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.
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.
- 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.
How to make coconut rice
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Make it in the Instant Pot
Mix the coconut milk, salt, rice and 1 cup of water (instead of 1 1/2 cups) to the instant pot. Close the lid and make sure the vent is set to sealing. Press the rise button or pressure cook (manual cook) for 12 minutes. Use the quick release function to let all the steam out at once.
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
- Cilantro lime chicken
- Slow cooker coconut curry chicken
- Creamy sweet potato curry
- Fiesta lime shrimp bowls
- Sheet pan honey garlic shrimp
- Instant pot carnitas
- Crispy garlic chicken bites
- Blackened salmon
- Crockpot pepper steak
- Instant pot mongolian beef
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More easy side dishes:
Fluffy Coconut Rice
- 2 cups basmati or long grain white rice
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kogher salt
- To top: toasted unsweetened coconut and chopped cilantro
- 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.