Thai Coconut Brown Rice

Thai coconut brown rice recipe

The Spruce / Andrea Livingston

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings

If you are looking for a delicious way to cook brown rice, try this wonderful Thai coconut brown rice recipe. In Thailand, coconut rice is often served as a dessert, topped with sliced mango and coconut cream. It is part of dessert dishes such as khao tom matkhao lam, and khao niao kaeo.

Coconut rice is also a favorite side dish that works well with a number of different cuisines, including Thai and Indian as well as Western dishes. It is an ideal accompaniment to something spicy as the sweetness will counteract the heat.

For some people, brown rice tastes a bit too grainy, but when combined with coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut oil, the rice takes on a velvety texture and lightly sweet, nutty flavor. If you like, you can top the cooked rice with some toasted coconut or sweetened shredded coconut. 


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for brown coconut rice
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  2. Rub the oil over the bottom of a regular-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid.

    Rub oil over pot
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  3. Add the rice, coconut milk, water, salt, and shredded coconut. Stir and set over high heat. Bring to a bubbling, but not rolling, boil.

    Mix rice, coconut milk, water, salt, and shredded coconut
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  4. Immediately reduce heat to low (right above the lowest setting) and cover tightly with a lid.

    Coconut milk
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  5. Allow to cook for 1 hour, or until the coconut-water has been absorbed by the rice.

    Cover pot with lid
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  6. When all (or nearly all) of the liquid is gone, turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner, covered. Allow the rice to sit for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. Your coconut rice will stay warm this way for 1 hour or more (a great make-ahead tip if you're expecting company.).

  7. Fluff the rice with chopsticks or a fork, and serve with your choice of entree.

    Fluff rice
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston

Recipe Variations

  • If desired, coconut rice can be topped with a sprinkling of toasted coconut (simply "dry-fry" 1 to 2 tablespoons shredded coconut in a dry frying pan until toasted), or top with a sprinkling of sweetened shredded coconut.


  • Go ahead and make this dish a little ahead of time, as this rice can sit covered for up to an hour after it has been cooked.