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Coconut rice is boiled with coconut milk and water to create an extra fluffy rice, perfect for pairing with curry, chicken or your favorite protein. We love adding the extra flavor and healthy fats into this side dish.

fluffy coconut rice in a wood bowl topped with fresh cilantro
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What is coconut rice?

Coconut rice is an extra fluffy recipe using coconut milk and water to boil long grain white or basmati rice. It results in a thicker, more rich rice, typically used in Thai dishes like curry.

Ingredient notes

  • Basmati rice: this is the most traditional type of rice but you could also use long grain white rice. I wouldn’t substitute brown rice because the cooking times will vary.
  • Full fat canned coconut milk: you can usually find this in the baking aisle or the asian food aisle.
  • Water: a mix of water and coconut milk is best for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Salt: adds flavor and balances well with the sweetness from the coconut milk.

Substitutions and variations

  • Lite coconut milk: you can use this instead of full fat coconut milk, but it won’t be quite as rich.
  • Long grain white rice: try this if you have it on hand instead of basmati rice!
  • Turmeric coconut rice: add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to the coconut milk and water before boiling.
  • Hawaiian pineapple: add 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 cups of diced pineapple and swap the water for pineapple juice.
ingredients for coconut rice on a table with text labels

How to make coconut rice

  1. Rinse the rice: add the rice to a bowl and fill with water. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes then drain or use a colander to remove the water.
rinsed basmati rice in a white collander
  1. Bring to a boil: combine the water, salt and coconut milk in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Next, add the rice, stir once and allow it to simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Rest and serve: remove the lid, all it to sit for 5-10 minuets then fluffy with a fork and serve with cilantro and toasted coconut if desired.
coconut milk, water and salt in a stock pot

Make it in the Instant Pot

Follow the directions to rinse the rice, but this time we will use a 1:1 rice to liquid ratio. And you only have to pressure cook for 3 minutes! It takes about half the time. Check out the full recipe for Instant Pot Coconut Rice with step by step images and tips.

Make it in the rice cooker

Mix all of the ingredients together (use 1 1/2 cups of water) in the rice cooker. All it to come to warm then steam for 8-10 minutes.

Tips for perfect coconut rice

  • Use jasmine rice or long grain white rice. If you use another kind of rice, it will result in a different texture due to cook times.
  • Soak the rice in water. This is important because it helps get a lot of the starch out of the rice so it doesn’t result mushy or gooey.
  • Bring to a boil before simmering. Heat the water and cfoconut milk over high heat. It should reach a rolling boil before you add the rice. After that, add the rice and allow it to boil before turning the heat down and cover.

What to Eat with Coconut Rice

We love to serve chicken and rice together. And if you’re like us, then try it with this cilantro lime chicken, air fryer orange chicken, coconut curry chicken, and crispy garlic chicken bites.

Are you a shrimp fan? Fiesta lime shrimp bowls and honey garlic sheet pan shrimp.

We have salmon at least once a week and serve these honey garlic air fryer salmon bites, blackened salmon, and teriyaki glazed salmon with this rice.

Don’t forget beef recipes! Especially Instant Pot Mongolian beef and crockpot pepper steak.

coconut rice in a wooden bowl on a napkin topped with cilantro

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More easy side dishes:

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5 from 6 votes

Fluffy Coconut Rice

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Coconut rice is boiled with coconut milk and water to create an extra fluffy rice, perfect for pairing with curry, chicken or your favorite protein. We love adding the extra flavor and healthy fats into this side dish.

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Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati or long grain white rice
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • To top: toasted unsweetened coconut and chopped cilantro

Instructions 

  • Add the rice to a bowl and fill with water. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes then drain or use a colander to remove the water.
  • Combine the water, salt and coconut milk in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir once and allow it to simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, all it to sit for 5-10 minuets then fluffy with a fork and serve with cilantro and toasted coconut if desired.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 197mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Kate says:

    What is the serving size?

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Hey! Serving size is 1/2 cup!

  2. Stefany says:

    5 stars
    BEST TREAT EVER! OMG I ate it all, incredible!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks! Love it!

  3. Brooke says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Family couldn’t get enough!