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 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
What Should I Serve with Coconut Rice?
- Jerk Chicken
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Grilled Lime Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Slow Cooker Mango Salsa Chicken
- Sticky Honey Orange Grilled Chicken
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- 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.
- Heat coconut milk and coconut water in a medium non-stick saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, season with salt (add to taste, I use about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp) add rice and bring to a simmer.
- 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.
- Remove from heat let rest covered 15 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve warm.
- Toasted unsweetened coconut
- Sliced almonds
- Black beans
- Fresh mango
- Fresh pineapple
- Bell pepper