Dinner/ rice/ vegetarian dinner

Coconut rice recipe (stove or pressure cooker)

9 November 2019

Coconut rice is a simple side dish that elevates any meal that is served along with it. It will be hard to go back to plain cooked rice after trying this recipe. It goes well with many Asian or Asian-inspired dishes, especially spicy sauces. The coconut flavor is mild, so it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the dish.
This is a savory coconut rice recipe, for sweet coconut rice recipe, check out this post: Thai coconut sticky rice with mango.

coconut rice in a blue bowl

What is coconut rice?

Coconut rice is Jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk. It’s a popular side dish in many Asian countries.

coconut rice ingredients

Ingredients – what you’ll need:

  • Rice: I used Jasmine rice because it’s very fragrant and it just tastes best. Don’t use other rice varieties with this recipe as rice: liquid ratios vary.
    Rice to liquid ratio is 1 cup of Jasmine rice : 1.5 cups of liquid. This yields soft and fluffy rice. If you like al dente rice (rice that has more bite to it) – add 1 cup of Jasmine rice and 1 and 1/4 cups liquid. I have tested all the ratios, starting from 1:2 ratio to 1:1 ratio with 1:1 yielding not entirely cooked rice and 1:2 yielding soft and tasty rice, but a little too clumpy. Please bear in mind that coconut rice (rice cooked with thick and creamy coconut milk) will be always less fluffy than plain cooked Jasmin rice.
  • Liquid: I used a 1:1 coconut milk to water ratio. You can cook the rice in just coconut milk but it’s too thick to properly absorb the water and also too fatty in my opinion. Cooking the rice in just coconut milk works better with sweet dishes, like this Thai sticky coconut rice with mango. Instead of water, I recommend using coconut water, if you can get it. It adds more coconut taste and is naturally slightly sweet.
    • What kind of coconut milk to use: Use coconut milk from a can, not a sweetened coconut milk from a carton. These are two different products. Coconut milk from a can is thicker and not sweetened (it’s only naturally slightly sweet). You can use both full-fat coconut milk and low-fat. I personally prefer the full-fat coconut milk, but both types will work.
    • Don’t mistake coconut milk with coconut cream. Coconut cream is a thick part of the coconut milk. It would be simply too thick and too fatty to use with this recipe.
    • Coconut water is the clear liquid that is inside of a coconut. You can buy it most often in a carton. Read the ingredient list, it should not be sweetened.
  • Oil: I toast the rice in coconut oil. Instead of coconut oil, you can use butter. Toasting the rice in oil helps the grains of rice separate (when the grains of rice are coated in oil, they don’t clump so easily) and adds additional flavor.
  • Salt: It’s important to season the rice with salt. I’m using about 1/2 teaspoon salt per 1 cup of rice.
  • Garnish: I like to toast shredded unsweetened coconut until lightly browned and fragrant and sprinkle it over the rice.
  • Sugar: I usually don’t add sugar to my coconut rice. Many recipes are using it because sugar is added to coconut rice in Asian restaurants. It does improve its taste – I would add 1 teaspoon sugar per 1 cup of rice.
  • Flavorings: in Thai restaurants pandan leaves are added to flavor the rice. They have vanilla-like flavor and are usually tied into a knot and cooked with the rice.
coconut rice scooped on a tablespoon

What to serve savory coconut rice with:

It would go perfect with:

Cooking methods:

How to make coconut rice – step by step:

coconut rice preparation steps

STEP 1: Rinse the rice
How to rinse the rice:
Add 1 cup of Jasmine rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cool water for about 1-2 minutes. The water should be almost clear (but it won’t be perfectly clear). You can also rinse the rice in a bowl – add the rice to a bowl and fill it with water. Stir the rice with your fingertips, drain the water and fill again. Repeat these steps 3-4 times.

STEP 2: Toast the rice: Heat the 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the rinsed rice, cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

STEP 3: Cook the rice: Shake the coconut milk can before opening it. Measure out 3/4 cup of coconut milk (small lumps are ok) and 3/4 cup of water (or coconut water) and add to the pot, season with salt to taste (add about 1/2 teaspoon) stir with the rice. Cover, bring to a boil and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. Take the pot off the heat (leave the lid on), leave to rest for 10 minutes.
STEP 4. Fluff the rice with the fork and serve.

Pressure cooker coconut rice (Instant Pot)

Coconut rice can also be easily made in a pressure cooker. The results were identical for me and it takes almost the same time, so it just a matter of preference. I tasted a couple rice:liquid ratios and to my surprise, I liked the 1:1.5 ratio most (the same ratio I use to cook the rice in a pot). I’ve read many times that since there is no water evaporating from the pressure cooker, you can add less water. That wasn’t true in my case and with the ingredients that I have used. Coconut rice cooked with 1:1 rice to liquid ratio was undercooked, 1:1/4 was al dente (was good, but it’s just not my preference, rice cooked al dente is a rice that has a little bite to it, like pasta), 1:1.5 was soft and fluffy and perfect for me. Experiment and try how you like it most. The doneness of the rice can also vary depending on a pressure cooker. Also, bear in mind please, that coconut rice (rice cooked with thick and creamy coconut milk) will always be less fluffy than plain cooked Jasmine rice.

