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This easy, restaurant-style Coconut Rice is perfect for pairing with your favorite Asian dishes. Best of all, it’s ready in 20 minutes!

With a hint of sweetness, this Coconut Rice is perfect for pairing with any of your favorite Asian or Hawaiian dishes. We especially love Teriyaki Pork Chops, Slow Cooker Kalua Pork, and Asian Meatballs.

A bowl of coconut rice topped with toasted coconut.

Sweet coconut milk rice

Coconut Rice is typically used in Thai food and served with curry. It would be especially tasty with Coconut Curry. It has a sweet taste, and is full of delicious coconut flavor!

While it’s a perfect side for savory dishes like Baked Salmon, Chicken Stir Fry, or in Poke Bowls, Coconut Rice would also be a yummy dessert! Pair it with fresh mango and top it off with Whipped Cream for a twist on Sticky Rice with Mango.

Coconut Rice is sweet, delicious, and pairs perfectly with any of your favorite Asian Dishes!

Ingredients for coconut rice prepped on a kitchen counter.

How to make coconut rice

This particular recipe is made on the stovetop, but a rice cooker would work as well. For stovetop directions:

COMBINE. In a large saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt.

COOK. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes.

ENJOY! Serve warm as a side with your favorite Asian dish.

Coconut rice ingredients in a pot, ready to be cooked.

Recipe tips

Full-fat coconut milk. Use canned coconut milk, not a carton of coconut milk from the “milk” section at the grocery store. Canned coconut milk contains milk and coconut cream which is essential in adding the best flavor and texture to the rice. 

Rice. I used Jasmine rice, but you can also use long-grain, white rice, or basmati rice. Avoid using brown rice with this recipe as it requires a different amount of liquid and a longer cooking time.

For fluffy rice, be sure to rinse it with water in a fine mesh sieve to remove any dust and extra starch before cooking it in the recipe. 

Toasted coconut. Add even more coconut flavor and texture by topping the cooked rice with toasted coconut. You can also garnish with pineapple, mangoes, chopped cilantro, and green onions. To toast coconut:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the desired amount of coconut in a single layer on the sheet.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until it turns a light golden brown. 

Season. Easily add flavor to coconut rice with different seasonings. What you are pairing the rice with may affect what seasonings you choose to add: ground ginger, garlic salt, onion powder, sea salt, or ground black pepper. 

Fluffed coconut rice in a pot.

Cooking Tips

  • Don’t be tempted to forgo the water and use all coconut milk or you will end up with gluey rice. 
  • The entire surface of the water needs to be gently boiling before covering with the lid.
  • If the liquid evaporates before the rice is done, add a little water and let it steam with the lid on.
  • If the rice is cooked but is still too wet, remove the lid, fluff the rice, and allow some of the moisture to evaporate. 
  • Use a fork to fluff the rice.
Close up of coconut rice recipe in bowl.

Storing Info

STORE leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To reheat. Reheat small portions in the microwave in 60-second increments until warm. Larger portions are best reheated on the stovetop. Add a bit of extra coconut milk to the pan and stir the rice occasionally over medium-low heat until warm. 

Close up of coconut rice served in a coconut bowl and topped with toasted coconut.

For More Rice Recipes:

5 from 4 votes

Coconut Rice Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This easy, restaurant-style Coconut Rice is perfect for pairing with your favorite Asian dishes. Best of all, it's ready in 20 minutes!
Servings: 4 people
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • cups water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked jasmine rice

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes.
  • Serve warm as a side with your favorite Asian dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 80mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I make this with most of our Asian dishes!! I love it so much!! Love the little hint of coconut & how light & fluffy it is!

  2. 5 stars
    Definitely added some sweetness to generally bland white rice and perfect to pair with my favorite sweet and sour chicken.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband does not like rice. On a occasion he’ll eat it with Chinese food. He liked this variation of rice. A bit of sweetness made the difference.