Coconut rice is so easy to make and the perfect side dish to all your Asian-influenced recipes. This recipe is a sugar-free version of your favorite Thai restaurant rice.

Complete the meal with some pineapple pork chops or garlic ginger chicken and a side of sautéed bok choy.

Coconut rice in a white serving bowl with cilantro on the top.

Coconut Rice

This recipe is ideal for those nights when you're craving rice and want it to taste a little extra special; because sometimes plain rice just won't do. The gentle flavor of the coconut is ideal with all your favorite curries But it also goes well with so many mains that it's a really versatile recipe.

Bonus that we make our coconut milk rice without any sugar; because there's really no reason in the world to add sugar to rice.

How to make coconut rice

Making coconut milk rice is just as easy as making basmati rice, but there is one additional step.

  1. Rinse the rice. This helps it become a little less sticky after it's cooked. Simply put it into the pot, add water, swirl it around, then pour out the water. Do this 3-4 times.
  2. Add the liquid. In this recipe, you want to use canned coconut milk. Light coconut milk works fine, but the coconut flavor will be slightly less than if you use full-fat coconut milk.
  3. Stir the pot. You want to do this a few times as the liquid comes to a boil to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Gently simmer. Low heat works best as coconut milk has a habit of boiling right out of the pot if the heat is too high.

That's it! Once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, take it off the heat and let the pot rest for several minutes with the lid on then dig in.

Full recipe instructions in the recipe card below.

Coconut rice in a pot with a wooden spoon.

What kind of rice is best for this recipe

For this recipe, we love to use jasmine rice. While it's technically long-grain rice, it is much shorter and thicker than the basmati rice you're probably used to. It has a soft and slightly sticky texture when you cook it and smells a little like freshly popped popcorn, which wins it its other name: Thai Fragrant Rice.

How long does coconut milk rice last

Coconut rice will keep for up to 5 days in your fridge. To reheat it, warm it over medium-low heat with a splash of water added to the pan.

What to serve with coconut rice

This is a great recipe to pair with a coconut curry. Try our Thai fish curry, Thai peanut curry, or our mango chicken curry. But there's no reason to limit your options to only curry. Here are a few other mains that go great with Thai coconut rice:

More rice recipes

Coconut rice in a white bowl with a spoon.
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Coconut rice in a white bowl with a spoon.

Coconut Rice

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

Coconut rice is so easy to make and the perfect side dish to all your Asian-influenced recipes. This recipe is a sugar-free version of your favorite Thai restaurant rice.

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star review in the comments!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup jasmine rice (rinsed, optional – see notes)
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (can be light)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add the rice to a small pot and fill it halfway with water. Pour the water out (don't let the rice out of the pot!) then repeat 3-4 more times. 
  2. Pour the can of coconut milk into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Pour the coconut milk and salt into the pot and stir. 
  3. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring several times while the coconut milk is warming to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  4. When the pot starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 12 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for 8 minutes. 

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Coconut rice in a white bowl with the recipe title on top of the picture.