Easy Coconut Rice Made in a Rice Cooker

Coconut rice recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
501 Calories
16g Fat
81g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 501
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 29%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 8g
Calcium 37mg 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 one of those delicious and decadent dishes available to you when you're at an Indian or Thai restaurant. But there's no big mystery about how to make it. The ingredients are few—rice, coconut milk, salt, and shredded, dried coconut—and it comes together in about 20 minutes.

Coconut rice can be served with a variety of Thai and Indian dishes such as curries, stir-fried vegetables, fish, and seafood mains. This easy coconut rice recipe is made in a rice cooker and as the starchy, nutty, and slightly floral notes of coconut and jasmine rice play together so well, this may become your default rice side dish for Asian fare.

For this recipe, you'll need canned coconut milk, which is usually found in the international foods aisle at the grocery store. You'll want to skip the refrigerated, watery kind that comes in cartons and is meant more for drinking (think smoothies) than for cooking. It doesn't have the kind of texture or consistency you want here. Shake the can before you open it to integrate any of the thick cream that separates from the liquid. The recipe works best, too, if you use jasmine white rice, a long-grain, slightly sticky rice that's typically grown in Thailand; success cannot be guaranteed if you opt for other rice types.

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Click Play to See This Coconut Rice Variation Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Thai jasmine rice (other types of rice will not work well for this recipe)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup good-quality coconut milk (not "light")
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened; baking type)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for coconut rice
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Place rice in rice cooker. Add the water, coconut milk, salt, and shredded coconut. Stir well; use a plastic or wooden utensil to avoid scraping off the nonstick surface. Cover and set to cook.

    Cover rice cooker
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Once your rice cooker switches to "warm" mode, allow another 8 to 10 minutes for the rice to finish steaming. This will ensure your coconut rice is fully cooked and pleasantly sticky.

    Rice
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Gently fluff with chopsticks before serving. Some of the shredded coconut may have risen to the surface; just stir it back into the rice. Taste it for salt, adding a little more if needed.

    Gently fluff with chopsticks
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Serve with Thai, Chinese, or Indian dishes of your choice. Enjoy!

    Coconut rice
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

Tips

  • Rinse the rice before cooking it. Some rice is coated with talc during processing, which is inert and won't hurt you if you ingest it, but it's best to remove it. Rinsing also removes starch which makes the rice less mushy and helps keep the grains separate as they cook.
  • If the rice is still hard after cooking, add 1/4 cup of water and cook it on very low heat with the lid on for 5 more minutes.

How to Store and Freeze Coconut Rice

Rice will keep in the fridge, covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but it also freezes well. It is often helpful to freeze it in zip-close bag in portion sizes that make the most sense for you and your family.

Coconut rice can be defrosted in the microwave or in the refrigerator and then reheated completely in a pot. You may need to add a little bit of liquid, such as water or coconut milk, to rehydrate it.