Easy Coconut Rice Made in a Rice Cooker

Coconut rice recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Rest Time: 8 mins
Total: 38 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yields: 5 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
120 Calories
7g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 87mg 2%
*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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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Thai jasmine rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut

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 

What is considered a serving of rice?

 In general, a serving of cooked rice is about 1/2 cup, but it depends on the individuals and ages, dietary needs, and the number of other menu items. If you are feeding guests, err on the side of more and plan on at least 3/4 cup per person. You can refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for another meal.

What makes jasmine rice different?

White jasmine rice is a long-grain white rice from Thailand that is used in Southeast Asian cuisine. The rice has a floral aroma and somewhat sticky texture when cooked. Jasmine rice grains are shorter a bit thicker than basmati rice grains.

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.

Recipe Variations

  • Toss the finished rice with 2 to 4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or sliced green onions.
  • Add a dash of sugar to the cooking liquid.
  • For savory coconut rice, add about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to the cooking liquid.