Coconut Rice

$2.88 recipe / $0.48 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.84 from 48 votes
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I’m not kidding when I say this coconut rice is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. There’s something about it that literally just makes my body melt upon the first bite. It’s rich, savory, carby, and just insanely delicious. It’s pretty simple to make, too, which is always a plus. Whether you like to make rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker, you can make this incredible savory coconut rice with very little effort.

Originally posted 12-22-2011, updated 5-4-2022.

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut rice on a bamboo mat.

What’s in Coconut Rice?

This incredible rice is deceptively simple. It’s just long-grain white jasmine rice cooked in a mixture of coconut milk and water, with a little minced garlic and salt for depth. THAT’S IT. It sounds so plain, but you’ll be blown away on first bite. 

What Kind of Coconut Milk?

For this recipe you’ll need canned coconut milk, not the kind that is meant to be used as a substitute for dairy milk–that’s just too watery. As far as canned coconut milk goes, I’ve used both full fat and light and it turns out great with both. Full-fat coconut milk creates an ultra-rich rice (because it has so much more fat), while lite coconut milk has a slightly more mild coconut flavor and the rice will have a lighter, fluffier texture (less fat weighing it down).

What is Jasmine Rice?

Jasmine rice is a fragrant variety of rice grown in Southeast Asia. Using jasmine rice in this recipe really takes the flavor over the top, so definitely get it if you can! Jasmine rice is becoming more popular in the U.S. so you can find it at most grocery stores these days. Check the bottom shelf of the rice aisle for large 5 lb. bags to get the best deal. While jasmine rice is more expensive than plain white rice, it is totally worth the price. Plus, since it’s shelf-stable, it won’t go to waste! You can use long grain jasmine rice in place of plain white rice in most recipes for an extra flavor boost.

Can I Use a Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can make this coconut rice with a rice cooker instead of in a pot on the stovetop, as directed below. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and press go! 

What to Serve with Coconut Rice

This super delish rice is a great side dish to any Asian or tropical-inspired meal. Use it as a bed for Honey Sriracha Tofu, Teriyaki Chicken, Baked Ginger Salmon, or Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls.

Coconut rice in a saucepot on a bamboo mat, garnish with green onion and toasted coconut.

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Coconut Rice

4.84 from 48 votes
This savory coconut rice features fragrant jasmine rice, rich coconut milk, and savory garlic for a simple yet delicious side dish.
Coconut rice on a plate garnished with green onion and toasted coconut.
Servings 6 about ¾ cup each
Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain jasmine rice ($0.48)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk ($2.29)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)

Instructions 

  • Rinse the jasmine rice using a wire mesh strainer or a bowl, making sure to pour off as much excess water as possible. Add the rinsed rice to a pot along with the minced garlic and salt.
  • Add the coconut milk and water to the pot. Give the rice a brief stir.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the liquid to come up to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low. Allow the rice to simmer over low for 15 minutes. Make sure the pot maintains a simmer. Do not stir or lift the lid as the rice simmers.
  • After simmering for 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest an additional 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, after the rice has rested, you lift the lid and fluff with a fork. Serve hot.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSodium: 303mgFiber: 1g
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Close up side view of coconut rice on a plate, garnished with green onion and toasted coconut.

How to Make Coconut Rice – Step By Step Photos

Rinsed rice in a saucepot with minced garlic and salt.

Rinse 1.5 cups long grain white jasmine rice, making sure to pour off as much excess water as possible. Add the rinsed rice to a pot along with one clove of minced garlic and ¾ tsp salt.

Coconut milk being poured into the saucepot.

Add one 13.5oz. can of coconut milk to the saucepot with the rice.

Water being poured into the saucepot.

Add an additional cup of water. Give the rice a brief stir. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the liquid to come up to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low. Allow the rice to simmer over low for 15 minutes. Make sure the pot maintains a simmer. Do not stir or lift the lid as the rice simmers.

Cooked rice in the saucepot.

After simmering for 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest an additional 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, after the rice has rested, you may lift the lid.

Rice being fluffed in the saucepot.

Fluff the rice with a fork and then serve.

Coconut rice on a plate garnished with green onion and toasted coconut.

I garnished my rice with sliced green onion and toasted coconut, but neither is needed to make this rice taste amazing! It’s mind-blowing on its own!

 

Try These Other Flavored Rice Recipes:

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  1. I frequently eat this for breakfast with two poached eggs, green onion, and just a pinch of black pepper on top. Delish!

  2. Pretty interesting. I couldn’t really taste a difference but the rice (texture) was thinner and nicer than when I use water.

    I made 2 cups of this in a rice cooker but used far less coconut milk. I only filled it up to the level indicated on my rice cooker pot and it worked out fine when I pressed the white rice button. Your mileage may vary though because it seems another reviewer had worse results.

    1. Add all of the ingredients to your three to six quart digital pressure cooker, BUT reduce the water to a half cup. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and use 3 minutes cook time. Then allow the pressure to release naturally for 7 minutes. You can finish with a quick pressure release at that time.

  3. Excellent rice! I made your “take 2” version which I don’t see on the site any more. Ingredients are exactly the same only the directions are a bit different (covering the rice with water, swishing, then rinsing three times). It is so fluffy, light, and loaded with flavor. Am always surprised in your various rice recipes (one of my favorites that I make often is your Sesame Rice) how one clove of garlic adds such a wonderful subtle flavor! Great recipe!

  4. For a rice cooker, you’ll definitely want to add more water. We made this last night and had to cook it on the white rice setting three  times, adding a cup of water in each time in order to get the rice to cook to an edible consistency. I’ll have to try this on the stovetop to see how it performs there.