Easy Coconut Rice

Coconut rice in a bowl with a sprig of parsley
The Spruce
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
330 Calories
25g Fat
25g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 330
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 22g 110%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 284mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 276mg 6%
*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 makes a terrific accompaniment to many Thai and Indian dishes, but it's equally wonderful with nearly any Western-style entrée. Quick and easy to make, this vegan coconut rice recipe will come in handy for those times when you want to make dinner extra special without a lot of extra work.

Thai jasmine-scented white rice is used in this recipe. You can find it in most grocery stores in the rice section. If not, check at a local Asian or international market or order online.

This recipe uses the stovetop method for cooking rice. If you have a rice cooker, you can use that instead. Serve with stir-fried meat and/or vegetables or curries, like mango chicken or chickpea curry.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups Thai jasmine-scented white rice
  • 2 cups coconut milk (canned, good quality)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    All of the ingredients needed for making coconut rice
    ​The Spruce
  2. Rub the oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot. You will also need a tight-fitting lid.

    Oil rubbed into the bottom of a pot
    The Spruce
  3. Rinse the rice and drain well. Place it in a pot along with the coconut milk, water, and salt. Set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.

    Rice, coconut milk, water, and salt added to the pot
    The Spruce
  4. Once the coconut milk-water has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring, and reduce heat to low or medium-low so the liquid simmers.

    The cooking coconut milk-water begins to bubble
    The Spruce
  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.

    The pot is covered and the rice simmers
    The Spruce
  6. To check, pull the rice aside with a fork. If most of the coconut milk-water is gone, go on to the next step. If there is still a good amount of liquid left, steam for a few minutes longer.

    Pulling aside the rice with a fork to see if the liquid is gone
    The Spruce
  7. Turn off the heat but leave the covered pot on the burner another 5 to 10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. When you're ready to serve the rice, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork or chopsticks. Taste-test the rice for salt, adding a little more if needed.

    Fluffing the rice with a couple of chopsticks
    The Spruce 
  8. Serve right out of the pot or transfer to a serving bowl. 

    Coconut rice in a bowl with a sprig of parsley
    The Spruce 
  9. Enjoy.

Tips

  • Rinse and drain rice before you cook it. Some rice is coated with talc in processing. This material is inert and won't hurt you if you ingest it, but we prefer to have just rice in our side dishes. Rinsing also helps keep the grains separate as they cook.
  • Be sure to use canned coconut milk, not the boxed or refrigerated kind that's used for cereal and coffee. Full-fat coconut milk will yield the best results, but a low-fat version will still work for this recipe.
  • If you don't have coconut oil, you can use butter instead. Note that this dish will no longer be vegan and might affect the flavor.