Coconut Rice Recipe for a Healthy Diet

Coconut Rice

➡️ The coconut rice certainly sounds very exotic to many of you. But for a large part of the world’s population, cooking coconut rice is an everyday fact because it is one of the most popular side dishes or even main dishes.

➡️ You probably know that coconut grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the planet and rice is a staple food in countries with warm climates, so combining the two ingredients is a logical and economic consequence because both are available at low prices.

➡️ The result is a very tasty, nutritious, and healthy dish (see details below.) In addition, cooking coconut rice is very versatile because you can add many other ingredients to the base dish including vegetables, fish, seafood, chicken, and a lot of herbs and spices. Therefore, you can easily personalize the food according to your preferences.

➡️ One of the defining features of this dish is its creamy, slightly sweet flavor and aroma, which comes from the use of coconut milk. Coconut milk is made by blending coconut flesh with water and then straining it, resulting in a thick, creamy liquid that is used as a base for many Southeast Asian dishes.

➡️ The rice used in coconut rice is typically a long-grain variety, such as jasmine or basmati rice. The rice is rinsed thoroughly to remove excess starch, which can cause the rice to become sticky and clumpy when cooked. Once the rice is rinsed, it is cooked in a mixture of coconut milk and water, along with some salt and sugar to enhance the flavors.

➡️ The result is a dish that is both fragrant and flavorful, with a slightly nutty taste that pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. Coconut rice is often served with curries, stir-fries, grilled meats, and seafood, as well as with vegetables and salads.

➡️ One of the great things about this dish is that it can be customized to suit your tastes. For example, you can add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, or cardamom to give the dish a more complex flavor. You can also add fresh herbs such as cilantro or basil, which add a bright, fresh note to the dish.

➡️ Coconut rice is a delicious and versatile dish that is perfect for adding a touch of tropical flavor to your meals. It’s easy to make, and it’s a great way to introduce new flavors and ingredients into your cooking repertoire.

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How to Make Coconut Rice from Scratch at Home

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Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a dish that is widely enjoyed around the world, particularly in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. This dish is loved for its distinct aroma and flavor, which comes from the use of coconut milk.
The creamy texture and nutty flavor of coconut rice make it a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. The coconut milk gives the rice a rich, satisfying flavor that is both sweet and savory. The dish is often served alongside curries, grilled meats, or seafood.
What makes coconut rice unique is its use of coconut milk, which not only adds flavor but also provides additional health benefits. Coconut milk is a rich source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthier alternative to traditional dairy milk. It's also a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known for their ability to boost energy levels and promote weight loss.
Coconut rice can be prepared in a variety of ways, depending on the region and personal preference. Some recipes call for toasting the rice in oil or butter before cooking, while others simply combine the rice and coconut milk in a pot and let it simmer until fully cooked. The addition of spices and herbs such as ginger, lemongrass, and pandan leaves can also add depth and complexity to the dish.
Overall, coconut rice is a delicious and healthy dish that can add a touch of tropical flavor to any meal. Its versatility and unique flavor make it a great addition to any recipe repertoire.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)


  • Rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
  • In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed rice, coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar (if using). Stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Once the rice is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the unsweetened shredded coconut (if using).


Cooking Tips:
  • Rinse the rice before cooking: It’s important to rinse the rice before cooking to remove any excess starch that can cause the rice to become too sticky or clumpy.
  • Use a fine mesh strainer: Use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the rice, as this will help to remove any small debris or dust that may be present.
  • Use jasmine rice: Jasmine rice is the best type of rice to use for coconut rice. It has a natural fragrance that pairs well with the coconut milk and adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish.
  • Use a 1:1 ratio of coconut milk and water: To get the perfect creamy texture, it’s important to use a 1:1 ratio of coconut milk and water. This will ensure that the rice absorbs all the liquid and becomes perfectly cooked.
  • Stir in shredded coconut for added texture: If you want to add a bit of texture to your coconut rice, you can stir in some unsweetened shredded coconut once the rice is done cooking. This will give the dish a bit of crunch and enhance the coconut flavor.
Keyword coconut rice

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Making Coconut Rice at Home is Very Easy

Bowl of Coconut Rice Ready For Serving
Bowl of Coconut Rice Ready For Serving

➡️ As I mentioned in the beginning, cooking coconut rice is popular in all warm countries and therefore you will find various versions, some of which have become very popular all over the planet, especially the Thai and Jamaican ones.

➡️ Personally, I usually cook coconut rice as a side dish when I want to make more exotic food such as Asian hot shrimp or chicken stew with exotic flavors. In fact, the dish fits perfectly with any grilled meat, roasted in the oven, or fried in the pan, but especially with chicken, so maybe you should look for a coconut rice recipe and prepare it for the next grill party.

➡️ Making coconut rice is simple, but it requires care to get the right texture. The rice should be soft, but not mushy. It should be able to hold its shape when cooked, but still, have the grains separate easily when poked with a fork. The best way to make sure that your rice is cooked to perfection is to not rush and allocate enough time both for boiling rice and for combining flavors.

➡️ Coconut rice is a perfect dish for summertime and all year round! If you need additional info, read more on coconut rice!

FAQs about Coconut Rice

What is coconut rice?

Coconut rice is a flavorful and aromatic rice dish that is cooked with coconut milk. It is a popular dish in many cuisines, including Southeast Asian and Caribbean.

How do I make coconut rice?

To make coconut rice, you’ll need rice, coconut milk, water, and salt. Simply combine the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in a pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the rice is cooked and fluffy.

Can I use any type of rice for coconut rice?

While traditionally jasmine rice is used for coconut rice, you can also use other types of rice like basmati or long-grain rice. Just keep in mind that the cooking time and amount of liquid may vary slightly.

Is coconut rice sweet?

Coconut rice has a subtle sweetness that comes from the natural sweetness of coconut milk. However, it is not overly sweet and balances well with savory dishes.

Can I add other ingredients to coconut rice?

Yes, you can customize your coconut rice by adding ingredients like spices (such as turmeric or ginger), herbs (such as cilantro or basil), or even vegetables (like peas or carrots) to enhance the flavor and add more texture.

How should I serve coconut rice?

Coconut rice is versatile and can be served as a side dish alongside various curries, stir-fries, grilled meats, or seafood. It can also be enjoyed on its own with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a squeeze of lime juice.

Can I make coconut rice ahead of time?

Yes, you can make coconut rice ahead of time and reheat it when needed. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, sprinkle some water over the rice and gently fluff it with a fork before microwaving or steaming it.

Can I freeze coconut rice?

Yes, coconut rice can be frozen. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I use light coconut milk instead of full-fat coconut milk?

Yes, you can use light coconut milk if you prefer a lighter version of coconut rice. However, keep in mind that the dish may be slightly less creamy and have a milder coconut flavor.

Can I make coconut rice without using a stove?

Yes, you can make coconut rice using alternative methods such as a rice cooker or an Instant Pot. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking rice using these appliances and substitute the water with coconut milk for the desired coconut flavor.

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