when I went to publish comments and reply. June 3, 2019 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Larry Hill: Could you use a rice cooker for the rice ? If so any cooking changes? June 1, 2019 at 7:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it should work great in a rice cooker too, I don’t think any adjustments would be necessary. June 2, 2019 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Katherine Rivera: Can you make coconut rice in a rice cooker instead of stove top? June 1, 2019 at 12:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes a rice cooker should work great too. June 2, 2019 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Denise: can’t wait to try it ! Could I use 2 coconut milk instead of 1 and water ? June 1, 2019 at 10:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unfortunately probably not because it would make the rice mushy with that much fat. June 1, 2019 at 10:52am Reply

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