My coconut rice recipe is rich and creamy with a subtle tropical flavor perfect with chicken or fish. It instantly upgrades stir frys, rice bowls, and curries. Kids love it plain, and it’s good for them!
coconut rice is a versatile side dish
This creamy, tropical rice is subtly flavored and has a dreamy texture ~ it’s wonderful with Asian and Southeast Asian foods, as well as Hawaiian and Polynesian recipes. It’s definitely something you want to have in your recipe file, in fact, why not memorize it, because after you’ve tasted it you’ll want to use it all the time. (I always have a couple of cans of coconut milk and a bag of jasmine rice in my cupboard.)
what is coconut rice?
- Coconut rice is rice (jasmine rice works best,) that is cooked in a combination of water and coconut milk along with a pinch of sugar and salt.
what does coconut rice taste like?
- You might be surprised to learn that coconut rice has a very subtle flavor, and it doesn’t taste like dessert!
- A dash of salt and a pinch of sugar serves to bring out the coconut flavor, but it’s still a background note.
- Coconut rice will not overpower or compete with your main dish.
- Coconut rice has a very appealing moist creamy texture which is just as important as the flavor.
the best rice for coconut rice
- I use jasmine rice. Jasmine rice is a long grain rice with a natural floral fragrance that I love. Jasmine rice can be used like any white rice, but it’s especially lovely in Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese dishes.
canned coconut milk is a pantry staple
- I use unsweetened, full fat coconut milk for the best flavor, but if you’re cutting calories you can use the light coconut milk. Coconut milk is a staple in my kitchen because it works in both sweet and savory dishes; I’ll can use it in everything from Coconut Rice Pudding to Thai Coconut Lime Soup. Shake the can first before using.
is coconut rice healthy?
- Yes! Many people are surprised to learn that coconut milk is quite healthy and can add to the nutrient value of already healthy rice.
- The saturated fat in coconut milk does not seem to raise bad cholesterol levels and it can help raise the good kind.
- Coconut milk has been shown to help in weight loss, and regulating insulin levels.
how to make coconut rice
You’ll cook it just like regular rice, except that some of the cooking water will be replaced with coconut milk. As the rice cooks it absorbs the rich coconut milk and becomes creamy and delicious.
- Rinse your rice well under cold running water.
- Put rice, coconut milk, water, salt and a pinch of sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan and give it a good stir. Heat to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the rice comes to a boil, give it a final stir, turn the heat to very low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Fluff the rice, re-cover the pot, and let sit, off the heat, for 10 minutes.
- The amounts in this recipe are formulated for jasmine rice. If you use a different variety of rice the amounts and cooking time will be slightly different, follow instructions in the recipe card notes, below.
- Use a fairly deep saucepan for this rice because the coconut milk can sometimes foam up while cooking and you don’t want any messy spillage onto your stove top.
- This recipe calls for canned coconut milk, not the refrigerated kind in the carton.
how to amp up the coconut flavor
Any or all of the following will give you a more pronounced coconut flavor…
- Add a small amount of coconut extract. But be careful not to overdo this potent flavoring.
- You can also fold in some grated coconut after cooking for an extra boost of coconut flavor.
- Toast your rice in a little coconut oil first before adding the liquids.
- Stir in a few tablespoons of coconut cream into your finished rice.
- sliced or chopped jalapeño peppers
- chopped cilantro
- toasted coconut
- lime wedges
- sliced green onions
- sliced almonds
what goes well with coconut rice
- Rainbow Salmon Skewers
- Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa
- Salmon with Pineapple Salsa,
- Mojito Mahi Mahi
- Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry Bowl
- Thai Chicken Satay Bowls with Peanut Sauce
- Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
How to Make Coconut Rice
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 13.6 ounce can of unsweetened full fat coconut milk. You can use the light coconut milk as well, but the flavor won't be as good.
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste.
- Rinse your rice well under cold running water.
- Put the rice, coconut milk (shake the can before adding) water, sugar, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan and give it a good stir. Heat to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the rice comes to a boil, give it a final stir, cover, turn the heat to very low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. The aroma of the coconut with the jasmine rice is lovely! Note: make sure to turn your heat down to LOW, otherwise the coconut milk may scorch.
- Fluff the rice, re-cover, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Follow your package directions for 1 1/2 cups of rice.
- Take the amount of water your package requires, and replace at least half of it with coconut milk. You can use more or less depending on your taste. Be sure to shake your can of coconut milk to blend the water and coconut fat together.
- Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar to bring out the coconut flavor.
- Cook as usual.