My Favorite Coconut Rice

This fluffy, fragrant savory coconut rice recipe is made with Thai jasmine rice, virgin coconut oil, and full fat coconut milk. Pair with Asian main courses, stir fries, or curries!

Coconut Rice in Bowl

I’m embarrassed to admit just how many times we’ve made this coconut rice over the past few months! We love pairing this simple rice with Asian dishes, stews, stir fries (such as this shrimp stir fry!), and curries (cauliflower curry is a great choice!). It elevates even the most basic of meals, and is almost impossible to resist. 

I have a serious weakness for coconut rice, and the recipe and method below is foolproof. It is the best coconut rice recipe that I’ve made in my own kitchen, and rivals the best that I’ve had out at restaurants. 

Fluffy, aromatic, and perfectly cooked every time. You won’t need any special equipment, ingredients, or tools to make this. You just need a basic heavy-bottomed saucepan. We’re getting back-to-basics with this one! 

Thai Jasmine Rice

Unlike some coconut rice recipes, this coconut rice is not sticky. Sticky coconut rice generally contains at least a little bit of sugar and must be made with certain types of sticky, short-grain rice varieties that are high in starch.

This coconut rice is fluffy, fragrant, and savory. If cooked properly, the rice kernels will be distinctive, separate, and perfectly cooked. 

It will make your kitchen smell fantastic! 

Coconut Rice Ingredients: 

  • Thai Jasmine Rice – long-grain rice is ideal for coconut rice. Technically you could make this recipe with other long-grain white rices, but I strongly advise using Thai jasmine rice for this recipe. The quality will vary, and some will be more naturally fragrant than others. I’ve had great success with a basic 365 Brand Organic Thai Jasmine rice (affiliate link).  
  • Virgin, Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil – stirring the rice with coconut oil before cooking separates the grains during cooking, and adds fabulous flavor. Since we’re making coconut rice (and are seeking that great coconut flavor!), you’ll want to use virgin expeller-pressed coconut oil, which is naturally very fragrant and flavorful, for this recipe. Refined non-virgin coconut oil will work, but imparts little to no coconut flavor. 
  • Full-Fat Coconut Milk – to make the best coconut rice, you’ll need full-fat canned coconut milk! Be sure to mix the coconut milk fully before measuring, as it is often separated in the can.  I recommend Aroy-D (if you can find it), Thai Kitchen, or 365 Brand. Do not substitute this ingredient with light coconut milk (which is coconut milk diluted with water) or refrigerated coconut milks, which are packed with additional ingredients. 
  • Water – this recipe uses equal parts full-fat coconut milk and water to cook the rice. This is my favorite ratio, and produces fragrant, well-textured coconut rice, which isn’t overly rich or weighed down by additional coconut milk. 
  • Kosher Salt – I use Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt in my kitchen (read more about why I love this brand of cooking salt). If you use other brands or varieties of salt, please note that you’ll need to adjust the quantity to account for varying densities. 

Coconut Rice in Bowl

How to Make Coconut Rice: 

Coconut rice is very simple to make and takes only 25 to 30 minutes to prepare start to finish. You’ll need a heavy-bottomed stainless steel (or non-stick) saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. 

A few simple steps and techniques help produce amazingly textured, perfectly cooked coconut rice every time. 

  1. Before cooking, be sure to rinse the rice in a fine-meshed sieve. Continue rinsing under cold water until the water runs clear. Rinsing the rice removes additional starches, which can result in mushier, more poorly textured coconut rice. Ideally, you want to allow the rice to dry as much as possible before combining it with the coconut oil (which will not coat the rice kernels properly if wet). To do this, set the rice in a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl or saucepan and allow to air dry. Alternatively, you can turn the burner heat to medium for a minute or so, and allow the residual heat to help dry the rice. 
  2. Once all of the ingredients are combined, fit the pot with a tight-fitted lid and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Do not leave the pot unattended at this time, as this will happen quickly and you need to watch out for signs of boiling (some steam escaping or the lid very barely rattling). Stir well, cover, and immediately reduce the heat too low and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. The rice will cook over heat for 10 minutes. By this time, all of the cooking liquid should be absorbed. After this step, we’ll allow the rice to sit, covered tightly, off the heat for an additional 15 minutes. This allows the rice to continue steaming and cooking through – producing perfectly cooked rice that well-textured throughout. 
  4. Fluff gently with a fork and serve! 

Coconut Rice Recipe

What to Serve with Coconut Rice: 

Coconut rice pairs well with so many dishes, particularly Asian or Asian-inspired dishes. We love serving this rice with stir fries, curries, or stews. 

I prefer my coconut rice without added sugar, but many traditional recipes call for a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar too. Feel free to add sugar if desired or serving this rice as a dessert (eg. coconut rice with mango!). 

Hope you love this recipe as much as we do! 

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

Yield: 4 Cups; 4-6 Servings
This fragrant savory coconut rice recipe is made with Thai jasmine rice, virgin coconut oil, and full fat coconut milk. A few simple cooking techniques ensure fluffy, perfectly cooked rice every time. Pair with Asian main courses, stir fries, or curries!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (360 g) Thai jasmine rice, rinsed and drained very well
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) virgin expeller-pressed coconut oil*
  • 2 teaspoons (5.6 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cup (320 mL) cold water
  • 1 and 1/3 cup (320 mL) canned full-fat coconut milk (*be sure to mix well before measuring; I recommend Aroy-D, Thai Kitchen, or 365 Brand)

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice, coconut oil, and salt in a medium saucepan (I use a 3-quart sized pot). Gently stir until all of the coconut oil has integrated fully and lightly coats the rice kernels (without breaking them).
  2. Add the cold water and coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Place over high heat and bring to a vigorous boil. Do not leave the pot unattended at this time, as this will happen quickly and you need to watch out for signs of boiling (some steam escaping or the lid very barely rattling). Remove the lid and thoroughly stir the rice mixture with a spoon. Cover once again, reduce to low heat, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, set the saucepan (still covered with the lid) off the heat. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, season to taste as necessary, and serve. Leftover cooked rice can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 days.

Notes

Tips for Success:

  • It is important for the rice to be drained very well after rinsing, and if possible, almost dry before it is mixed with the coconut oil. To do this, you can set the rice in a fine-meshed sieve and set over a pot/bowl (if using a pot, you turn on a burner for a few minutes to allow the residual heat to dry the rice over the pot.
  • If your canned coconut milk has separated, be sure to mix it thoroughly together before measuring.
  • I prefer my coconut rice without added sugar, but many traditional recipes call for a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar. Feel free to add if desired, or add if serving this rice as a dessert.

Recipe adapted just barely from Burma Superstar cookbook.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1061mg Carbohydrates: 23g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 3g

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