How to make coconut rice in a pressure cooker:

  1. Rinse the rice (this step is optional but I found rinsed rice more fluffy and less clumpy).
  2. Toast the rice: Press the saute button, heat the coconut oil in the pressure cooker pot, when hot add the rice, cook, stirring, for about 1 minute (this step is also optional but I found that it improves the taste of the rice).
  3. Cook the rice: Add the coconut milk and water (or coconut water) to the pot, season with salt to taste, stir with the rice. Cover the pot with the lid. Make sure the steam release valve is in the ‘sealing’ position. Set the high pressure for 4 minutes. Wait for the natural pressure release (about 10 minutes).
  4. Open the pot and fluff the rice with a spatula, remove the rice immediately from the pot.

What’s most important when making coconut rice – a summary:

  • the most important is rice:liquid ratio, use 1:1.5 ratio for soft and fluffy rice or 1:1 1/4 ratio for al dente rice (it’s a matter of personal preference)
  • rinse the rice to remove excess starch (= fluffy rice)
  • use only Jasmine rice with this recipe, other rice varieties require other rice to liquid ratios
  • cook the rice over low heat
  • don’t forget to let the rice rest
  • optional, but improves the flavor: toast the rice in oil, use coconut water instead of plain water, sprinkle cooked rice with toasted shredded coconut

How to reheat coconut rice:

My favorite method for reheating rice is steaming it. Steam it in a steamer if you have one or just on a fine-mesh strainer or splash guard hung over a pot with boiling water and covered with a second pot. Steam the rice until warm.

Coconut rice recipe

Coconut rice is a great addition to any Asian dish. It tastes lightly coconutty, is simple to make and elevates any meal that is served along with it.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 cups rice (about 3 servings)
Calories 445kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice 7 oz/200g
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk 180ml, from a can
  • 3/4 cup water or better coconut water, 180ml, or veg./chicken broth
  • salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut to sprinkle, optional

Instructions

ON THE STOVE:

  • Rinse the rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cool water for about 1-2 minutes. The water should be almost clear (but it won't be perfectly clear).
  • Toast the rice: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat, add the rice, cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
  • Cook the rice: Shake the coconut milk can before opening it. Measure out the coconut milk (small lumps are ok) and water and add to the pot, season with salt to taste, stir with the rice. Cover, bring to a boil and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Let it rest: Take the pot off the heat (leave the lid on), leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with the fork.
  • Optionally, toast the shredded coconut: add shredded unsweetened coconut to a pan and toast over low heat, stirring from time to time, until fragrant and lightly browned. Take immediately off the pan, so it won't burn.
  • Sprinkle the rice with toasted shredded coconut and serve.
  • Enjoy!

IN THE PRESSURE COOKER:

  • Rinse the rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cool water for about 1-2 minutes. The water should be almost clear (but it won't be perfectly clear).
  • Toast the rice: Press the saute button, heat the coconut oil in the pressure cooker pot, when hot add the rice, cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
  • Cook the rice: Shake the coconut milk can before opening it. Measure out the coconut milk (small lumps are ok) and water and add to the pot, season with salt to taste, stir with the rice. Cover the pot with the lid, lock it into its position. Make sure the steam release valve is in the 'sealing' position. Set the high pressure for 4 minutes. Wait for the natural pressure release (until pin drops, don't touch the sealing valve). This will take about 10 minutes (for 1 cup of rice, if you added more rice it may take a little longer).
  • Open the pot and fluff the rice with a spatula, remove the rice immediately from the pot.
  • Optionally, toast the shredded coconut: add shredded unsweetened coconut to a pan and toast over low heat, stirring from time to time, until fragrant and lightly browned. Take immediately off the pan, so it won't burn.
  • Sprinkle the rice with toasted shredded coconut and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Rice to liquid ratio is 1 cup of Jasmine rice : 1.5 cups of liquid. This yields soft and fluffy rice. If you like al dente rice (rice that has more bite to it) – add 1 cup of Jasmine rice and 1 and 1/4 cups liquid.
  • Coconut milk: use full-fat (my preference) or low-fat coconut milk from a can. Don’t use coconut cream or sweetened coconut milk from a carton.
  • If you prefer sweeter coconut rice, like sometimes served in Thai restaurants – add 1 teaspoon sugar to the recipe.
  • Pressure cooker: The rice to liquid ratio is the same. This recipe was tested in 6L / 6 qt Instant Pot Duo.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Caribbean
Keyword coconut milk rice, coconut rice recipe, instant pot coconut rice, pressure cooker coconut rice

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply