Thai Saffron Coconut Rice Recipe

Saffron rice
Harini Prakash / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings

If you like saffron rice and/or coconut rice, try this delicious Thai saffron-coconut rice recipe! Instead of choosing between saffron rice and coconut rice, I've combined the two into one recipe. The result is a beautifully golden rice that tastes wonderful and is great to serve company or take to a dinner party or potluck. It makes the perfect companion to any main you might be serving, from Asian specialties to traditional or gourmet Western fare. And it's easy to make, too - you don't need a rice cooker. Just combine everything together in a pot and you'll have beautiful saffron coconut rice in just 20 minutes!


  • 2 cups white Thai jasmine rice
  • 2 cups good-quality coconut milk
  • 1+3/4 cups good-tasting chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 +1/2 tablespoons dry shredded coconut, unsweetened (baking type)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce, OR soy sauce if vegetarian
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili (available in the spice aisle)
  • 2 green onions OR a few chives, sliced (for garnish)

Steps to Make It

  1. Place stock in a pot and set over high heat.

  2. Add the turmeric, saffron threads (if using), garlic, fish sauce, lemon juice, cumin, and chili. Stir well and bring to a boil.

  3. Add the rice, shredded coconut, plus coconut milk. Stir continuously (to keep rice from sticking to the bottom) while you bring liquid back to a gentle boil.

  4. When liquid is gently bubbling, reduce heat to low (just above minimum) and stop stirring. Cover pot tightly with a lid and cook about 15 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed (use a fork to pull rice back so you can see to the bottom of the pot).

  5. Turn off heat, but leave the pot on the burner (covered) to steam for another 5-10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. Rice will stay hot in this way for an hour or more (great if you're having company!).

  6. Before serving, fluff rice with a fork and taste-test for salt.

  7. If not salty enough (this will depend on the saltiness of your stock), add a little more fish sauce OR a sprinkling of salt if vegetarian. If too salty, add another squeeze of lemon juice.

  8. Garnish with the green onion, and serve with a nice Thai Curry, Indian curry, or other dishes of your choice. 

For plain coconut rice, see my: Easy Coconut Rice Recipe.

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