Easy Coconut Rice

Easy Coconut Rice

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
14g Fat
17g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 158mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Coconut rice is a staple in Thai cuisine. Aromatic and flavorful, with a subtly sweet coconut flavor, this rice makes a terrific accompaniment to many Thai and Indian dishes, but it's equally wonderful with nearly any Western-style entrée. Quick and simple to make, this recipe can be the base for many other dishes: Think of curries, stews, and saucy vegan preparations that the rice will soak up, creating the perfect bite. In fact, as a vegan recipe, this rice can be a main dish for your vegan guests when served with a good spread of roasted vegetables or a sesame-ginger baked tofu dish.

For this recipe, use Thai jasmine-scented white rice. You can find it in most grocery stores in the rice aisle, online, or in Asian or international supermarkets. This type of rice is key, as the end result is fluffy restaurant-style coconut rice. Other rice can have too much starch and become gluey and too sticky, whereas jasmine has the perfect grain and size to soak up the coconut flavor without becoming greasy or sticking together. For best results, get full-fat canned coconut milk, and not the carton of coconut milk used for coffee and other beverages.

This recipe uses the stovetop method for cooking rice, so be sure to have a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cooking the rice in a rice cooker will also deliver wonderful coconut rice.

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"Cooking rice with coconut milk, instead of just water, makes it deliciously rich and coconut-y, which is perfect for serving with coconut-based curries. This recipe uses more liquid than some other coconut rice recipes I've tried, but it worked great. The result was very moist and tender rice that clumped together into scoopable chunks." —Danielle Centoni

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

  • 2 cups Thai jasmine white rice, rinsed well

  • 13.5 ounces canned coconut milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 3/4 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy coconut rice ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Rub the oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot.

    Oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place the rice in the pot along with the coconut milk, salt, and water. Set over medium-high to high heat and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

    Rice, coconut milk, water, and salt added to the pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Once the liquid has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring, and reduce the heat to low, achieving a constant simmer.

    Coconut milk and rice cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Cover tightly with a lid and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

    Coconut rice in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Check doneness by pulling the rice aside with a fork. If there is still a good amount of liquid left, steam for a few minutes longer. If the liquid is gone, turn off the heat.

    Dragging a fork through rice to check if it's done

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. With the heat off, leave the covered pot on the hot burner for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat.

    Coconut rice in a covered pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. When you're ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks. Taste-test for salt, adding a little more if needed. Enjoy the rice with your favorite dishes.

    Fluffing coconut rice in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Why Do I Need to Rinse the Rice?

You've seen that many rice recipes call for rice that's been thoroughly rinsed and drained. The reason: Much of the commercially available imported rice is coated with talc during processing (rice processed in the U.S. no longer uses this material). This inert substance is used abroad to give the rice a whiter appearance, and although it won't hurt you if you ingest it, it's best to get rid of it if you can. Another reason for rinsing is that even if the rice is talc free, you're removing some starch and impurities, allowing the grains to keep separate as they cook.